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How To Prepare Your Home For Wheelchair Accessibility

When a member of your family requires a wheelchair for accessibility, it insists upon many changes to the home. Naturally, it can be a lot more difficult for wheelchair users to access different areas of the home, especially if there are several floors. As a result, homeowners who live with wheelchair users must alter their homes in order to make them liveable for all of its inhabitants.

What are the most important areas of the home to consider?

The entrance.

Of course, it’s important for wheelchair users to be able to easily enter and exit the home. Problems arise, however, when staircases lead up to the main entranceway. In many cases, wheelchair ramps must be installed. However, they can be quite costly and take a long time to properly construct. Not to mention, there may not be adequate space in front of your home to install a wheelchair ramp. An ideal alternative is a porch lift or vertical platform lift.

“The first alteration you should make is at the entrance to your home,” insists CaregiverPartnership.com, “If you have room, build a wheelchair ramp for each entrance of the house. The costs of constructing a ramp vary depending on size and materials…You can also opt for a vertical platform lift if a ramp would turn your home’s exterior into a congested nightmare.”

The doorways.

Generally, a home has numerous rooms. To enter and exit each room, there must be ample space provided by the doors. This isn’t always the case for wheelchair users. The widths of their wheelchairs often create tight squeezes. Therefore, homeowners who need to make their homes wheelchair accessible need to widen their doorways.

“Clear paths of travel through doors and hallways are integral to providing a liveable space,” writes Jessica Brown on HowStuffWorks.com, “Many of the laws and recommendations for doors and hallways are based on the needs of those in wheelchairs. For this reason, it’s important to have doors with at least a 32-inch (approximately 813-mm) wide opening.”

The staircases.

It goes without saying that staircases are major obstacles for those with mobility issues. For individuals in wheelchairs, stairwells are practically inaccessible. That is, of course, unless you install a stair lift. Stair lifts provide safe and comfortable rides up and down stairs, eliminating the barriers presented by one’s physical disabilities.

“For anyone confined to a wheelchair, navigating stairs can be a frightening experience,” says CaregiverPartnership.com, “In order to simplify the task, install a vertical platform lift or stairway lift at every staircase in the home. This will not only provide full accessibility, it will give the wheelchair-bound individual a feeling of independence. Stairway lifts should swivel, which allows the operator to safely get in and out of the chair.”

If you have any questions about the porch lifts, stair lifts and wheelchairs offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 647-350-4488 or email us at info@lifecaremobility.ca. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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