Making Your Home More Wheelchair Accessible

Written by
Sadie Coleman
Published on
June 30, 2021 11:14:44 AM PDT June 30, 2021 11:14:44 AM PDTth, June 30, 2021 11:14:44 AM PDT

More than 2.7 million people in the US use a wheelchair. Many homes are filled with challenges and obstacles that make life more difficult for these people. Read here to find a few ways to help make your home more wheelchair accessible for yourself or for someone you love!


Install a Stairlift 

If you or your loved ones find it difficult or are unable to climb stairs, installing a stairlift in your home can be a great option. They provide an easy and safe way to get up and down the stairs. All stairlifts have a simple switch that controls their movement. Stairlifts come in a wide variety of styles. They can be installed as a permanent home modification, or they can be a short-term solution. Stairlifts turn multi-level homes into accessible homes for those who use a wheelchair or have limited mobility. By installing a stairlift, you are able to level out your home and create a safe accessible space.

 

Walk-In Shower

Bathtubs or showers with high sides can cause problems for people in wheelchairs. Consider converting your shower into a walk-in shower to make it more accessible for those with disabilities and easier to use. It’s important to add grab bars along the sides as well as a fixed portable shower seat so that the person can stabilize themselves when getting in and out. Detachable shower heads can make it easier if the person needs to remain seated. Additionally, non-slip tile floors are a good idea as well to ensure maximum safety.

 

Wheelchair Ramps

Stairs can be a hazard for those who use a wheelchair. Stairs exist in almost every home, even if it is just two steps leading up to the front door, so it is important to implement the use of a ramp up and down to make the space more wheelchair accessible.


There are several different styles of ramps including collapsible ramps that allow for easy storage and have no effect on your home design, portable ramps that can be used on the go, and threshold ramps that can make an entryway easily accessible. It is important to make sure the ramp is wider than the width of the chair. Ramps can provide safe and reliable entry for people with wheelchairs.

 

Widen Doorways

Doors can provide a variety of barriers to those in a wheelchair including the doors width and the door itself. Doors need to be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate the passage of a wheelchair and comfortable passage is typically allowed at 36 inches. If there are sharp turns right after or before a doorway, 32 inches may not be enough room for the person to pass through comfortably. In order to widen a doorway, you may need to remove the trim or remove the door all together. Doors can be replaced by curtains or other options for privacy.

 

Install Automated Sliding Doors

Installing an automatic sliding door system in your home is a great option if you need to improve wheelchair accessibility. Automatic sliding door systems allow you to go in and out quickly and easily. There are many different types of systems, including motion activated ones or push button activation systems that provide wall mounted push buttons and remote-control key fobs for easy accessibility. They can be used on both interior and exterior doors.


There are many different ways you can update your home to make it more wheelchair accessible, these are just a few!