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Home Modification Tips for Wheelchair Accessibility

  • Published: 2009-01-03 (Rev. 2016-10-19) - Contact: Caitlina Fuller
  • Synopsis: Basic tips that will help you make your home wheelchair accessible.

Main Document

"Keep in mind as well that a wheelchair ramp outside your home is important and will help anyone in a wheelchair enter and exit the home easily and without assistance."

At any point in your life you or someone in your family may need the assistance of a wheelchair to get around. You probably don't have a home that is wheelchair accessible, but if the need arises you will need to make the changes. There are lots of tips that will help you make your home wheelchair accessible.

One idea is to add stair lifts.

This is simply a mechanism that allows you to lift a person up the stairs. It's similar to an elevator in the fact that it is powered by electricity, but it simply goes up and down the stairwell you already have. That means there are not as many design changes you need to make in your home and those incapacitated can get up and down the stairs with little assistance.

Another option is wheelchair lifts.

If someone in your home is in a wheelchair then a wheelchair lift is very likely a necessity. It will allow for the individual to get around on their own somewhat as well as be able to get up and down stairs in their wheelchair. A wheelchair lift really makes the home an easier place to be and increases the disabled individual's mobility significantly.

Vertical lifts are another option and they are very similar to the other two.

Vertical lifts simply lift vertically.

What you need in your home will depend significantly upon whether or not the situation will change, or it is permanent, as well as how much room you have in your home to make the changes. For example you may choose a wheelchair lift over a vertical lift if it provides a better service to the individual in the wheelchair.

Simply evaluate your home, space, and budget as well as the needs of the disabled individual to determine what will work best. The good news is that you can design your home and make modifications for an individual in a wheelchair.

Keep in mind as well that a wheelchair ramp outside your home is important and will help anyone in a wheelchair enter and exit the home easily and without assistance.

There are a lot of things to keep in mind like widening the passageways so a wheelchair can fit and easily turn and keeping things at a lower height so an individual in a wheelchair can reach them. However, once you make the changes in your home you will become accustomed to them and the disabled individual will learn to live a new lifestyle.

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