Adjusting to life with a disability is extremely tough, and it can be made even worse if the usual welcoming and loving home suddenly becomes a place of difficulty, due to inaccessibility, navigation problems, and a feeling that it simply isn’t a nice place to be anymore. Everybody deserves a home that they can feel safe and happy in, which is why making a home as disability-friendly as possible is essential in these circumstances.
These 5 tips can help you prepare for this scenario.
1. Consider the Layout
Some disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, see a high number of mobility issues, and a wheelchair or walking aid may be required. With this in mind, it may be that your home needs to be re-organized so that a room on the ground floor of the house can be transformed into a bedroom, in order to avoid the stairs. Or,perhaps a stairlift would need to be installed to comfortably get upstairs.
You can also find help in making a cerebral palsy claim if you believe you have ever received substandard medical care.
2. Optimize the Bathroom
Simple tasks such as washing, bathing and using the toilet can be very difficult with a disability. This means that extra care needs to be taken in the bathroom, and certain new features may need to be installed, such as a seat or bench in the shower or handles beside the bath and toilet to help mobility and remain safe whilst moving around.
It might also be the case that a bath needs to be replaced by a walk-in shower, to make it easier for mobility and access.
3. Think Carefully About Additional Rooms or Features
Individuals with autism, for example, may benefit in a sensory room provided in the home as a safe place to can relax and enjoy some quiet time. Or it may be that you want to transform their existing space or bedroom into a sensory environment.
For individuals who are unable to walk around by themselves or leave the house without assistance, it may be necessary to provide a more comfortable and stimulating space to ensure that the time spent indoors is filled with activities or items that can be enjoyed, such as books, television or video games, depending on their interests.
4. Switch to Open Plan
Doors, and separate rooms with corridors and walls, may be difficult to navigate for disabled people, especially for those in a wheelchair. Open plan living offers a larger, more open and welcoming space for the individual in question. It also encourages a more sociable place so that they might avoid feeling alienated or alone.
5. Consider the Front Entrance
What was once a welcoming feature could now be an impossible area to navigate for a disabled person. Perhaps you have front steps or a large door with a very high door handle or lock.
A ramp could be the solution to replace the front steps, or a hand-rail if needed, and you should consider a new door with a more accessible handle – or, perhaps, think of an alternate entrance that could make the situation more manageable.