At Branch Properties we work with a number of individuals who suddenly find themselves limited in movement or ability and require an accessible home. This can be an incredibly challenging time for any person, as well as their families, and we sometimes find that moving house straight away isn’t necessarily the right move – both for financial and emotional reasons. So for those readers who are grappling with this immense change and searching for a short term solution, we have created this blog of handy tips on how to make your home accessible.
If you find yourself wheelchair bound then you need to be certain of 3 basic things – getting into your house, getting through doorways and getting into your bathroom. Now, if any of these are a challenge, there are a few low cost solutions to improve accessibility in a wheelchair.
To make sure your house is accessible you could try using a portable ramp or even build your own, you could also re-grade any steps to make a flat entrance. For those with slightly more of a budget you could always install a wheelchair lift, although this can prove costly and will radically change the exterior of your home.
Once you are able to get into your home, you want to make sure you can move around and for this you will need a doorway of at least 32 inches. Sadly, we have found so many homes with doorways that are far too narrow, which can prove immensely difficult to get around. Thankfully, there are a fair few affordable options to improve your home’s accessibility – you could remove the door completely, install swing-away hinges, reverse the way the door swings, remove some of the woodwork or simply replace the existing door with a wider option. All of these options are relatively low cost and should help you feel more comfortable and secure in your own home.
Finally, we come to the bathroom – a room that we take for granted until we really need it and then, all of a sudden, it can seem like the most overwhelming activity in the world. Because not only should every person be able to use the toilet, they should be able to do so with dignity and respect, which can sometimes prove difficult in a wheelchair. However, there are certain modifications that can easily be made to make the transition that bit smoother. If entry is a challenge we would suggest replacing the door with either a pocket door or a curtain. You could also consider moving your fixtures and fittings for more floor space as well as replacing a bath with a shower unit which can free up a huge amount of space and be far easier to get into, depending on your disability and movement. At Branch Properties we have noticed that the bathroom is certainly the biggest challenge. When adjusting to life in a wheelchair it may be worth considering using space from the room next door to adapt it to a wetroom and make your life a whole lot easier.
If you have any further questions or would like some help searching for an accessible home in London or the surrounding area please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our friendly team on 0203 475 4022 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org