10 Smart Ways to Make Your Home More Accessible
There are hundreds of amazing things you can do to make your home more accessible. There are however some straightforward things that everyone should know. If you live in an apartment, some of these tips may not be possible, but for those who live in a home that can be changed, or if you're in the process of building a new home, these are incredibly useful. See our accessibility recommendations below.
Roomba vacuum cleaners might be one of the best vacuums invented in recent memory. These self-drive vacuums are a wheelchair user's dream since they offer a completely hands-off way to clean your home. Many of the newer models also have remote controls, making them even better for wheelchair users. You can drive them where you need them to go. They also have a Roomba that cleans wood, vinyl, and tile floors. This flooring is some of the best for wheelchair users as well.
9. App-Controlled Lights
Turning your home into a smart home is incredibly popular, and one of the most important items in your home you can control with your phone is your lights. There are times you will be in bed and you'll have to get out of your bed to turn off or on the lights, or you’ll have to ask for assistance. But with an app that controls your lights, like Phillips Hue, you can have full domain over your lighting. You can also connect your door lock to an app. If you're unable to get out of your bed on your own, this lets you unlock/lock the door.
8. Rubber Transition Strips
There is nothing more annoying than bulky/bumpy doorways throughout a home. If a doorway is less smooth, it can cause you to shake in your wheelchair as you pass through and if this is in your own home, this is not something you want to experience on a daily basis. Thankfully, rubber transition strips are available. They’re put on the floor where the rooms change, making the ride through the doorway smoother. And they’re low cost, easy to install and you can find them at most hardware stores.
7. 36” Wide Doors
If you have the ability to do so, modifying your doorways so they are at least 36 inches wide is incredibly helpful for those who use wheelchairs. For some, they want their doorways even wider, but 36 inches is standard for most people who use wheelchairs. In many existing homes, the doorway can be widened, although it requires construction work.
6. Lazy Susans
If you have lower cupboards you can reach, or even on your countertops, purchasing a Lazy Susan for organizing a variety of different things in your kitchen is a great idea. You can use one for dishes, pans, dry goods, or even spices depending on where you want to put it. And if you're constructing a home, ask your contractor to install a Lazy Susan in one of your cupboards. No other organizing item can beat the swivel and spin of a Lady Susan.
5. Reachers in Every Room
Reachers are by far one of the most popular mobility items people with spinal cord injuries purchase after their injury. Many people only purchase just one and retrieve it when it is needed. This however can be limiting if you need your reacher quickly, which is why many people opt to put multiple reachers throughout their home; typically in each room.
4. Lever Door Knobs
Make your doors much easier to use by installing lever door knobs, which are appreciated by everybody in the world, not just those with quadriplegia. This popular doorknob was first seen in stores and corporate America, and now many people with disabilities are putting these in their homes because of their ease of use. Instead of gripping a doorknob with your entire hand, with a lever doorknob all you need to do is press down, and the door opens.
3. Roll-In Shower
Having a roll-in shower can make a night and day difference in someone with a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, this is one of the most expensive accessibility enhancements you can do to your home, running anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 dollars. If you live in an apartment, there are portable roll-in showers you can put anywhere in your room. Check them out here: https://shop.fawssit.com/product/s2000-standard/ a
2. Drop-Down Cabinets
If you really want to make your kitchen cupboards accessible, not only should you install lower cupboards, you can install drop-down cabinetry that can be brought down to your level using a pull handle. These cost around $250 per drop-down shelf. You can buy them on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/HDHR-Cabinet-Organizer-Kitchen-Corner/dp/B09D93JLWN/ref=asc_df_B09D93JLWN/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=547476916484&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8953346207467849472&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9019545&hvtargid=pla-1458633461897&psc=1
1. Ramps on Every Entry Door
To make your home safe in case of an emergency, it's important to make sure you can enter and exit your home in multiple locations. Typically, people will add just one ramp to their home, but this is not feasible for many active individuals, nor is it safe. For example, if you have a patio door on the back of your home but your only ramp is in your garage, we highly recommend adding a ramp to your patio door as well so you can use your home fully.
These are just the beginning of suggestions in order to make your home fully accessible. Remember, there are more options than ever when it comes to making your homework for you. All it takes is a simple search, and you may find exactly what you're looking for.
Stay Updated on Advancements On Traumatic Brain &
Spinal Cord Injuries
About the Author
Spinal Cord Team