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15 Helpful Power Wheelchair Home Modifications

July 15, 2011

Just a few basic changes can make almost any home power chair accessible.

A barrier-free living space that allows for safe maneuverability and access to essential daily needs would make life much easier for power wheelchair users. However, most standard homes are not suitably designed to accommodate a wheelchair.

Power wheelchair home modifications can be costly, and many wheelchair users don't have the funds to pay for extensive remodeling. But with a little thought, some fiscal planning and just a bit of elbow grease, almost any home can be inexpensively adapted for power chair access.*

Power Wheelchair Home Modifications - Room by Room

Entrances and Doorways

power chair accessibility
  • Widen all entrance ways, interior and exterior, to a minimum of 32"
  • Install doorknobs or door levers 48" from the floor for convenience
  • Place wheelchair ramps over steps and across doorway landings
  • Remove threshold door sills to level the surface between rooms
  • If the home is multi-level, install a stair lift

Bathroom

  • Install sturdy grab bars  to ease power wheelchair transfers
  • Apply non-slip floor and bath mats to minimize the risk for accidents
  • Use a bath lift with a swivel seat for safer bath entry and exiting
  • Remove the vanity beneath the bathroom sink or install a pedestal sink
  • Adjust the toilet area to 30 "x 48" of  floor space around, and place seat 17" to 18" from the floor

Bedroom and Kitchen

  • Store frequently used items in lower-level drawers and cabinet spaces 
  • Remove closet/cabinet doors to provide unobstructed access
  • Consider leaving some items out of drawers,  where they can be reached more effortlessly
  • Install height-adjustable shelves and low-hanging rods in closets ( at no more than 48" from the floor)
  • Remove any area rugs that may obstruct a power wheelchair

By making some or all of the above modifications, a home will be much more accessible for power wheelchairs.

 

* Some wheelchair home modifications may require professional assistance and additional expense.

This article is for informational purposes only.

Related Articles

  1. Stair Lifts for Safer In-Home Mobility
  2. 12 Tips for Preventing Elderly Falls
  3. Finding the Funds for Home Modifications
  4. Bath Lifts: Guidelines for Safer, Easy Use