Home & Garden

5 Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible

A photogrqaph of a man carrying a light bulb in front of a sunset - 5 Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible - Mrs H's favourite things

“5 Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible” is a collaborative post.

There’s not one homeowner who doesn’t want to feel more at ease and comfortable within their own property. However, if you’re one of the 11 million disabled people in the UK, or one of the 2% of the UK working population who have become disabled this year, it can take more than a new home aesthetic, or simple property swap to feel comfortable in your surroundings. If your property no longer suits your needs, don’t worry, there are lots of ways to redesign it so that you get the accessible living situation that you deserve. Even the smallest alterations can make the biggest difference, enabling you to feel more settled and happy in the place you love the most. 

Here are our top five tips to help you make your home more accessible:

5 Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible

Get Some Funding In Place

Not all adjustments will require funding, but you should see what you are entitled to when it comes to financial support from your local council. There are grants and funding available such as the Disabled Facilities Grant, to those who require help if they are deemed eligible for that support. The first step to any funding from your local services is having a care needs assessment. Anybody can have a care needs assessment, it is free and you can arrange an emergency assessment if you require emergency support and funding. You can read more about a care needs assessment here. Alternatively, you may wish to contact local charities who may offer grants, advice or free adjustments as part of their outreach. 

Consider Using Motion Sensors

Smart technology isn’t just for those who want the most modern home, it can help with making the home more accessible too. Motion sensors can help with turning the lights off or on, and to help with the operation of certain appliances. There are even some devices that have control panels installed so you can operate them using a tablet or smartphone. You can find some of the best modern apps to help with accessibility here and here.

Add An Accessible Bathroom

Going to the toilet, washing and maintaining hygiene can be difficult and at times, quite scary when the bathroom is not designed to suit your needs. Perhaps it isn’t the bathroom itself but the fact that it is upstairs. Statistics say that moving a bathroom downstairs could take £13,500 pounds off the value of your property but, if it would change your quality of life, is it worth the drop in value? Of course, it is worth weighing up the cost of moving to a property which does have a bathroom downstairs already, against moving yours downstairs. If you do stick with moving your bathroom downstairs in your current home, don’t forget that you can balance the cost of moving the plumbing with the installation of a high-quality value suite from a trusted bathroom retailer like www.bathdisc.co.uk

Alternatively, if it is more a case of the bathroom you have being difficult to use, there are plenty of options available to you such as:

  • Changing the doorknob to a lever
  • Switching the door to open outwards
  • Widening the doors
  • Placing light switches lower
  • Adding motion sensor lights
  • Turn the room into a wet room
  • Add a sloping floor towards the drain
  • Add a secure stool or chair
  • Ensure all surfaces are non-slip
  • Add lower shower shelves
  • Lower the sink and ensure it leaves space underneath
  • Ensure the toilet is at a comfortable height to get on and off
  • Make sure the toilet roll holder is accessible and secure
  • Add bars either side of the toilet for additional stability

These are just some of the options available to you to make your bathroom more accessible.

Add Some Ramps

If you are a wheelchair user, or you simply struggle with steps, ramps can make a huge difference in how accessible your home is. A ramp into the house and a ramp into the garden along with stability bars can make a huge difference to how accessible your home and garden are. You could try out temporary ramps to try it out before opting for a concrete ramp as a permanent change. According to Age UK, a short concrete ramp might be something the council consider a minor adaptation that they will pay for if you are eligible for it. If the ramp you need is going to be more substantial, the Disabled Facilities Grant may pay for it if you are eligible.

Could A Lift Suit Your Needs?

It may be that a lift could change the way that you use your home. Some wheelchair users can benefit from a through-floor lift which is a large property change, but one that can change the lives of those who need that kind of help. You can also get smaller lifts to help you get into your home, into your garden, or into altered levels in the home that you cannot get to. A smaller adjustment would be a stair-lift if you are not a full-time wheelchair user and the stairs are your main issue within the home. 

Hopefully, these five tips have helped you get a rough idea of just some of the adjustments you can make to your home so that it is more accessible to you. Do reach out to local charities and organisations, to your GP, your local social services, to your council and to friends and family if you need a little help making a start. There is a lot of support and help available to you to help you gain better access to all areas of your home, and better usability of your home overall. If a small adjustment could completely change your quality of life, it is worth taking the first steps towards getting the funding and assistance you deserve.

Hugs

Lucy

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