Home Improvement: Increasing Mobility and Access for the Disabled
A disability can turn the simplest of everyday activities into a challenge. Whether it's taking a shower, getting in and out of bed, or simply accessing different areas of your home, being disabled can mean these activities - among many others - are made much more difficult.
However, there are various home improvements that can be made to simplify mobility and access for a disabled person. For instance, if a person is in a wheelchair, it might be necessary to install ramps where there are currently steps. A wheelchair could also make it more difficult to get through narrow doorways, which means doorways would also have to be widened and altered to feature reduced threshold heights. In multi-level homes, a stair lift will ensure a disabled person can access all or most rooms, while you might also consider installing a downstairs bathroom to facilitate access for a disabled individual.
Within specific rooms, fixtures can be altered to make access and mobility easier for a disabled person. For instance, low-level handles near the toilet and bathtub - as well as lowered light switches - can help a disabled person utilise the bathroom on their own. Handles are also a necessary safety measure and can prevent injury from slips and falls.
Similarly, the kitchen is an area of the home that can easily be made more accessible to a disabled person. Worktops and sinks in the kitchen can be positioned at different heights, and it's possible to install shallow sinks with no units below - leaving more room for a wheelchair user. Low-level shelving, drawer storage, and other accessories - such as pull-out worktops, cabinet support rails, and adjustable cabinet brackets - will significantly simplify access, while more suitable appliances which fit the requirements of the disabled will make it much easier for a disabled individual to cook, clean and utilise the kitchen in various ways.
Some suitable appliances for disabled kitchens include hobs with front controls (to avoid reaching across a hot plate), extractors with a remote control (to overcome the issue of not being able to reach controls), and side opening ovens with pull out runners (to get up close to the inside of the oven).
So, while a disability can complicate everyday activities around the house, there are many home improvements you can make to simplify these challenges. If you're a tenant or owner of a property, or if you're a landlord representing a disabled tenant, you might even be able to get a disabled facilities grant through the British Government, helping pay for any essential home improvements to make a property fit for a disabled person.
About the Author
Paul is a part of the digital blogging team at shoutingindigital.com who work with brands like Howdens Joinery. For more information about me, or to keep up to date with the latest in retail news, check out my posts at shoutingindigital.com or visit my Twitter account, @shoutingID.