Home is where the heart is, and it’s for that reason so many older adults make the decision to continue to live at home for a lifetime. But many times wheelchairs come to be a part of life when older adults or those with particular disabilities lose mobility. This can be a unique challenge when it comes to making sure the home is a safe place. But a few key home modifications for wheelchair users can considerably improve safety for aging adults.
Following are just a few modifications recommended to incorporate a wheelchair into the home:
- Ensure that walkways and driveways are smooth, but not slick.
- Install a ramp to the front door with landings at the bottom and the top.
- Doorways ought to be 32-36 inches wide with enough floor space near the doors to maneuver a wheelchair.
- Thresholds on doors should always be ¼ inch or less.
- Cabinet shelves should ideally be no more than 10 inches deep.
- Kitchen stove controls should be located at the front.
- Be sure that there is knee space underneath all sinks.
- Oven doors should ideally be able to swing open to the side.
- For deeper shelves, utilize a Lazy Susan to permit the person to easily reach all items.
- Bathrooms ought to have either a wheelchair maneuverable tub with a 60-inch turning radius or T-turn space, or a stand-up shower that is curbless and at least 36 inches wide.
- There should be plenty of room to transfer from wheelchair to toilet.
- Walk-in closets are great for wheelchair-bound individuals, but a closet organizer that gives the person the ability to reach all items is also a good option.
- Additionally, floors should be free of clutter and furniture should be arranged for maximum maneuverability.
San Diego Home Caregivers, providing in-home care in La Jolla and the surrounding areas, can also assist with home modification ideas and coordination. The first step is our complimentary in-home evaluation, where we will put together a customized care plan to address the individual’s unique care needs and wishes, and then we monitor that plan ongoing and modify as needs change.
Our in-home care in La Jolla, CA is available for just a few hours each week, up through 24/7, around-the-clock care. You can reach us any time at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about available services throughout the San Diego metropolitan area!