Living in a tight space can be challenging for anyone. Having a disability can make the challenge of living in close quarters even greater. Many articles or websites may point you in the direction remodeling or reconstructing, however, that is not always a financially feasible solution for everyone. The goof thing is there are options that are for more affordable that can give you the extra few inches you may need to maneuver safely and comfortably through your home.
Having an easy entry into your home is the first step. If removing a deck or building a permanent ramp is not an option that fits into your budget, you can use a portable ramp, however, this should be a temporary solution until you can get a permanent fixture that is more stable for long term use.
The recommended width for a doorway for people that use wheelchairs is 34-36 inches. If it is not in the budget to widen your doorways, an alternate option is to install doors with swing-away hinges. It will allow you to pass through your doorway with ease by adding those few inches you may need.
Bathrooms are a tricky room that contractors don’t typically build to be very spacious, unless you live in a large home to begin with. A budget friendly solution would be to install grab bars in your tub and/or shower. You can also have additional supports installed underneath a standard sized sink so that it won’t come away from the wall if leaned on heavily.
Some easy steps can be taken in the kitchen to allow for easier access. Your cabinets should be 30 inches high with a clearance of 40 inches. To achieve this, if you do not already have these features, you could remove the base cabinet doors to allow a wheelchair more easily roll up to a counter. You could also use pull-out cutting boards to serve the same purpose.
The placement of utensils and food is key as well. They should be planned to make their use as easy as possible. You can installing a lazy Susan in the cupboards and refrigerator to help maximize storage as well as eliminating the difficulty of reaching for things.
If you have lived in your home for quite a while, you may find you have accumulated quite a bit over the years. To allow for more space take a good look at the furniture, knick-knacks, and other belongings. There may be some pieces of furniture or other items that take up space. You can donate or maybe sell some things to clear some clutter and give yourself more space to get around in with ease.
Lastly, you can upgrade your wheelchair. There are several types that serve a multitude of purposes. One great wheelchair to invest in is a transport wheelchair. It is lighter and more compact that standard issue wheelchairs. It will not only get you around your home more seamlessly, but is great for travel, as it is collapsible and easy to store.