According to the CDC, approximately 53 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability, and about 33 million Americans have a disability that makes it difficult to keep up with daily activities. Millions of people of all ages and backgrounds use wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and crutches to get around, and having a user-friendly home can definitely make common tasks safer and easier.
Whether you’re planning for the future or looking to accommodate houseguests, here are some tips for making your home user-friendly for people with mobility disabilities.
Accessibility for the Bathroom
With consistently wet and slippery conditions, bathrooms can be very dangerous places for people with mobility challenges. This is where thousands of injuries take place every year and send people of all types to the emergency room. Grab bars are great for providing extra support in the bathroom, and they can be easily installed around the tub, in the shower, and next to the toilet. There are many options for specialized showers that allow wheelchair users to enter and stay safe.
Non-slip mats should be used inside and outside showers to provide traction and prevent falls. Other accessible bathroom upgrades include single-lever controls for faucets, anti-scale temperature controls, raised toilet seats, and portable mirrors that are self-illuminated.
Accessibility for the Kitchen
Since most traditional kitchen tasks involve standing, you can make your home more disability-friendly by adding a workspace that can be accessed while sitting. Use a small dining table or fold-down table that’s sturdy and easy to maneuver around. You can also lower the position of your sink and create leg space underneath the sink.
Stoves can be very dangerous if they cannot accommodate people with disabilities, but you can ensure that controls are located on the front of the appliance instead of the top or back. If you have a rug in your kitchen or dining room, make sure to apply tape or grip pads between the rug and the floor to prevent it from shifting with movement. Other accessible kitchen upgrades include a side-by-side refrigerator, linoleum or tile flooring, lower cabinets with knee space, and low countertops for commonly used appliances.
Assistance Moving Between Floors
One of the most challenging parts of remaining at home with mobility issues is moving up and down stairs. Fortunately, Dermer Stairlifts provides safe and affordable solutions for living in and visiting multi-floor homes.
The Elan Stair Lift is a perfect entry-level stair lift and addresses the basic mobility needs of most homeowners. Meanwhile, the Bruno Elite model has an ultra-compact design to complement your home’s beautiful décor. And our Curved Rail Stair Lifts are customized to fix the precise specifications of your stairs. In addition to stairs, you can make your home more mobility-friendly by adding more light to dark hallways, eliminating loose rugs to prevent falls, and installing handles instead of knobs on doors for easier turning.
Assistance with Outside Areas
For accessibility purposes, it’s important to consider the outside areas of a home in addition to the interior. Start by making your home visible from the street with bright lights and house numbers that are easy to see. Make sure to fix cracks that could pose problems for wheelchairs and walkers, and always clear walkways of debris, snow, and ice.
Consider installing a ramp to replace stairs and make it easier to enter and exit your home. Bruno outdoor stairlifts make it easy to go up and down outdoor steps in any kind of weather. Call us today at (866) 4LIFTYOU or (866) 454-3896 to schedule your free no-obligation, in-home estimate today!