Home Modifications for Wheelchairs to Improve Safety and Independence

senior in wheelchair in hallway
Try these 12 tips to make the home more wheelchair-accessible.

Home is where we can truly relax and be ourselves, and that’s just part of why so many older adults make the choice to continue to live at home for a lifetime. But in many cases, wheelchairs come to be a part of life when seniors or those with disabilities experience decreased mobility. This can be particularly challenging when it comes to ensuring the home is a safe place. But a few home modifications for wheelchairs can substantially improve safety.

Following are just a handful of modifications recommended to incorporate a wheelchair into the home:

  • Ensure that driveways and walkways are smooth, but not slippery.
  • Have a ramp installed that leads to the front door that has landings at the bottom and the top.
  • Doorways should be 32-36 inches wide with sufficient floor space near the doors to maneuver a wheelchair.
  • Thresholds on doors ought to be ¼ inch or less.
  • Cabinet shelves should ideally be a maximum of 10 inches deep.
  • Kitchen stove controls should be positioned at the front.
  • Make sure there is knee space below all sinks.
  • Oven doors should be able to swing open to the side.
  • For deeper shelves, put in a Lazy Susan to make it possible for the person to easily reach all items.
  • Bathrooms should have either a wheelchair accessible tub with a 60-inch turning radius or T-turn space, or a stand-up shower without a curb and at least 36 inches wide.
  • There should be plenty of room to transfer from wheelchair to toilet.
  • Walk-in closets are wonderful for wheelchair-bound individuals, but a closet organizer that allows the person the ability to reach all items is also helpful.

In addition, floors should be free of clutter and furniture should be arranged for maximum maneuverability. Dakota Home Care, the leading home health care provider in Mandan, Fargo, and Bismarck, ND, can provide additional home modification ideas and coordination.

The first step is our complimentary in-home consultation, where we will create a personalized care plan to address the person’s unique care needs and wishes, and then we monitor that plan ongoing and modify as needs change.

Our home care services are available for just a few hours each week, up through full-time, around-the-clock care. Call us any time at (877) 691-0015 to learn more and to see if our services are available in your area.

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