Homes should be designed with the needs of the family in mind, especially for family members who have special requirements, such as the elderly or wheelchair users. Let’s take a look at some of the key home design features that make a home accessible for everyone!
Use A Level Surface Whenever Possible
If the surface is not level, it will may cause the elderly to trip and fall or create difficulty for wheelchairs or mobility devices to move around effortlessly.
Install Ramps When Needed
If you have a staircase leading to the home entrance, a ramp is needed for wheelchair users to access the house easily.
Make Sure All Doorways Are Accessible And Wide Enough
Entrances and doorways should measure at least 32″ to 36″ wide, so as to allow a wheelchair to pass through comfortably. Offset door hinges can be considered to help increase door clearance.
Place Switches And Outlets At A Reachable Height
Wheelchair users will not be able to reach switches and outlets that are installed for general uses, so it is important to make sure they are placed at a reachable height. Make sure to mark these areas on the wall, so they are easy to find.
Use Contrasting Colors For Easy Identification
This can be used to help with eye-hand coordination as well as with navigation. Using bright colors for the walls and dark colors for the cabinets, drawers, and other internal walls will make it much easier for people with disabilities to find what they need in the house.
Install A Wheelchair-Accessible Kitchen
In order for wheelchair users to live independently and prepare meals for themselves, an accessible kitchen should be installed for their use. Features to include in this kind of kitchen include countertops and sinks that are lower than usual, lots of open space for wheelchair rotation, and cabinets that are built on the ground level. One more feature to add to a wheelchair-friendly kitchen is the provision of under-cabinet knee space.
Build A Wheelchair-Accessible Bathroom
In key locations like the toilet or shower, grab bars with wall reinforcement should be installed. The grab bars should be tested in a handicap-friendly bathroom to ensure they are installed at the correct height and secured to wall studs to support a person’s weight.
Other features in a wheelchair-accessible bathroom include lowered sinks, ADA-approved toilets, bath-bench, a roll-in shower, and more.
Add Braille Labels For The Visually Impaired
Last but not least, make sure to add Braille labels to all items in your home. Whether it be the lights, appliances, or furniture, these items should be labeled so that people with visual disabilities can easily identify them.
There’s no one-fits-all solution when it comes to designing a home. Your home is unique, and every room in it is different. But, by following these tips, you can make your home more accessible, both for yourself and for your family.