How to Create a More Wheelchair-Friendly Home

Whether you’re looking after an ageing relative, or you’d like to make your home more welcoming for people with disability, here are a few tips to create a wheelchair-friendly home.


So, you want to make your home more accessible for wheelchair users—great! Start by assessing the current layout and structure of your home (with the help of a wheelchair user, if possible). Take note of narrow hallways, tight corners, and any obstructions. Make adjustments as necessary, removing obstacles, and allowing plenty of room for a wheelchair user to turn around in each room (a circle of around 60 inches is needed for most).


Now that you’ve assessed and adjusted your home, it’s time to add in some aids. Consider installing push/pull bars on doors, automatic openers, or offset door hinges for smaller rooms. For the toilet and bathroom, consider grab bars in high-touch areas, a contactless faucet, and a shower with roll-in entry. For the kitchen and dining room, lower the bench top and raise the dining table, for maximum functionality.

If you have any stairs around your home, replace them with ramps, or install a stair lift. Also, don’t forget flooring—tiles, hardwood floors, and thick rugs can pose a hazard for people with disability. So, consider installing low pile carpet in well-frequented areas, and adhere thick rugs to the floor, where possible.


Last but not least, consider the layout of your belongings and furniture. In some cases, rearranging your rooms can go a long way to creating accessibility.

On average, wheelchair users need at least 35 inches of clearance between objects to manoeuvre safely. So, reposition your furniture (think coffee tables, couches, dining tables), to allow easy access. Put away any unnecessary items and keep high-traffic areas free of belongings.

Ideally, your home should not only be safe and accessible for wheelchair users, but it should also be comfortable and inviting. Small changes, like allowing space for a wheelchair user to sit between a recliner and the couch and still reach the coffee table, for example, can make a big difference.

Could you use some support at home? Here at Simply Helping, we offer flexible in home care for older adults and people living with disability! Click here to learn more and contact us at Simply Helping today.

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