Whether for yourself, a family member, or to rent out, making a property accessible for people with disabilities is a delicate task. It’s vital to ensure they can get around and carry on with their day to day activities, with as little difficulty as possible. This should help them accommodate in a happy and safe environment, that can be called home. Some of the changes required to make a house accessible for individuals with handicap are small and temporary, whilst others will be more complex and longer lasting. Further on I will tackle both ends. Whether we refer to the orientation of the building (hotel, home etc.) or the disability level you can cater to a specific person’s needs, or create a more general accessibility. Either way, here’s a guide to help you get started on making your property accessible for persons with handicap.
Get Rid of Obstructions
The first step in making any property accessible is to remove any obstructions around the home. The best way to do this is to move methodically through each room and flag the potential obstructions. Then take care of them, step by step. If the alteration is more complex, make a note and let a professional take care of it. Rugs or loose carpets can present a serious hazard, so either make sure all flooring is securely fastened. An easier solution would be to remove them, if possible. Get rid of all unnecessary clutter, as well as any furniture that you don’t need!
Next, move all remaining furniture in such a way, that it’s positioned to allow the best possible access and maneuverability. Leave plenty of space in between each piece of furniture, and keep surfaces within reach! For example side table near the arms of a chair or sofa will be better than a central coffee table.
Getting the right advice on little things can really help, especially if you’re a landlord making a property accessible for the first time. A number of general improvements might be recommended when you don’t know the specific disability of your incoming tenant. For example, fitting handrails or grab rails in the kitchen, hallway or bathroom, and placing ramps on the lead into and out of the house. If you’re able to find out any more specific details about the person who’s going to be living in the property, or if you’re preparing for a friend or family member, then you can make more specific preparations that will cater to their needs. For example if they’re a wheelchair user you can install wheelchair friendly flooring that won’t be damaged or buckle under the weight of the chair and will allow for easy movement. Do mind, that weelchairs are quite powerful nowadays, as technology leaps help people with disabilities.
Tip: One last advice while hosting a person with a physical handicap is not to overreact and make him or her feel ill, by acting hyper-protective and suffocating your loved one with too much attention. This will only remain the sufferer about his health problem.