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How To Make Your Home Wheelchair Friendly?

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People with disabilities often have a difficult time navigating their way around familiar places, including their own homes. The everyday objects and features that most of us take for granted can become obstacles for those with disabilities.

Whether you are caring for a loved one or an illness requires the home to be more accessible.

This includes items such as bathroom fixtures, stairs, different types of flooring, and doorknobs.

But what if you can’t adopt your home?  You could sell and buy a suitable property, such as a bungalow.

To ensure everyone feels welcome in your home, it is important to make some adjustments to accommodate those with disabilities. Here are some useful tips on how to create a wheelchair-friendly environment.

Table of Contents

Replace steps with ramps

If the front of your property has a couple of stairs leading up to the main door, it might be time to switch them out for a ramp. This would make it much easier for someone in a wheelchair to enter your home.

Steps can be a challenge not only for wheelchair users, but also for those with limited mobility. An installed ramp can solve this issue. If you don’t want to remove the stairs, Adapt a Home offers portable ramps that you can purchase.

We have a wide range of mobility and disability aids that can make your home accessible to wheelchair users.

Install a stairlift

Understandably, someone who is confined to a wheelchair would not be able to take the stairs. If you don’t have a downstairs toilet they can use, you should think about installing a stairlift. They come in all sorts of styles and can be fixed permanently in your home.

Having a stairlift will make it possible for a disabled person to get to the first floor without any issues. Don’t stress about it reducing the value of your house – particularly if you plan on selling it soon. Just take it out before you put your property on the market.

how to make your home wheel chair friendly
Steps can be a challenge not only for wheelchair users, but also for those with limited mobility.

Get rid of clutter

Many of us are guilty of having clutter accumulating in our homes. If you can relate to this, it may not be difficult for you to find a spot to sit.

But, consider how a person in a wheelchair would manage the same. If there are objects in their way, a wheelchair user will find it hard to move from one place to another.

Therefore, it is best to clear out any mess for a disabled resident. This will enable them to move around your home without the risk of their wheelchair being damaged.

Rearrange furniture

In order to make your home more accessible for a disabled friend, it is important to remove any clutter and rearrange your furniture. For example, you could move your coffee table up against the wall to create more space for them to move around freely.

If you store shoes in your porch or hallway, it would be beneficial to remove them. This will make it easier for them to enter your home without obstacles.

Upgrade your toilet

You may not give much thought to using the bathroom, but wheelchair users face unique challenges. To facilitate getting in and out of the wheelchair, you should install grab rails. These rails can be constructed from stainless steel or tough moulded plastic.

They give users something to hold onto when making difficult movements or for balance support. Grab rails can also be used to help wheelchair users transfer onto a toilet or a shower board.

Remove bathing barriers
Even though many homes create challenges for wheelchair users, there are still many changes that can be made both inside and outside of the home to make it more accessible.

Remove bathing barriers

For wheelchair users, bathrooms can present a variety of obstacles. The wet and soapy tiles can become incredibly hazardous, and countertops and baths can increase the risk of a fall.

If your loved one is unable to stand, adding a stool or seat to the bathroom can help with bathing. Shower stools are more comfortable and easier to sit on than on the floor, and they have slats that allow water to flow through and drain away.

You can consider having a seat attached to the wall that can be lowered and folded up when taking a shower or bath. There should be no barriers for those with disabilities.

Even though many homes create challenges for wheelchair users, there are still many changes that can be made both inside and outside of the home to make it more accessible.

Luckily, these modifications can make it easier for everyone to enjoy your property.

Disability grants for home improvement

Disability housing rights state that you should be permitted to modify your home or ask your landlord to adjust your rented property to suit your reduced mobility. We have outlined the requirements to qualify and the amount of assistance you can receive.

Qualifying for the disability housing grant

  • Personal Criteria

To qualify for a disability housing grant, you or someone else living at your property must be disabled according to section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. It’s a good idea to double-check your eligibility before beginning any work.

One of you must own or be registered as a tenant of the property and intend to live there for the duration of the grant period (currently five years).

  • Accommodation Criteria

You’ll need to provide evidence that your proposed plan for accessible housing is necessary for a disability. The council must also be satisfied that the work is possible, taking into account the condition of your property.

Do I need planning permission for disabled home improvements?

If you’re looking to make changes to your property, particularly significant alterations to cater for disabilities, you may need to apply for planning permission from the local council.

It’s important to apply for the necessary planning permission before you start any work on your home because, if your request is denied:

  • You may not receive the grant and have to pay for the building work out of your own pocket,
  • Or worse, you could be issued with an ‘enforcement notice’, which would force you to undo any work you have already done.

How much is the disability housing grant?

The Disability Housing Grant is means-tested, so your personal finances – including household income and savings over £6,000 – will be taken into account when calculating your eligibility amount.

The maximum amount you can qualify for also depends on your location in the UK:

  1. England: the maximum grant for accessible housing is £30,000
  2. Wales: the maximum grant for accessible housing is £36,000
  3. Northern Ireland: the maximum grant for accessible housing is £25,000
  4. Scotland: there is no formal Disability Housing Grant, but each local council offers grants and loans to make structural changes to make homes accessible.

Reduced mobility can have a major effect on our daily routines, but it doesn’t have to make our home lives uncomfortable. 

Would you rather sell your house and buy a bungalow instead?

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Why Not Sell As is and Buy a Bungalow Instead?

You may well be able to find a suitable smaller property, such as a bungalow, claim a disability housing grant and make it your forever home.

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