Unfortunately, many people suffer from mobility issues that bind them to a wheelchair. Whether this is the result of old age or a disability, wheelchair users face some common challenges.
One of the hardest things to accept is losing independence and relying on others. However, you should know that you can regain some of your independence with some adjustment.
For instance, by designing a disability-friendly home, you’ll be able to look after yourself with little to no help. Just look at these 8 things that make life easier for wheelchair users at home.
Unfortunately, some homes are simply not fit for wheelchair users. They might pose too many challenges, or their structure might be unadaptable to your needs. Or you might be unable to afford to make all the necessary changes. In this case, moving is your best option.
Just do a bit of research on moving tips for people with disabilities beforehand. That will help you prepare and give you ideas on what type of home you should look for.
For instance, one of the best tips to make the move easier is to think about all your accessibility needs ahead of time. At the same time, you should hire movers to take care of all the packing, transporting, and unpacking of your belongings.
No. 1 One Of The Things That Make Life Easier For Wheelchair Users At Home Is Creating Space
The sole purpose of wheelchairs is to help you move around. But if your home is full of stuff, this becomes problematic. Thus, the first step you should take is to create more space. Start by decluttering your home. Throw away every worn-out or broken item you can find. Donate or sell all the things in good condition but that you haven’t used for at least one year.
No. 2 Reorganize The Furniture
Once you’re done decluttering, think of ways you can reorganize the furniture to create more space. Bulky furnishings create narrow pathways that make it harder for you to move from one room to another.
Therefore, you should either rearrange them or remove them altogether. You can simply move them into storage if they have monetary or sentimental value.
No. 3 Free Up The Floor Space
Freeing up the floor space is one of the things that make life easier for wheelchair users. Firstly, you should remove mats and rugs because your wheelchair can quickly get stuck. You can either leave the floors uncovered or install carpeting.
Secondly, you must identify other obstacles, such as thresholds and cables. The best solution here would be to remove them entirely, but that’s not always feasible. Thus, the next best thing is to install threshold ramps. These come in various colors and styles, so they will easily blend into your home’s design.
No. 4 Make Upper Levels Accessible
Since most homes are not designed for wheelchairs, you must develop a solution to ensure accessibility to the upper levels. One of the best options here is to invest in a stair-climbing wheelchair that will make your life easier indoors and outdoors.
Nevertheless, you can also look into installing a stair lifter or even an elevator. Still, you should consult an expert first to ensure your home’s structure allows it.
No. 5 Make Your Bathroom Wheelchair-Friendly
Not being able to use the bathroom by yourself is horrible. Therefore, making it friendly for wheelchairs should be a top priority.
Firstly, you should install toilet safety frames that make it easier for you to sit and stand. Secondly, remove the bathtub and replace it with a walk-in shower.
If your wheelchair is not water-resistant, you can use a shower chair or bench. Thirdly, ensure you install grab bars in all key areas of your bathroom.
No. 6 Open Doors And Windows More Easily
People in wheelchairs have a hard time opening doors and windows. Some door knobs are hard to grip and maneuver, while window handles are often out of reach. But don’t worry. Technology can help you overcome this obstacle. You can now choose from a wide range of automatic/remote door and window openers. To activate them, you’ll only have to push a button that you can attach to your wheelchair.
In what concerns the doors, you can also make some additional adjustments. On the one hand, you can simply remove most of the doors in your home. That will allow you to move freely around the house. On the other hand, you might have to widen the doorways if your wheelchair doesn’t easily fit through them.
No. 7 Invest In Smart Technology
Besides opening doors and windows more easily, technology can make your life easier. So, you should consider investing in innovative technology for your home.
That will allow you to control everything from lightning and heating to home appliances from your phone or voice commands. Furthermore, these systems can call 911 or family members in case you have an accident or need help.
No. 8 Choose The Suitable Wheelchair And Accessories
Picking a suitable wheelchair is essential. It will be harder to maneuver and fit through narrow spaces if it’s too wide for you. Thus, you should opt for a wheelchair that is snug on your hips but doesn’t put pressure on them. That will also make it easier for you to reach the wheels.
Apart from the wheelchair, you should also buy some quality wheelchair gloves. Otherwise, you’ll hurt your hands pushing those wheels all day. And you should avoid this at all costs since the hands are an essential part of the body for wheelchair users. Furthermore, using your bare hands to push the wheel is very unsanitary. You’ll expose yourself to a lot of dirt and bacteria.
It’s hard to adjust to life in a wheelchair, but the good news is you have many options. These 8 things that make life easier for wheelchair users stand proof that you can regain some of your independence with a few home adjustments and additions.
Furthermore, technology is constantly evolving and coming up with new solutions to help you overcome your challenges.
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Hi, my name is Eddie, I am a professional trainer specializing in the elderly population and I’m also a website designer. I love training in the gym, going to the beach, traveling, and having good food.
I combined my love for sport and website designing to make “DisabilitEase” whose purpose is to help elderly and disabled people live a more full and active life, have more fun, and enjoy their unique journey despite any disability.