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Building an Accessible Home for the Disabled

Due to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, public buildings have become much more accessible for the disabled. Private homes, however, are often not as accessible unless they have been adapted for a specific resident. Rather than adapt as you go, a better plan would be to build new homes with certain accessibility features as part of the original design. While you are busy drawing up plans for your gourmet kitchen or family room, consider adding items that will benefit your disabled family members or friends.

Front Door Access

Although wheelchair ramps are often added as they are needed, consider designing your home so that no steps are necessary to enter it. You can build an attractively designed ramp that leads to your extra-wide doorway, providing easy access for all the home’s inhabitants and guests. Since the ramp will be an organic part of the home’s design, it will not look like an afterthought. Also, stairs can be a hazard for anyone, so eliminating them where possible is a sound idea.

Interior Aids

Designing a house with wide doorways and accessible light switches and electric outlets will make everyone’s life easier. Also, installing grab bars for the bathtub and loop handles or levers for the kitchen cabinets will not detract from the look of your home but will aid people with any sort of frailty. Special easy-to-use storage areas are also a benefit for everyone, not just those with a disability. 

Elevators

If you want a multi-story home, consider having an elevator installed during the original construction. An elevator is a great investment when you consider that most people’s mobility lessens as they age. Having home elevators not only helps people with bad knees or poor balance, they are great for transporting small children, heavy supplies, and even pets. If someone in your family is or becomes wheelchair-bound, an elevator is priceless. When it is part of the original design, the elevator can be an intentional focal point or it can be completely hidden. You will need to contract for elevator maintenance services to keep your elevator in top shape and safely running. With conscientious upkeep, your elevator can last a lifetime. For more information, tlak to a professional like Capital Elevator Services Inc.

Building a totally accessible home makes excellent sense. Although you may live a long life that is untouched by serious medical conditions or illnesses, chances are someone in your family will have need of accessibility aids. Incorporating these features into the original home design is a practical and more attractive way of making your home accessible for everyone.