There are many things in life which need to change when you develop a disability. This is true for over 4 million people in Australia.
The problem is that in many instances people don’t appreciate the issues this can bring; even in your own home.
Whether you’re using a residential construction company to create a new home; or adapting the one you have. You need to be aware of these repairs that can make it easier for a disabled loved one to enter the house, kitchen, bathroom and even their bedroom:
If your loved one is in a wheelchair then you need to consider how wide the entrances are to your home and each of the rooms.
If the gap is tight then you’re going to have damaged walls and hands. This is not a viable option.
You will need to remove the current door and frame. You’ll also need to expose the lintel above the door to see how much wider you can make the doorway.
You can simply remove some of the wall each side; providing the lintel above the door is still well supported.
Then add a new frame and wider door in.
But make sure the hands are low enough for a disabled person to comfortably reach.
Getting into a kitchen is only half the battle. There needs to be a lower area of worktop where your disabled loved one can prepare their food and drinks. You’ll also need to ensure they can access the kitchen items they need; these will have to be in the low cupboards.
Water is also essential in the kitchen, a lower sink or an alternative means of getting water is essential.
Bathrooms can be even more difficult to navigate, especially if your loved one is in a wheel chair.
There must be rails fitted to the wall to help them transfer from their chair to the toilet or even the shower. Ideally it should be a wet room to avoid the need for getting in and out of the shower. They can literally roll up to the seat.
Again, the sink needs to be low enough to allow comfortable reach for your loved ne.
Entering the House
It is advisable to create a ramp that takes your disabled loved one smoothly to the front door and even the back one. This will help them to get in and out of the home by themselves.
It is important to consider other disabilities. These may not need the doorways widening but balance issues will need additional rails to hold onto round your home. Failing eyesight will need bright lights and clear pathways; ensuring the person knows where they are supposed to be walking.
You should also consider the locks on your home, especially if you are looking after a loved one with dementia. They cannot be allowed to go wandering off by themselves!
Perhaps the most important thing is to ensure that the home is comfortable and rewarding for your disabled loved one. They still have a right to enjoy their life.