How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible.

Not all homes are wheelchair friendly. But with some consideration and a few adjustments, your home can become a wheelchair friendly space.

Of course, this list is not complete – there are many other ways you can make your home wheelchair accessible. Whether you are downsizing, moving to a new home, or looking to make your current home wheelchair friendly, here are some points to consider.

Entrance ramps

Having an accessible entrance to the home is one of the most important things to consider. This could mean installing a new ramp, or making use of a threshold ramp to ensure comfortable access to the home. There are many options these days, so find out what will work best for you.

Doorways

The recommended width for doorways to comfortably allow for wheelchair access is 850mm. If you are moving to a new home, consider whether you will need to modify the doorways. In most cases, it is possible to widen doorways. There are other alternatives. Installing offset door hinges is another way to create extra space. *Tip: Remember to check where doors sit when they are open too. Make sure there is comfortable access on the other side of the doorways.

Thresholds

Raised door thresholds should be avoided where possible. However, threshold ramps can be purchased to bridge the gap and allow for smooth and safe access.

After care - Make Home Wheelchair Accesible

Door Handles

Don’t forget to consider the height of door handles. Are they able to be used from a lower seated position? Also, as a safety precaution, an appropriately positioned peephole in the front door allows you to see who is outside. Alternatively, a video doorbell can be installed.

Kitchen & Bathroom

It’s important to make sure there is enough space to turn around comfortably with a wheelchair in the kitchen and bathroom. Safety rails can be installed in wet areas, and our home maintenance team can help you with this. To slip-proof surfaces, slip-resistant tape may be purchased at your local hardware store. Consider the height of sinks, benchtops, toilets, mirrors, light switches, and having a curbless shower. Standalone sinks without cupboards underneath are generally a good option in the bathroom, to allow wheelchair users close access to the basin.

Flooring

Another aspect to consider for a safe wheelchair-accessible home is flooring. Hardwood, tiles, laminate, and other sturdy flooring are generally preferred. Rugs can pose a hazard, so be careful about where you choose to place them.

Furniture

Always having enough room to comfortably move around is important. Furniture arrangements should be optimised to allow for more space and freedom of movement for wheelchair users. Keep in mind obstacles such as narrow passageways or sharp turns. This will make maneuverability difficult for wheelchair users. Again, remember, a width of 850mm and use it as a guide to help you create a wheelchair-friendly space.

If you need a hand with installing ramps and other safety features in your home, we can help.  Find out more about our home maintenance services here.