Fall River, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/05/2012 -- Living with a mobility impairment is difficult in a world that doesn’t always use good judgment in designing public and private spaces. This is unfortunate, since nearly everyone at some point in their life, whether born with it or not, will develop decreased mobility to some degree. Being unable to ambulate around on your own, or, in extreme cases, being shut out from inaccessible buildings altogether, is a frustrating situation. But, even though you may not be able to change the access routes to the local diner, you will be able to make your own home more accessible with just a few changes.
One of the first considerations for easy access to your home is the installation of wheelchair ramps to both the front and back door. Ramps for wheelchairs are easy to construct, but do cost a bit of money. They are either constructed out of wood or metal and can be made to fit in with the design of your home. Designing a ramp that works well with a wheelchair can take time and may require the help of an architect in order to get the rise and run of the ramp correct. Above all, check your local codes to ensure that you get the proper slope so that the ramps add value to your home in the long run.
Once you have a few wheelchair ramps leading into your home, you'll need to open up the interior to ensure that you have room to roam. Hallways will need to be widened as well as doorways. If you're lucky enough to live in a home that only has one floor, then you are in luck. Although not impossible, it is difficult to outfit a two-story home for someone with severe disabilities. In two-story houses, you may need to install a chair lift in order to get to the second level. Because of the cost of renovating to accommodate a wheelchair, many people consider purchasing a home that already accommodates the widths needed. Weighing the pros and cons is something that must be done on a case-by-case basis.
Height and clearance are two more factors which are important to making a home wheelchair-accessible. Regular kitchen and bathroom cabinets are often too high to reach for a person who is seated. Even the countertop in the kitchen or bathroom might not be the appropriate height to use the sink. Stoves with the control knobs in the back make it dangerous for people in a wheelchair as they try to reach over hot burners to adjust the heat. Finally, a wheelchair needs room under cabinets in order to get close enough to roll under, a common problem in public spaces as well.
Besides the inside of the home, it is also important to think about the yard and the surrounding area. No one wants to be cooped up indoors throughout the year, and making sure everyone can enjoy your yard should be a priority. An accessible yard is open and flat with raised beds for vegetables, landscaping and other plants. The ground should be rolled solid and in order to be easily traversed in a wheelchair. Stay away from loose rocks and gravel that are hard to maneuver over. Finally, make sure there is enough room to roam all around the house, so that it doesn't feel like some areas are off-limits.
BluechipCare.com provides portable ramps which can be a more cost effective alternative to the actual installment of ramps. People nationwide that have mobility impairments have turned to BluechipCare.com when purchasing ramps for their homes or cars. This connection with real people allows us to consider the real consequences of not having public and private spaces that adequately serve everyone's needs. It also gives us the ability to understand how a home can become more open, not just to those with mobility impairments, but to everyone that visits. And making spaces available to anyone is something that everyone should look into. Visit BluechipCare.com today for more information about our wheelchairs and wheelchair ramps.
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