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Checklist: How to Make Your Home Wheelchair Friendly

Updated: Dec 19, 2023



Introduction:

Creating a wheelchair-friendly home is not just about accessibility; it's about enabling individuals to experience comfort, independence, and a sense of belonging. For those using wheelchairs, a welcoming home environment plays a crucial role in their daily lives. From maneuvering through doorways to navigating hallways and bedrooms, every aspect of the home should be carefully considered. In this comprehensive checklist, we will explore key modifications and adjustments that can transform a house into a haven of accessibility. Whether you use a wheelchair for home use or rely on wheelchair rental, these practical tips will help you optimize your living space and enhance your overall well-being.





Doors:

- Ensure doorways are at least 32" wide, ideally 36", to accommodate wheelchairs.

- Remove any obstacles such as door trim that may impede passage through doorways.


Lighting:

- Address glare issues by lowering the position of lighting or using reduced glare bulbs.

- Ensure light switches are easily accessible, avoiding placement behind countertops or in hard-to-reach areas.


Flooring:

- Choose slip-resistant, easy-to-maintain flooring that allows for easy wheelchair maneuverability.

- Avoid thick carpeting, especially with pile 1/2" thick or more, as it can impede wheelchair movement.


Hallways:

- Maintain a minimum hallway width of 36" for straight entrance-way to doorway hallways.

- Clear the hallways of any potential obstacles such as side tables, coat trees, or decorative items.


Bedrooms:

- Ensure the mattress height is no taller than 21" to allow for easy transfers in and out of a wheelchair.

- Provide a minimum clearance of 36" from obstacles and consider replacing high thresholds with lower ones or threshold ramps.


Furniture:

- Choose sturdy and stable furniture with no sharp edges, avoiding fragile and decorative pieces.

- Opt for chairs and sofas with suitable height and firmness, and ensure seating has solid, strong arms for assistance.


Home Exterior Accessibility Tips:

- Install ramps with appropriate design, measurement, and material factors to address elevation issues.

- Make yards accessible by adding threshold ramps, creating pathways, and using smooth, hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt.


Conclusion:

By implementing the recommended modifications in this wheelchair accessibility checklist, you can make your home a sanctuary of inclusivity and convenience. From widening doorways to addressing glare issues and choosing wheelchair-friendly furniture, each step contributes to a more accessible living environment. Creating smooth pathways, installing ramps, and ensuring slip-resistant flooring in both indoor and outdoor spaces further enhance mobility. The comfort, independence, and peace of mind that a wheelchair-friendly home provides are invaluable. Whether you require a wheelchair for permanent use or rent one temporarily, these modifications will allow you to navigate your living space with ease, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment.


For a deeper understanding of wheelchairs and their benefits, explore our related articles.





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