The Federal Interagency Forum for Aging Related Statistics’ Older Americans 2020 report projects there are approximately 60 million Americans, 65 and older. With advancing age, the chances of disability increase, and there is a growing need for remodeling homes for handicapped accessibility. These may include residences with barrier-free elements and facilities for seniors to age in place.
Retrofitting homes to provide simplicity and comfort for the disabled takes more than simply meeting convenience standards. Thankfully, several solutions exist to make this transition smoother.
Updating your home can enhance safety, comfort and enable self-sufficient living. Below, explore ways to convert a house into a handicap-accessible refuge for you or your loved ones.
Ramps and Grab Bars
Indoor and outdoor home ramps provide safe and dependable room-to-room maneuvering for people with mobility aids.
Building a ramp likely requires permits, so check local building codes before construction. You will find several stair ramp styles like the collapsible ramps, which allow for easy storage, portable ramps that you can carry around on the go, and threshold ramps to instantly make an entryway accessible.
Grab bars improve stability around the house—especially around the shower and toilet. A standard 1-1/2-inch diameter grab bar is ideal for most people’s grip.
Remodel Bathrooms for Easy Access
Installing a toilet riser can make it easier for those who have trouble bending over or standing up and sitting down. Step-in showers work better than bathtubs for people with mobility issues. Consider installing a simple bar frame around your toilet to increase the user’s comfort and quality of life.
Renovate Kitchen for Accessibility
To make a kitchen area accessible for the disabled, you will have to shuffle some things around. Arranging appliances near the sink and counters makes it easier to perform tasks. Provide enough knee space under sinks and countertops as even a lowered countertop is useless without it.
Another accessibility trick is to install multi-level countertops so both seated and standing people can work efficiently.
Clear floor space is also an essential feature in any kitchen for handicap access. For example, kitchen sinks and cooking ranges need clear floor areas to allow wheelchair users to easily roll up and use them.
Install a Stair Lift or Elevators
Stairlifts come in several styles and can be installed as a permanent home alteration or portable option. Stairlifts are extremely helpful for disabled and aged users to comfortably climb multiple levels in their residence.
As an alternative to a stairlift, elevators are great for those with limited mobility. You may think installing an elevator is an expensive option, but putting an elevator in your home will make your home accessible to anyone, increasing your property’s resale value for the right buyer.
Keep Doors Accessible and Easy to Use
Doorknobs can be awkward and difficult to use for people with disabilities. Replacing doorknobs with push/pull bars, press lever handles, or even automatic doors will increase your home’s accessibility tremendously.
At Perry Brothers Construction, we install automatic doors to improve hands-free living. Automatic doors can be fitted quickly on almost any door type and controlled remotely. Fitting widened doorways for walker, and wheelchair accessibility along with low profile door thresholds are also effective ways to make doorways easily negotiable.
Surfaces like tile can become quite slick, and hardwood floors, carpets, rugs, and rough grout can be cumbersome for those using walkers and canes. Instead, consider hardwood flooring, vinyl or ceramic tile. Also, install grippy mats in bathrooms and showers and ensure that surfaces in your home do not pose any slipping risks.
Here at Perry Brothers Construction, it is important for us to build and remodel properties that everyone can access. That is why we have experienced professional accessibility contractors and design-build professionals in every project we handle. We can incorporate the State of Massachusetts Accessibility Regulations and the American Diabetes Association standards for you to have a barrier-free property.