One of the best flooring options for the wheelchair-bound is tile. A smooth tile surface is easy to maneuver on and holds up to chair traffic well. With grout sealer, it’s also one of the easiest floors to maintain.
The next issue is accessibility. Even in a one-story home, it is important to have limited or no steps or other thresholds between different living areas. Wider corridors and doorways also make a difference. Although wheelchairs have an amazingly small turning radius, a bit of extra space is always helpful.
Threshold-free showers can help someone in a wheelchair be more independent. Plenty of space for maneuvering a wheelchair, higher-level toilets with a couple of safety bars and sinks at the right height and with space for a wheelchair to fit under them can turn a bathroom from a challenge to a safe and comfortable environment.
Kitchens can also be designed for comfort and convenience. Focus on lower cabinets for storage with pull-out drawers to access even the tools at the back of the cabinet. Prep space such as an island works well if it is table-height and provides room to accommodate a wheelchair. Sinks with spray handles also make it easier to cook and clean from a seated position.
People with disabilities want the same things everyone wants but they do not take independent living for granted the way most of us do. And you may find that friends and family who face physical limitations – either temporarily or permanently – appreciate your thoughtfulness if you can provide then with a comfortable place to visit.
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