For people in wheelchairs, there are requirements that can make a home work well. Basic elements such as halls and doorways wide enough to allow for wheelchairs to pass through are a must. Open floor plans often help provide the space for wheelchairs to maneuver among furniture and architectural elements.
Flooring is also important. The best choice is tile for a number of reasons. First, the smooth surface makes it easy to move through a home in a wheelchair. The sturdy nature of tile also means that it will hold up under some potentially rougher than usual traffic. Finally, it’s one of the easier materials to maintain.
Kitchens and bathrooms require some special consideration. They have to be large enough to handle a wheelchair, include a shower with easy access and toilet that is set higher. A lower sink with space underneath works well, and drawer storage is obviously better than a traditional medicine cabinet.
For a kitchen, upper cabinets are not particularly useful, although most homes include them. Plenty of lower cabinet or open shelf space within reach from a sitting position is critical. Having a prep/work surface at table level will make fixing meals much easier, and a faucet with a pull-out spray helps with cleaning up.
Today’s designers and home suppliers are addressing the needs of people with wheelchairs. If this is a concern for you or a member of your family, let us know if you would like more information.