How to Adapt Your Home to Accomodate a Wheelchair
If a member of your family has recently become wheelchair bound, you might be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of having to change your entire house to accommodate them. Luckily, there are lots of useful daily living aids which aren't hard to install but make a huge difference in terms of accessibility. Ramps and stairlifts will ensure that your relative can safely access every room of the house. Shower seats or stools allow them to use the shower without the risk of falling and grab rails around the home also reduce the likelihood of slips. Every person is different, and needs will vary, so be sure to include your relative in every step of the process.
Wheelchair ramps are available for the interior and exterior of your home, and allow wheelchair users to move freely, without needing the assistance of another person. If your front door involves a step up, a metal ramp should be installed. Choose an aluminium, rust-resistant ramp to ensure it lasts well. Some ramps are portable, meaning your relative can take them out to other places as needed. Indoor ramps are available in both aluminium and fibreglass, in a wide range of sizes. One-piece doorframe ramps are useful for the transition between conservatories and the rest of the house.
Consider a stairlift
If your relative will need to access the upper floors of your house, a stairlift is a wise investment. It can be installed alongside your regular staircase without any major renovation needed in most cases. A track will be installed along the length of the stairs, which the chair will move up and down. Stairlifts are easy to operate, with most using a simple joystick-style controller to move up and down.
Put in shower seats
Showers seats and stools are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Fold down shower seats are useful in bathrooms without much space, as they can be stored out of the way when not in use. Stools are a portable option which can offer more support than folding seats. They're made of a waterproof plastic, with strong grips at the feet, to reduce the risk of slipping while showering.
Install grab rails
Grab rails are useful in many areas of the home but are particularly useful in the bathroom. They provide a strong, secure handhold for your relative to use while moving out of their wheelchair, reducing the risk of falls. Foldaway grab rails can be used where there isn't much space, and bed rails can be fitted securely below a bed frame.
Make your home safer for wheelchair-using relatives with these aids.