A physical handicap can make a lot of tasks harder. Your home should make them easier. If you’re physically limited because of your age, an accident, or a handicap that you’ve had since birth, you need to make sure that your home is functional and safe! The updates and additions can be costly, so it’s important to think ahead and save accordingly, whether through your bank or credit union account. There are also plenty of contractors and retro-fitters who specialize in handicap accessibility, so be sure to do your research on the most cost-effective approach to fit your needs.
Your space and mobility
First things first: you’ll need to be able to quickly and easily move from place to place within your space. If your space hasn’t been outfitted for your needs from the start, this will mean renovations. Outdoor stairs can and should be converted to ramps, and stairs can be outfitted with stairlifts. You’ll also want to make sure that hallways and paths through rooms are wide and clear of clutter. What’s easy to walk through isn’t always easy to navigate through on a wheelchair or with a walker, so be careful with how you arrange your furniture and store your possessions!
Bathrooms spaces are among the most dangerous in the home for handicapped individuals. Slippery floors and slick tubs can cause falls and can make simple tasks extraordinarily difficult.
That’s why there’s a whole market for handicap-accessible bathroom fixtures, including handicap-accessible bathtubs, toilets, sinks, and more. If handicapped life is new to you, you’ll want to speak to experts about outfitting your old bathrooms to be more handicap-friendly.
Appliances and tools
You do a lot in your home every day: you cook, clean, do laundry, and more. A lot of these tasks become more difficult when you’re living with a disability. So make sure that your tools are on your side!
Appliances – including kitchen appliances, washers, dryers, and more – come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are easier than others for handicapped individuals to use (in fact, some are explicitly designed with the handicapped in mind). Track the right ones down by looking on manufacturer websites for handicap-accessible options, speaking with dealers about which appliances offer the best options for your situation, and asking other handicapped individuals which appliances they use and why.
Last but not least, you’ll want to consider your own comfort in your home! A safe and functional space is great, but you’ll only really enjoy your home if you can get comfortable in it. So invest in furniture that makes relaxing easy, entertainment systems that work at your eye level and are appropriate for your hearing and sight. You can get specially made beds, amplifiers for TV sound, and more – so don’t forget to take the rules you’ve applied to appliances and stairs and apply them to the things that bring you joy, too!