When you have a family member that gained a disability, or if you’ve gained a disability, it’s important for the home to be accommodating for that particular need. This is because the safety of that person – or you for that matter – is an important consideration that may not be met with usual home setups. Doing these things on how to make your home disability friendly can be of great assistance to anyone in your household with such a condition.
World Health Organization statistics indicate that around 15 percent of the population globally spend their lives with a form of disability. Two to four percent of this population have said disabilities, only they are the kinds that make it difficult for them to function. These numbers are in fact approximately 10 percent higher than WHO estimated statistics from 1970s. Factors that influence these may include population aging, improved methods of measuring disability, and widespread chronic diseases. The population of people with disabilities that are in the world means you have to take active steps in ensuring the home is at least disability friendly. Here are some ways to do this:
- Ask what the person needs: Perhaps one of the most important aspects of making your home disability friendly is to first consult the person you’re building these adjustments for in the first place. Ask what kind of adjustments they need in order to get used to your home environment. If they feel comfortable navigating certain parts of your home with little adjustment, then allow them to do so. You may also accompany them to speak with a physician or a therapist to know what other tools and methods could be helpful in terms of making homes disability friendly aside from the ones listed below.
- Get obstructions out of the way: One of the best ways to make a home disability friendly is to make sure there isn’t much obstruction to movement that exists around the house. Go through each room in the house and check for things that can obstruct the path of a person with a disability? Are there hazards such as loose carpets or rugs? Are tile floors and carpets secure on the ground? Are there furniture that are “out of the way” of accessing rooms? Rearranging these can greatly make your home disability friendly much more quickly.
- Small improvements and changes count: Depending on the disability, sometimes it can help making a few changes in the household. If you’re not ready for a renovation yet, portable wheelchair ramps can greatly help those who use wheelchairs. If you have a blind person in the household, perhaps a cupboard with braille can be used. Try to reorganize your cupboard to make sure elements at home are easily accessible.
- Make modifications whenever available: There are some modifications that you can actually introduce to make your home disability friendly. However, it’s important to understand that these modifications have to be related to the person you’re building them for. In general, items that are disability friendly include flooring that is friendly to wheelchairs, automatic entry systems, ramps, and grab rails. Of course, again, the nature of these modifications will depend on the person who needs them.
You can make renovations when possible. If you have the time and resources, you can actually start making renovations that can greatly help people with disability. For instance, you can try to make hallways wide enough, or change how kitchens and bathrooms work when it comes to disabilities.
Remember, the tips above on how to make your home disability friendly can be of great assistance not just for them, but for you as well if you need. These extra measures are built in to make sure environments are safe from situations that can harm people with disabilities due to their needs. Click here for more information on how to anticipate for other forms of disabling conditions such as chronic pain.