Your home isn’t going to feel like one if you can’t truly make it your own. Adding the right personal touches to your apartment unit can make a home that much more accessible.
Here are some ideas for PWDs to help create a home tailored to specific needs:
If your bathroom already has a roll-in shower, you’re in luck as it’s naturally accessible. If it doesn’t and you have the means to remodel, a roll-in shower is a great option since there won’t be any barriers to impede access.
Accessible bathtubs – such as those with automated functions, adjustable heights or a side door for entry – are also worth the investment.
Don’t worry if these options are unavailable to you – simpler modifications are also highly effective. These include installing grab rails or adding non-slip mats.
Accessible Toilet Area Set-Ups
Raised toilets are a must-have if you’re a wheelchair or scooter user. The immediate area around the toilet should have handlebars installed to facilitate movement from the wheelchair to the toilet, and vice versa.
Assuming your sink has a cabinet beneath it, consider getting it removed to create space for wheelchair users to move closer. Pedestal or wall-mounted sinks are another great alternative for accessibility.
Kitchen Ideas To Tinker With
If you don’t own the apartment unit, it’s worth asking your landlord if it’s possible to lower the kitchen shelves for easier access.
That said, don’t rely entirely on shelves and cabinets to store your kitchenware. Getting baskets and storage countertops are a great way to keep your ingredients, sauces and tools within reach.
Door Tips For Easy Handling
Is the door to your apartment unit too heavy? If switching it out for a lighter door isn’t possible, consider a magnetic door stopper so you won’t have to hold the door open while leaving or entering.
Doors with self-closing hinges can also reduce accessibility, especially if you’re carrying groceries or other items. Consider replacing the self-closing hinge if your door has one.
As for door handles, levers are much preferred compared to doorknobs. Handles with a rounded surface can be highly impractical depending on the nature of your physical disability. Lever handles are generally much more user-friendly, and can be easily opened from a wheelchair.
Karen Roy (2021) Apartment Accessibility Tips [Accessed 24 August 2023] Available at: https://www.numotion.com/blog/may-2023/apartment-accessibility-tips
Stephen Michael White (2021) How To Make Your Apartment Handicap Accessible: 10 Tips [Accessed 24 August 2023] Available at: https://rentprep.com/blog/property-maintenance/make-apartment-handicap-accessible-2/
BraunAbility (2023) 9 Ways to Create a Handicap Accessible Home [Accessed 24 August 2023] Available at: https://www.braunability.com/us/en/blog/accessible-living/9-ways-to-create-a-handicap-accessible-home.html