Make Your Home Accessible for Visitors
Make your home accessible for visitors with impairments by being aware of their needs within your home. This means taking a few steps back and looking at the layout of the space. You might need to make your home temporarily accessible for a family member or friend due to surgery or injury, caring for a loved one, or some other reason.
Whatever your reasons, there are many options for adding accessibility to your home, whether you need long-term accessibility or just for an occasional visit. In this post, we explore how to temporarily make your home accessible to visitors.
Analyze your home through the eyes of someone who has mobility issues or who uses a wheelchair. If you aren’t sure what kinds of things can be difficult to maneuver around, talk with someone who uses a wheelchair. Consider the following questions.
- What type of flooring do you have?
- Are there lumpy rugs that slide around?
- What kind of steps exist?
- Are doorways wide enough for a wheelchair to go through?
- Do hallways allow enough space for a wheelchair?
- Is there enough space for a wheelchair to move between furniture?
Start at the Front Door
Most homes have at least one step up to the front door if not more. To accommodate for someone in a wheelchair, you can rent or build a portable ramp. First-floor apartments may be flush to the outdoor sidewalk without steps, but a second-floor apartment should have an elevator. When you don’t have enough time to get a ramp, there are a few short term options available to you to help someone in a wheelchair get indoors into the main living area.
One Step at a Time
Using the wheelchair handles, carefully pull the wheelchair up the steps backward.
The Two People Plan
With the aid of two people, one person carries the front of the wheelchair while the second supports the back of the wheelchair for navigating up the stairs.
Making a bathroom easily accessible for a person with a mobility device can be challenging in most homes and apartments. First-floor bathrooms tend to be small, and apartment bathrooms are rarely known for being large. You still can make your bathroom easier to access with the following steps.
Clear away any mats or rugs from the bathroom floor.
Check the doorway to see if it’s 32” wide to accommodate the average 27”-wide wheelchair.
Install grab bars next to the toilet. (Order temporary grab bars online.)
Provide a commode lift for your guest.
Living Space Navigation
When it comes to entertaining, the living room, dining room, and kitchen tend to be the places where people congregate. To help accommodate your guest, remove rugs and rearrange furniture to provide plenty of space for navigation. Be sure that the table that you plan to use has plenty of room and is at the right height so a mobility device can roll right up to it. Also, it’s important to consider unnecessary clutter and how these objects can obstruct wheelchair navigation.
Plan Ahead for Home Accessibility for Guests
As a good host or hostess, planning ahead with your guest in mind is important. For a guest with a mobility device, you’ll need to take further considerations into account to truly welcome them well into your home.
In some cases, you may want to work with a company to make your home more than just temporarily accessible. While you may not be able to factor in every situation, you can create space to make it easier for a wheelchair to navigate your home. This step is huge in creating a welcoming environment for your guest.
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