About 15% of the world’s population deals with some type of handicap or disability. Unfortunately, very few homes are actually prepared to host guests or family members with disabilities.
If you’ve been trying to keep your family busy all summer and you’re looking for a project to do together, why not work on making your home handicap accessible?
What are the benefits? First, it will allow you to see older relatives who might have mobility issues. It also doesn’t limit your home in terms of guests. Plus, if you ever decide to foster or adopt a child, you can expand your horizons and take in a child with a disability, because you will be equipped to do so.
It’s easier than you might think to create a handicap-accessible home. Let’s look at three simple ways to make it happen.
- Replace Stairs With a Handicap Ramp
One of the most effective things you can do is to replace your outdoor steps with a handicap ramp.
The great thing about a handicap ramp is that nowadays they come in a variety of different sizes. So, even if you only have a one-story home with two or three steps, you can get a small ramp that will make all the difference for someone with a wheelchair. Many ramps simply fold up for storage, so you can bring it out as needed.
- Use a Stair Lift
If someone with mobility issues is living with you in a two-story home, installing a stairlift will make life easier for everyone.
Stairlifts are electronic seats that go up and down the length of your stairs with the push of a button. Going up the steps can be tiring for those with limited mobility, and it may even be impossible for some.
A stair lift allows handicapped individuals to have a bit of their independence instead of relying on someone else to help them up the stairs.
- Be Mindful of Your Flooring
Consider your flooring if you have a handicapped person in your home. Tile, wood floors, and small rugs can be difficult and dangerous. Most of these surfaces can be slippery and make it easy to fall for those who use canes or walkers.
Installing soft carpet or securing down rugs that won’t loosen up or cause someone to fall are both great ways to make your flooring more handicap-friendly. While it might seem like an investment up front, it can make a big difference in how much someone with mobility issues can move about your home.
If you want to make sure your home is an inclusive place for everyone, making it more handicap-accessible is a great place to start. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Even the smallest of changes, like purchasing a wheelchair ramp, will make life easier for those who can’t walk on their own. Keep these tips in mind as we’re entering into a ‘new phase’ of the COVID-19 pandemic, where family and friends can get together once again.