Things to think about when inviting a wheelchair user to your home

It is the holiday season and you invited a family member or friend to visit. They are full-time wheelchair users which means that they will be in that wheelchair at all times while they visit (unless you transfer them, they would probably prefer to stay in their chair though).

As the host of the party, you feel the need to accommodate your house as much as possible to allow easy access to all amenities for the wheelchair user. At first, you might think you need to overhaul some things in your house and go all out to allow your friend to feel comfortable. Here are some easy ways to make your house or apartment comfortable and accessible enough for your friend.

Inviting a Wheelchair User to Your Home

Entrance to your home

There are 2 types of paths that lead to a house or apartment entrance. The first one is a flat surface that a wheelchair user can propel through with ease, maybe needing assistance at the doorway of the home. The second type is the one that will be troubling for a wheelchair user. This path has steps or obstacles that the user will need assistance getting across to avoid injury.

For this type of path there is also the option to place a temporary surface for them to use to enter your home. If your house is located on the second floor of a building, things can get a little trickier. Most apartment buildings will have multiple set of staircases to allow tenants access to their homes. The problem is that wheelchair accessibility in some apartment buildings is not considered when designing the building.

If your apartment building does not have an elevator, there is a high probability that you cannot aid your friend in a safe manner to get them to the second floor. The only option at this point is to have 2 people lift the person while in the chair to the second floor.

Bathroom Access

Toilet access is one of the most important factors when it comes to inviting a wheelchair user to your home. Most homes are not wheelchair accessible, which means that it will be difficult for wheelchair users to get around.

There are some things you can do to ease the amount of obstacles and clear the way for a wheelchair user. If possible, you will need to remove any floor mats and any other surface that may prevent a wheelchair user from rolling through the obstacle.

The doorway to a bathroom needs to be large enough to allow a wheelchair user to fit through comfortably. The positive side of this is that most apartments and homes are designed with doorways wide enough for a wheelchair to fit through. Most wheelchairs can be 25” to 27” wide and some doorways can reach 32” to allow a chair to fit comfortably.

 

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