Renovations for the benefit of your loved ones with reduced mobility
Last modified: 2018/12/21 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Anyone who has to live in an environment that does not suit their needs in terms of mobility or comfort will be subject to a great deal of frustration. To ensure a comfortable and pleasant living environment for any individual with reduced mobility, here is a look at the renovation to take on.
Adapting a home for a person with reduced mobility
Renovating the kitchen
At the level of the kitchen, it would be recommended that you install height-adjustable furniture. With adjustable furniture, it will then be possible to adapt the level of workspaces as well as the height of each piece of furniture. If this is not a feasible option due to budget or location, opt for facilities that are low enough to be accessible at all times.
If the layout of the home allows, the dishwasher and fridge should be raised about 80 centimetres to prevent their opening from being blocked by the wheelchair. The sink, with front or side access, must be equipped with shallow bins to allow sufficient space for a wheelchair to pass. Thus, it will not be necessary to work at arm's length.
Renovating the bathroom
A countertop of a reduced height will be very useful to allow brushing teeth or putting on makeup without having to be uncomfortable when accessing the counter. In order to ensure that taking a bath or shower happens without an accident, it is imperative to choose a bathtub model whose door opens to the side or to have a seat installed on a standard bathtub model.
Bars inside the bathtub are also important, as they will reduce the risk of falling when attempting to get up. These should also be installed on either side of the toilet so that you can sit down without the risk of falling.
If installing a shower would better suit your needs, take note that a walk-in shower model has two considerable advantages. First, a standing shower is very convenient for an individual with reduced mobility. Since walking is not necessary to enter the shower, its' use offers much more ease for an individual with reduced mobility. Secondly, this type of shower does not require the replacement of tiles. This choice is, therefore, an attractive option due to the more limited costs incurred during the installation process.
Bedrooms and doors
Regarding choosing the bed, it is recommended that you choose one with a relatively low-height in order to be able to slip in and out without having to stand or rise to the height. A space of 90 centimetres should be left on each side of the best, and a minimum space of 120 centimetres between the end of the best and the door (when it’s open). Regarding the dimensions of the bedrooms doors, they should have a minimum width of 83 centimetres.
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Rethinking the entrance
The entrance door, on the other hand, must be at least 103 centimetres wide. It is recommended that you place the doorbell and the lock at the height of the face to avoid that your loved one need to stretch on every occasion they want to enter the home.
Further, the installation of a ramp is essential. At this level, it would be better to prioritize models with straight lines rather than models with curves, as the latter requires the execution of difficult maneuvers in a wheelchair. The sections of the ramp should never exceed 9 meters, with a maximum of 6 meters to be prioritized if the individual using it is particularly weak.
A long ramp will need bearings in order not to subject its' user to excessive amounts of physical effort. Please note that this is a measure which is able to provide detailed information on the precise dimensions to be followed so that the ramp is of regulated measure.
Adaptions to be made to the whole house
It should be noted that it is recommended that you avoid the use of carpets throughout the house, as they will block the passageway of a wheelchair. In all rooms of the home, it is necessary to leave a central space of a meter and a half, free of furniture or objects. This will allow for the free movement of the wheelchair.
When choosing cabinets and drawers, opt for sliding models. Drawers will be easier to open and cabinet doors will be less cumbersome when opened. It will then be possible to search cabinets without constantly needing to move back to the chair to prevent it from blocking the opening.
The Housing Adaptation Program of the Société d'habitation du Québec
As mentioned on the website of the Société d'habitation du Québec, the home adaptation program allows an individual whose permanent physical impairment jeopardizes the accomplishment of daily activities to receive a subsidy for the adaptation and renovation of their homes to suit their physical needs. To be eligible, you must meet the following two conditions:
1- You must be able to provide a report produced by an occupational therapist attesting to the permanence of the impairment as well as the need to make changes to your home or apartment.
2- You must not be eligible for financial assistance under the insurance plans for the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec or the Commission for Occupational Health and Safety. It should be noted that the maximum amount that can be allocated is $16,000 and it is unlikely to cover the full costs required to complete the work. The difference will need to be provided by the owner. Note that it is imperative to undertake the work after the approval of the Société d'habitation du Québec to be eligible for the grant.
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