Today- How to Convert Your Home for a Disabled Relative
We know that it’s often a good idea for businesses to consider disabled access, but what about homes? Most homes aren’t set-up for disabled living as standard, although a lot of newer homes are beginning to consider this during design and construction. But for some reason you may need to convert your home for disability, you could have an elderly relative come to live with you such as a parent or parent-in-law or one of you or your immediate family may have unfortunately had an accident that has left you needing a more accessible home. But no matter what the reason, if you need to live with a disability in the family then you need to adapt your home to be suitable, here we are going to look at what needs to be done.
Access to the house should very much be the first priority, after all if you can’t get in you’re in a pretty bad place. So those with mobility issues need to be able to access their own homes. There are options in the design and installation of a ramp. First of all, is it going to be a concrete, timber or metal ramp? You should consider the shape required, if it is on a curve then often a concrete ramp makes more sense as it’s a better material for shapes. If you have a short, straight path then a metal ramp may be better, it’s also a more budget option as well which can also be advantageous.
Car & Garage
Driving can be a bit of a challenge once you have limited mobility, but there are always great modifications we can make to allow driving easier. There are controls you can have installed to allow driving without using the pedals there is a set of controls mounted on the steering wheel in place of pedals. You can have any car converted to run in this way and there are loads of dealers that can perform these conversions. You should also think about getting the garage converted so that you don’t need to manually open it, a remote-controlled garage door is a must as it eliminates the need for you to get out and struggle with it when your physical health is not 100%.
Using the bathroom can become more of a challenge and although it’s often embarrassing to discuss it, the fact remains that it’s an essential part of life and you need to make sure it’s taken care of. Firstly you can look at something as simple as having hand-rails to assist getting up and down off of the toilet. If you only have an upstairs bathroom you may consider having a second one built downstairs to make access easier. For bathing getting in and out of the bath or shower can provide a real challenge, so maybe you should consider Walk in baths which make life a lot easier and allow you to bathe independently.
Height Accessible Features
If you or your relative are wheelchair-bound then the height will become a factor in your ability to live your life in the way that you want to. You will want to look at making sure all shelves and tables are not too high and can be used easily by a wheelchair user. But beyond that you may want to consider some actual structural changes to the building, for example, you can have all of the light switches lowered to be more reachable. In the same vein, you could have a kitchen installed that all the areas and counters are low as well. Other features are often high in the house and we don’t ever think of it unless we have to, there are so many things that are located in high locations such as door-bells, shower controls, thermostats and much more. It seems like a big job to convert the whole house but it is essential and you may be eligible for financial assistance to get some of this done, especially if you are on benefits.
Stairs are often one of the biggest challenges when we have to first consider disabled living. One option is to look to move to a property that doesn’t have this particular challenge, such as a bungalow, cottage or ground floor flat. Actually, if you find a flat or apartment in a building with a lift then this could also work, although if the lift breaks down or there is a fire it could become a big concern. But if you can’t or don’t want to move home then perhaps a stair-lift may be the answer? Firstly, you may have a health professional such as an Occupational Therapist who can advise you on what type of stair-lift would be most suitable for your condition. Beyond professional advice there are a few things that you should consider, what is the shape of your stairs? A straight stair may need a different lift than a curved one, and a professional reseller can advise on which is most suitable. You also need to be aware of any issues with your particular disability, such as difficulty sitting up straight or difficulty rising after sitting.
The last area we often think of when deciding how to change our home to deal with disability is the outdoor area, but depending on how your garden is set up you could be prevented from enjoying the outdoors, A disability is bad enough but when the weather is nice and you are prevented from using your outdoor garden space it can be really depressing. So you need to look at how the garden is split up at first. Are there areas that you can’t get to? This could be because of stairs or an area that is turfed and not suitable for a wheelchair. So you should use an experienced garden designer to look at using the space with features that you can use, such as flat patios or decked areas and no stairs.
How to Convert Your Home for a Disabled Relative is a feature post