Things To Consider When Renovating Your Home for a Disability

Jun 28 2024
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Homes have come a long way in terms of accessibility over the last couple of decades compared to when they were first built. Doorways are already larger and people are already going for less stairs and far more one story and wide open plans. Renovating an older home that would be more user friendly for someone with a disability can be a bit daunting but, still, a very doable task.

A new design for our entryway... and some thoughts on rugs. So I did a rug count in the house a while back and ended up feeling quite
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Renovating your home can be a fun adventure, but it’s super important to consider the needs of those with disabilities. Whether you’re adapting a home for yourself, a family member, or future guests, some thoughtful changes can make a big difference. So let’s dive into some key aspects that can guide your home improvement projects toward better accessibility.

Starting with the entrance

First things first: getting in and out of the house easily is crucial. If you’re thinking about adding a ramp, it’s not just about any ramp; it has to be just right for wheelchairs to move smoothly. This is where a handy tool like an ADA ramp slope calculator comes into play. It helps you figure out the perfect slope so the ramp isn’t too steep or too flat. Also, consider a no-step entry if possible; it’s a game-changer for anyone using a wheelchair or walker.

Next, think about the doorways. Are they wide enough? Standard doorways might be too narrow, so widening them to at least 32 inches can offer much easier access. And don’t forget the door handles! Lever-style handles are way easier to use than knobs, especially for hands that find gripping tough.

Changing your living spaces

Now, let’s talk about moving around inside. Clear pathways are essential. Try to aim for at least 36 inches wide to ensure easy navigation through rooms and hallways. This might mean rearranging furniture or even choosing more compact pieces. It’s all about creating a smooth flow that avoids any unnecessary obstacles.

Lighting also plays a huge role in making a home more accessible. Bright, well-placed lights help everyone, but they’re especially important for those with visual impairments. Think about adding motion sensors or easy-to-reach switches that can adjust the brightness in rooms.

Modifying the kitchen and bathroom

Kitchens and bathrooms are key areas that might need some extra thought. For kitchens, adjustable countertops or an island with varied heights can provide accessibility for those who are seated or have limited reach. Pull-out shelves and lower cabinets are also fantastic improvements that make cooking and storage much easier.

In the bathroom, installing grab bars near the toilet and in the shower can prevent falls and help with mobility. Consider a walk-in shower with a bench and hand-held shower head to make bathing safer and more comfortable. And remember, non-slip tiles are a must to keep everyone safe from slips and falls.

Adding technology and smart home devices

Embracing technology can hugely improve the accessibility of a home. Smart home devices allow control of lights, temperature, and even door locks with just a voice command or a simple tap on a smartphone. These gadgets are not just cool; they make life easier for those with limited mobility or dexterity.

Consider installing emergency response systems too, especially in bedrooms and bathrooms. These systems can be lifesavers, providing peace of mind for everyone in the home.

Remember, every small change can make a big impact. Whether it’s widening your hallways or adding smart technology, it’s all about making the home a welcoming, safe space for everyone. So, take your time, plan well, and create a space that truly feels like home to all.

So, it is interesting that I love this new redesign so much because it is LITERALLY my old plan for the living room
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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