Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible
When a loved one requires a mobility aid to gain better access to your home, there are a number of ways to make your home more accommodating so that they are able to maintain a certain level of independence. Although remodeling the interior can be extremely expensive, there are some cheaper alternatives available.
However, before undergoing any major changes, it is a good idea to hire an Occupational Therapist to take a look at the current set up of your home and recommend affordable ideas and solutions. Since many of us have never had the experience of relying on a wheelchair for mobility, there will often be many things that we overlook. This can cause a major headache down the road when we need to make sudden changes. Because Occupational Therapists deal with these situations regularly, they can often recommend affordable ideas. Whether this is a permanent or short term solution, there are some basic things to consider.
Access to Entrances in Your Home
Portable ramps are an effective way to make your home entrance accessible without undergoing construction. The nice thing about them is that you can also move them to different entrances in your home. If this is a temporary solution, you can usually rent the ramp at an affordable price.
Whether you choose to purchase a ramp or build one depends on personal preferences and skills. However, if you do decided to construct one yourself, it is a good idea to do so with aluminum so that it is not too heavy and can be moved around. The surface of the ramp will also need traction so that the wheelchair does not slip. In order to ensure that the ramp is safe, try to flatten the slope so that it is not a steep trip up or down the ramp.
Wheelchairs are Often too Large to Fit in Standard Doors
Most doorways are not wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair which means you will need to make some modifications. Rather than replacing your entire door, you can purchase and install special offset hinges that will allow the door to swing open without blocking the opening. You should note that you may need to do this to other doorways in your house as well, such as the one leading to the bathroom. However, it is cheaper and easier to remove the door completely and install a curtain for privacy when it comes to doors inside your home.
The Challenges of a Multiple Story House
Although stair lifts can be installed, the cost of the lift and the construction involved can add up quickly. If your friend or family member is unable to reach another story in your house, it is often cheaper to relocate all the essentials to one floor in your house so that they do not need to worry about going up and down stairs. Whichever room you choose, it is a good idea to make sure it is on the main floor. This will be very helpful in emergency situations when you must evacuate the house quickly.
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