Measures to Make the Home Wheelchair Accessible

Check with your physician and therapist regarding the accommodations at your home that best suit your needs.

  1. Parking spots: Parking in the designated parking lots for the disabled can significantly reduce the distance disabled individuals have to roll or drive their wheelchairs. All apartment complexes and office spaces should provide nearest parking at the entry for the disabled.
  2. Lowered curbs: Lowering the curb height in front of the house can provide an easier access for the wheelchair. The user can easily pop the wheel and get on to the curb, thus lowering the effort.
  3. Ramps: Building wheelchair ramps can make it easier for the user to roll the wheelchair on and get in and out of the house. Also, a ramp on the backside of the house can provide access to the backyard.
  4. Wide doorways: Wide doorways provide access to rolling the wheelchair in and out easily. Doorways must be widened for all the rooms and toilets, the wheelchair user usually accesses.
  5. Door handles: Having a door handle easy to reach, at the level of the user height in wheelchair, can make it easier to close and open the doors, versus trying to grab the door handle at regular height.
  6. Hard flooring: Have hard flooring, such as, hardwood and tiles, the entire house or at least in all the rooms and spaces the wheelchair user accesses. This could be expensive but is a lot more comfortable. Maneuvering a wheelchair on carpet could be very tiresome to the wheelchair user.
  7. Restroom and shower: Having enough space for the individual to turn around the wheelchair in the restroom can be advantageous. Try providing a designated restroom and shower for the wheelchair user and not have other household members use it, which gives enough space for personal items and belongings. Have reinforced grab bars installed on the wall besides the toilet and in the shower can help better support the weight of the individual during transfer from the wheelchair to the toilet seat & shower bench and back on to the chair. Having a walk in shower will be easier for the individual to roll the wheelchair in. Installing a shower bench and reinforced grab bars on the wall besides the shower bench can have an easy transfer. Having a transfer board available, if needed, can enhance the safety during the transfer. Arrange for toilet seat and shower bench of a height comfortable to make an easy & safe transfer. Having extensions installed on the shower hose can make the task easier.
  8. Furniture: Try arranging your furniture close to the corners in all the rooms. This provides space for the wheelchair user to navigate and turnaround with the chair. Also having a modified bed can provide assistance with repositioning, improved back support, and extra comfort. There is a wide range of selections you can make on the modified bed, based on your condition and requirements. Check with your physician and therapist to make selection for a bed that best suits your needs. Having items such as, a torchlight, TV remote, pillboxes on the bedside stand can be comfortable. Arranging for an urinal and bedside commode can cut down the restroom trips, especially during the night and enhance comfort.
  9. Electrical outlets and switchboards: Lowering all the electrical outlets and switchboards to the height of the individual seated in the wheelchair can improve access and independence for the wheelchair user.
  10. Kitchen countertops and cabinets: Lowering all the countertops and cabinets in the kitchen to the height of the individual seated in the wheelchair can improve access and independence for the wheelchair user. Or at least have all the basic items regularly used by the individual in wheelchair, such as, spoons, forks, plates, and coffee cups, in the lower cabinets.
  11. Closets: Having all the hangers for casual clothing and footwear on the lower rack in the closets can help an easy reach. Having a long handled reacher can help the individual reach out to the items located on the upper rack.
  12. Roll under sinks: Having the roll under sinks can help with the individual roll the wheelchair under the sink to help an easy reach to the water faucet.