Recovering from Neck Pain

9 Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible

by Janet Burns

When you live with physical challenges, your home can be hard to navigate. Fortunately, you can make modifications that can make it more livable. Here are some changes you can make that will not break the bank and will help you move through your home easier.

  1. Create half-steps. If you have steps that are difficult for you to manage inside and outside of your home, create half-steps. A half-step makes it easier to move up and down the stairs and also lowers the risk you will fall.
  2. Use rubber bands. Place the rubber bands over your doorknobs to improve the grip. When you have conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gripping doorknobs can prove difficult.
  3. Raise your outlets. If you have trouble bending over, have your outlets moved up approximately 18 inches to make them easier to use. This also keeps the outlets out of reach of small children.
  4. Cover your entryway. The entry area to your home needs to be protected from elements such as rain and snow. This allows you to enter and exit your home without fear of falling. An awning or other covering over the area should be sufficient.
  5. Widen your doors. A door opening that is at least 30 to 35 inches wide offers more room to enter rooms without complication. This is also important if you are using a walker or wheelchair.
  6. Change your appliances. If you use a wheelchair or have trouble with standing for more than a few minutes, swap out your appliances for ones that are more accessible. For instance, a side-by-side refrigerator is more accessible than one with the freezer on top. 
  7. Install sensors. You can install sensors on various electronics and lighting in your home to turn them on and off. For instance, a sensor on a lamp gives you the ability to turn it on without having to struggle with turning on a switch.
  8. Install a driveway alert. A driveway alert is a device that is placed at the end of your driveway that alerts you when someone passes it. This will buy you more time to get to the door when visitors come.
  9. Use keyless locks. Wrestling with a key can prove difficult sometimes. A touchpad or other keyless entry device can be placed on your doors so that you can open it without the use of a key.

There are many other ways you can make your home more accessible. Work with an expert who specializes in accessible homes to learn options that specifically apply to your home and situation.