Retrofitting A Home For Wheelchair Access: 4 Important Tips To Make Life Easier

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When a person becomes wheelchair-bound, one of the greatest challenges they typically face is retrofitting their existing home to be wheelchair-accessible. Often times, the process can be rather expensive and time consuming. Some of the more common changes and renovations that need to be made for wheelchair access include installing access ramps and widening doorways, but there are some other less obvious changes that can make life easier for person in a wheelchair.

Consider Off-Set Hinges in Doorways

Sometimes, a doorway is wide enough for wheelchair access, but the problem is that the door doesn't swing open enough to allow the wheelchair to pass through. This is where switching the existing door hinges to off-set hinges can make all the difference, providing extra room for wheelchair access. This modification is inexpensive, simple, and doesn't require the need to expand doorway sizes.

Adjust Counter Top Heights

In bathrooms and kitchens, it may also be necessary to adjust counter top heights so that they're more easily accessible by a person in a wheelchair. In a kitchen, this may mean adding an island with a lower counter top height. In a bathroom, this may mean switching to a vanity with a more accessible design. Ideally, a wheelchair should be able to slide comfortably underneath the counter top, so this may also mean losing some cabinet space.

Install Motion-Sensor Lighting

One aspect of living with a wheelchair that many people tend to overlook is the hassle that comes along with accessing light switches and lamps in various rooms of the home. This is where taking the time to install some motion-sensor lighting both inside and outside the home can make life a lot easier. This can save wheelchair-bound people from needing to manually turn lights on as they enter a room.

Invest in an Accessible Shower

Last but certainly not least, converting an existing tub or shower into a roll-in/wheelchair-accessible shower can make bathing a lot easier for somebody in a wheelchair. A lot of times, people will put off making this modification because they assume it will be expensive, but these days, retrofitting existing showers to be wheelchair accessible is less expensive than ever. 

There are so many modifications to consider when retrofitting a home for a wheelchair-bound person. By keeping these often-overlooked changes in mind as you plan modifications for your home or a loved one's home, you can make your home as accessible as possible. Contact a business, such as Alaska Mobility, for more information.