Getting Creative With Accessible Home Modifications

Making homes safer and easier to use for seniors and people with disabilities sounds like a pretty simple proposition. Add a raised toilet, a few grabs bars, make sure carpets are tacked down and cords are out of the way to prevent tripping and you’re home free. While all of these need to be done, they are just the minimum requirements, and often the easiest.

Accessible Home Modifications

The really tricky accessible home modifications are the ones that require a little creativity. Like adding a wheelchair ramp that needs to be 24 feet long to meet ramp accessibility guidelines when you only have 15 feet of space to do it. Solution: Add a switchback ramp that winds back and forth, gradually sloping up instead of in one straight line.

In the old days of home accessibility, when a doorway was too narrow to fit through with a wheelchair, it was the standard to tear out the entire door and make it wider. Then somebody invented offset hinges allowing the doorway to swing out an extra two inches. The new hinges
can be installed in under 30 minutes at a fraction of the cost of a new doorway. Genius.

Stair lifts were, and continue to be, a creative way of moving people up and down stairways. The early ones only went in a straight line. Then somebody had the creative spark to add curved track and now we have curved stair lifts that can accommodate almost any set of stairs no matter how big or how many turns that might make.

Luckily for aging-in-place specialists, the marketplace for accessibility products is constantly growing and evolving. The products have gotten better, and better looking. If there isn’t a solution for something today, there probably will be soon. And if you can’t find what you need, you can probably figure it with a little creative problem solving of your own when making a home more accessible for seniors and peope with disabilities.

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