How to make a home wheelchair accessible

  • As people get older, it’s pretty normal for some of them to develop special needs. More specifically, many elders are in a wheelchair, which means that they might find it a lot more difficult to do very simple things like get in the house or exit the house. If the home isn’t wheelchair accessible, you can imagine that the ability and even the will to go for some fresh air is severely diminished. But that doesn’t mean that things have to stay that way. Here are some things you should know about making a home wheelchair accessible.

    The first thing you need to tackle is the row of stairs leading up to the house. If there are no such stairs, getting inside is a lot easier. However, if the row of stairs does exist, you are going to need to install a wheelchair ramp. It’s exactly what it sounds like, meaning that it’s a ramp you construct and place where the stairs or rise in level occurs. However there are some indications you must consider, as you can’t just dump a ramp there and call it a day. Here are the main specifications of a proper wheelchair ramp:

    1. If the ramp or distance to the door is more than 30 feet, you need to also secure flat zones in between every 30 feet so that the wheelchair user can take a breather. Even if the ramp makes it easier to get inside, it’s still an effort to actually get all the way up the ramp, so make sure the user has a chance to regain their strength.
    2. Your ramp should be inclined according to its length. For each foot of length, the ramp should not be inclined for more than one inch. This is also so the user may find it easier to reach the entrance to the building. The point is to make it more accessible, not just turn it into a different type of challenge.

    If there are stairs inside the house, or if the house has a second level, you need to install stair lifts. These are lifts that the wheelchair user goes on in order to be carried upstairs. This is an amazing alternative to simply struggling to physically reach the second or third level of a house.

    Being in a wheelchair is hard enough, without having to go through the experience alone. Regardless of whether it’s a permanent situation or just a temporary one, being there for your loved ones is critical. If you’d like read more advice on how to help out seniors, check out Valleyhca.com.