Making a house accessible to wheelchair users is a necessity if an individual with mobility issues is living in the home full-time or is a frequent guest. Some adjustments may be worth making if you’ll be selling your home and want to make it attractive to buyers who have a much smaller range of choice due to their need for accessibility. Start with easy ways to get people with disabilities to the door and move on from there.
Ramps and Lifts
The most obvious way to make a home reachable by those on wheels is to install a ramp, either a prefabricated one that can be fastened to the ground or one made by smoothly paving a gradual rise to the entry. For a steeper slope, hillside lifts work like the indoor stairway kind to carry a passenger up up up to a lofty abode. In a colder climate, indoor lifts or even an elevator may be necessary to get to higher floors; in warmer and drier climes, outdoor ramps spiraling up as in a parking garage can bring wheelchair users to different levels of entry.
Appliances may need adjustments to make them useful to people who will be operating them from a seated position. Make sure handles and controls will be at an appropriate level. Add spaces under sinks and counters so users can get as close as they need to be. Be sure space between appliances and islands are wide enough for wheelchair to get around.
A bathroom will need conveniences like grab bars (both on the walls and hanging overhead), shower seats, and sinks of appropriate height to accommodate those with mobility issues. Small things like mirror placement and turn-around room can make a big difference.
Even if you have no disabilities that make it necessary to make your home more accommodating, and you’re not looking to sell, any accessibility improvements you make now can allow you to grow old in that house without worrying about how you’ll get around.