While we would all love to throw money at our homes with professional trades, we need to do jobs ourselves more often. Making a property accessible for all, whether an elderly parent or a disabled visitor, could stretch your purse strings. However, with these simple DIY jobs, you can make small adaptations that make a massive difference. Here we explore some of these DIY tasks and offer some hints and tips.
Multi-level homes are challenging for people who struggle with mobility. While fitting a stairlift might be an expensive option that will break the budget, installing ramps to access the downstairs is more easily attainable. Moving the individual’s bedroom downstairs and dealing with any other level changes with ramps can make the home feel liveable again.
Bathroom grab rails
Getting in and out of the bath or feeling steady in the shower is significant, especially when we get older. You can convert your bathroom to a wet room or install a bath with a door if you have the money. Yet, if you want something that you do immediately, you can put up some grab rails. A few simple drill holes and using plugs and screws.
If the grab rail is going to be taking significant weight, you might want to explore bolts and wall reinforcement features. However, if it is a rail that simply offers reassurance, standard fittings work fine.
Changing your flooring
While carpet is wonderful underfoot, it creates unhelpful friction if you get around with a frame on wheels or in a wheelchair. Therefore, a simple adaptation you can make to your home is to change to laminate, tile or vinyl flooring. You can always add some warmth and comfort with strategically placed rugs while allowing those with disabilities to move with ease in the key traffic sections of your house.
Smart environmental controls
The Internet of Things allows us to connect all our devices to our wifi and control them using our phones. For someone who struggles with mobility, this innovation proves miraculous. From a chair, the person can turn up the heat or switch on a light. Such tech is purposely made intuitive to install and use.
There are more powerful reasons for using technology in this way. Your elderly relative or someone who struggles to maintain independence can stay longer in their home thanks to the cameras and sensors that come with such tech. It is possible to easily ensure they get help quickly no matter where you are in relation to them.
Door entry system
Probably the most important tech to help keep people in their homes is the video doorbell. Being able to quickly see who is at the door and talk to them through the device means that people feel safer and more secure. This is a great way to help adapt a home so that individuals feel safer and more able to control who comes in and out of the house.
Widening door frames and lowering light sockets
A wider entryway to rooms allows people wheelchair-bound to move freely through the space. If you are more adept than most at DIY, you could put your tools to use by widening doorways and lowering light switches. The lower light switches are easily accessible from a sitting position. Ideally, you would also raise plug sockets from where they sit close to the skirting board to a more waist-high level.
Making the kitchen inclusive
Finally, adapting the kitchen, so some cupboard tops are lower, and a lower sink and hob can make all the difference. If someone is beholden to another person to come to cook for them, they don’t feel independent in their home. So, a simple adaptation to the kitchen could be to lower some areas of the cupboard top. If you feel capable, you might even put in brackets that allow for the lowering and lifting of certain appliances.