As we get on in life, we sometimes have to face the fact that we may need the help of a wheelchair to get around. While it can feel like an interruption in independence, it doesn’t have to be. Many public places today are friendly to those with wheelchairs, with accessibility being easier than ever before in a lot of places. However, the one place that never seems to be wheelchair-friendly is your house.
If you are new to using a wheelchair, then the likelihood is that your house will need to be adapted to suit your new wheels. It’s one of the essential things to do to make life as easy and comfortable as possible. So, if you are dealing with physical limitations and you want to make improvements to your home to be more accessible, take a look at some of our tips below.
Move Things Around.
The best place to start is with your furniture. Move things around to accommodate the size and shape of your wheelchair. You may have negotiated tight spaces when walking, but it’s a little different when you’re in a chair. Make the gaps between furniture bigger to fit the chair and adapt what furniture you have in each room to suit.
Make Entrances Accessible
You need to ensure that your entrance to the house and your back door are lined with a handicap ramp to get you in and out of the house safely. You want to avoid using any steps if possible, otherwise you’re going to struggle to get in and out! It shouldn’t be hard to get in and out, and you can give yourself much-needed independence when you add ramps.
Aim For Low Shelves
When you’re sitting in a chair, you don’t want to have to try and act dangerously by reaching up too high and falling over. So, start adding your most important items to lower shelves for ease. Independence is gained when you don’t have to ask for help, so don’t be afraid to adjust as you need for your benefit.
Add A Stairlift
If you have an upper level of your house, then think about adding a stairlift to get you to bed every night. You may not be in a position to move house or move your bedroom downstairs, so this is the next best thing for you.
Widen The Doors
You may not be able to adapt every house you go into, but you can adapt your own house. You can have builders come in and widen the doors for you so that you are able to get in and out comfortably. By widening the doors, you can get in and out whenever you need to without worrying about crashing and damaging the wood.
You might feel frustrated in the very beginning when you first get into a chair, but you can increase your independence and feel more secure when you get some practice. It isn’t easy to get around in a wheelchair as it is, but you can make it so.