While not all homes are going to fit your needs or exact specifications, if you or someone who lives with you has mobility issues, be it due to being in a wheelchair, using a walker, or something else entirely, you’ll need the design of your home to make life as easy as possible for them.
To help you in achieving this, whether it’s for an assisted living community or your own single-family home, here are three tips for designing a home for someone with mobility issues.
Replace Door Knobs
One part of a home that can be hard for people with mobility issues is door knobs. For door knobs that need to be turned, having the hand strength, dexterity, or balance to open doors while using a walker, cane, or sitting in a wheelchair can be a real challenge.
Knowing this, Chelsea Faulkner, a contributor to HGTV, recommends that you replace any door knobs in your home with lever door handles that can easily be pushed down in order to open the door. These types of door handles are much easier for people with mobility issues or other physical limitations to use. Also, the Americans with Disabilities Act states that this is the preferred door handle type to use in areas where people with physical disabilities may be present.
Make It Easy To Get Around
If someone has mobility issues, they’re likely going to have a hard time maneuvering their way around a traditional home that hasn’t been strategically set up with these issues in mind. So if you know that you’ll be housing someone with mobility issues, one of your main concerns should be making it easy for them to get around.
To do this, Rachel Brougham, a contributor to the Family Handyman, advises that you try to take measures to widen doorways and build ramps over areas that have stairs. Especially if the person who will be living in this home is using a wheelchair or a walker, they’ll need extra space to get in between rooms or bigger pieces of furniture as well as the ability to move between different levels within or around the home.
Bring In More Light
When someone has mobility issues, it can be very dangerous if they were to fall, as they likely wouldn’t be able to get themselves back up very easily. Because of this, it’s important that you do everything you can to design a home that reduces tripping and falling.
One way to do this, according to Angela Stringfellow, a contributor to SeniorLink.com, is to bring more light into the space. If there is adequate amounts of light within the home, it will be easier to see when something is in the way or blocking a clear path for a person with mobility issues.
If you’re trying to set up your home for someone with mobility issues, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you with this.