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HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE (2)

How To Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

If you are in a wheelchair, sometimes getting around your own home can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Making your house wheelchair accessible doesn’t mean you have to build a new house from scratch, you can simply adapt yours to make it less daunting. Updating your home can result in you being safer and ensuring comfort whilst making your house feel like home again.

Adding Ramps

Make your home more wheelchair accessible for you or a loved one by adding ramps to both indoor and outdoor stairs. Many houses have stairs or a step up to the front door and also inside from a landing or hallway to a bedroom or living room. Portable & collapsible ramps are perfect for storage and easy to move around if you need to do so making doorways, entrances and gates easily accessible. These ramps can be moved to different places or can be stationary in one part of your house. Foldable ramps can be easily transported or stored making them easy to travel with and access places outside of your home.

Install A Stairlift

Installing a stairlift into your home could make a huge difference. Stairlifts can make a multilevel home easily accessible for someone with mobility issues. Stairlifts make it easy for someone who uses a wheelchair to get up and down the stairs easily. At Modern Mobility, we have a stairlift that will fit every home and staircase. 

Straight Stairlifts are perfect if your stairs don’t have any bends or twists in them and can go up and down in one straight line. A curved staircase could be the perfect solution if your stairs have a turn or a corner on them. Curved stairlifts are bespoke and are made to fit your staircase specifically. Our stairlifts are available across the UK, but we specialise in stairlifts in Blackburn, Clitheroe, Leicester and the surrounding areas.

Stairlift rental can be the best solution if your mobility is limited for only a short period of time, this could be after an operation or if a friend or family member with mobility issues is coming to stay at your house for a while.

All of our stairlifts come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes to fit every home’s style.

Upgrading Your Door System

For someone in a wheelchair unlocking and opening doors can be a pain. Automatic door openings can make a big difference in someone’s life. With the push of a button, you can open and close doors. This can easily be done via a smartphone or remote control. You can always connect this to an intercom and video system to see and hear who is at your door before letting them in.

Bathroom

When making your house wheelchair accessible, your bathroom should be a high priority. Without being able to access the bathroom the wheelchair user will not be able to use the toilet, have a bath or shower or perform basic hygiene care. There are many different routes you can take to make your bathroom more accessible such as adding a walk-in shower or wet room, however, if you prefer to have a relaxing soak and keep your bath you can add in a bath lift or a walk-in bath. 

You can always adapt your bathroom further by adding grab rails or handles to the walls of your bathroom to help you in areas that may be slippery. Shower and Bath stools are a great help if you cannot stand for a long period of time, and lowers the risk of you lowering yourself into the bath and also getting out allowing you to enjoy bathing again safely and comfortably, they are also available in different colours to best suit your bathroom.

If you need help when using the toilet you may find it beneficial to add in a bathroom frame. Bathroom frames are frames that fit around your toilet to offer support when sitting down or getting up from a seat, they can either be stationary or can be easily moved around with wheels.  Toilet frames are designed with either floor-fixed legs or rubber ferrules to ensure maximum stability. Most bathroom frames are adjustable that will offer the most flexibility for the user as they dismantle for easy storage and transport.

Consider Installing A Lift

A lift is a great alternative to a stairlift if maybe you cannot move yourself from your wheelchair to the stairlift. While you may need a bit of space in your house to install one, that doesn’t mean you won’t have room for anything else, in fact through floor lifts can be compact and can come in different shapes and sizes to best suit the style of your home. You can purchase a new lift or if you require a lift but are on a budget, a reconditioned stairlift could be perfect for you.

Flooring

Having carpets in your home can make it difficult for someone in a wheelchair to get around. You want your floor to be slip-resistant, easy to maintain and one that’s easy to maneuver in a wheelchair. Here are four types of flooring that would make your house more wheelchair accessible.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is affordable and available in many different shapes, sizes colours and patterns. It is also very good at resisting moisture but can be marked by sharp edges eaily. Vinyl is also easy to install.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles can be perfect for kitchens and bathrooms because of their excellent water resistance. Choosing larger ceramic tiles can make a smoother surface due to there being fewer grout lines however larger ceramic tiles are easier to damage.

Laminate Flooring

Most Laminate floors have slip-resistant surfaces making them perfect for a wheelchair user. They are also easier to maintain and are cheaper to replace. Laminate flooring is very durable and scratches or scuffs can come off very easily with cleaning products.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is one of the most durable materials and will survive for years to come.

Doorways

To further make your house wheelchair accessible, It’s a good idea to make sure the wheelchair can get into every room of your house. Ensure each doorway is widened to the appropriate width so a wheelchair can easily get through. Standard doors can restrict the access of wheelchairs and getting into rooms in your house. When widening the doors you may want to take into consideration if the door can swing fully open or if it will be stopped by a wall. If this is the case you may want to consider removing the door for easier access. There are also adaptions you can add to your door such as lower the peephole for looking who is at the door before answering it.

Bedroom

Bed size and height could be an important factor when it comes to choosing the best bed frame and mattress for someone in a wheelchair. Adjustable beds raise and lower into the optimum position for you providing you with maximum comfort. With just the touch of a button the bed will go up or down allowing you to find the best position for you.

You should also opt for a chest of drawers that are easy to access and not too hard to reach. It could also be a good option to get touch lamps that go on and off when you touch the base of them, making it easier to control the lighting.

Re-arrange Furniture

Is the layout of the furniture in your home suitable for wheelchairs? Is it easy to maneuver around the furniture in your house? Arrange your furniture so there is not sharp corners or narrow pathways to get down when using a wheelchair, this could mean moving items of shelves that are in the way and moving any fragile or glass items out of the way to avoid them being broken. Chairs and sofas should be chosen depending on height and firmness, soft, cushioned sofas may be very comfortable but could be hard to get up out of them, choosing a sofa with solid arms could be a great help when getting in and out of chairs.

Riser Recliners are designed to help you relax comfortably in your home. Operated by a handheld controller they allow you to adjust the backrest and footrest providing maximum comfort for you. With the handheld device used for operating these, you can position it so it is easier for you to get out of it with virtually no strength or effort needed

A fireside chair is a perfect option if you need a bit more support but maybe don’t have the space you need to fit it in your room. These products are available in a number of shapes, sizes, and colours, however, you should base your decision more on what type of support you need most. A fireside chair offers a robust high seat and shaped backrest, supporting your back and reducing aches and pains. Their strong arms make them easy to push yourself out of the seat.

Kitchen

Just like a bathroom or a hallway you need a good amount of space to make it easier for you to navigate. When designing your kitchen think about if you have enough turning room or if there is any tight spaces your wheelchair might not be able to fit into.

To make your house further wheelchair accessible, you should also take into account the placement of your cupboards and kitchen surfaces. All surfaces should be easily accessible from a seated position and can be customised to suit the individual. It might also be a good idea to have plug sockets within an arms reach.

If you would like any further information or any advice on products please get in touch with member of our team or pop into your local Modern Mobility.

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