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5 Things to Look for When You Need a Wheelchair-Accessible Home
Whether you’ve purchased a home that needs to be modified to accommodate a family member who requires the use of a wheelchair, or your childhood home needs to be retrofitted for an elderly parent who is aging in place, consider these five things to look for when you need a wheelchair-accessible home.
An Open Floor Plan
An arrangement of furniture that creates open floor space and wide walkways can give those in wheelchairs the room needed to navigate, as well as turn their chairs—which typically require 5 feet.
An Open Shower
An open shower with no curb removes physical barriers and increases accessibility for those in wheelchairs and those who have physical challenges that require the use of a walker. A built-in bench can facilitate seated bathing—remember to include a safety grab. When it comes to flooring in your bathroom you should install a surface that offers as much traction as possible. Make sure your space includes storage that’s easy to reach.
A Bathroom Mirror That Pivots
To make sure that every member of your family can see themselves clearly in the bathroom mirror, a vanity mirror that can be angled up or down—a pivot mirror—is ideal.
An Accessible Landscape and Raised Garden Beds
Outdoor spaces with ground coverings like grass or pea gravel can be difficult to navigate for individuals in wheelchairs. For a more accessible landscape consider an alternative covering, like artificial turf. If you plant a garden opt for raised garden beds. Space the beds so as to create wide pathways that can be easily maneuvered by someone in a wheelchair.
A Side-by-Side Fridge
As simple as it may be a side-by-side refrigerator provides wheelchair users access to both the refrigerator and freezer, as opposed to a refrigerator that’s configured with a freezer on the top or bottom, which can limit access.
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