If a member of your household — whether that person is you or someone else — has a disability, you can make various adaptations to your home in order to ease mobility struggles.
In making careful, strategic changes to your residential property, you can help the disabled person to move around and handle everyday tasks. Here are some tips you could follow to help streamline the process of making your home disability-friendly.
Arrange for a third party to assess your home
The UK’s NHS explains that, in this country, each local council offers a service where an occupational therapist can visit the home to assess it and recommend accessibility changes that should be made.
Especially encouragingly, this home assessment is available for free. Changes that could be recommended include fitting a stairlift on the stairs, widening doorways, lowering kitchen worktops and adding extra security fixtures.
See if financial support is available for home adaptations
Perhaps unsurprisingly, you will first need to know what exactly those adaptations will be. However, once you do know, you should research whether you would be able to slash the size of the financial outlay you would need to make yourself.
In the UK, for example, the local council should fund each adaptation costing less than £1,000 — and grants might be available for pricier adaptations.
Find alternatives to steps where possible
The disability blog Simply Emma observes that many new-build homes are now being assembled with step-free access included as standard. However, if you aren’t in a practical position to move home, and your existing residence does have steps, you can find alternatives to these.
One good example would be a ramp, though you should also consider having handrails and a non-slip surface for this ramp.
Keep things smooth
Naturally, carpets wouldn’t count as smooth, so you should consider replacing them with wooden flooring — for example, if the disabled person relies on a wheelchair and hence could find themselves slowing down when trying to get across a carpeted surface.
Similarly, if your bathroom or wet room has a shower, you should make sure it’s a walk-in one.
Find an a-door-able way to enhance your entryways
If you have a disability that makes opening a conventional door physically impossible, you could arrange to have an automatic door opening system put in place. This would enable you to easily and independently open and shut a door simply by pushing a button.
However, if your disability requires you to use a wheelchair, you should first check that the door is wide enough to let you comfortably manoeuvre through it.
Take inspiration from changes your employer makes
UK law requires employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help employees with disabilities undertake work effectively. As Citizens Advice points out, the employer should fund those adjustments.
Your employer could, for example, provide you with group critical illness cover taking your disability into account. Meanwhile, some adaptations made to the workplace could potentially be replicated in your home, if not necessarily at your employer’s financial cost this time.