Making Your Home Accessible For A Child With A Wheelchair

Posted on: 5 August 2016

Caring for a disabled child presents many challenges, but making a few changes to your home can help to make daily living easier for you and your wheelchair-bound young one. Here are a few options you can choose to make your home accessible for your child.

Wheelchair-Friendly Bathrooms

The bathroom is one space that will likely need several renovations. A roll-in, barrier-free shower can help with daily bathing, as your child can wheel into the shower and transfer to a shower seat. Be sure that the door handle on the shower is low enough for your child to reach, and consider installing a permanent shower bench along one wall to provide the stability he or she needs to transfer. Grab bars should be added to the shower wall and to the wall next to the toilet for easy gripping. You may also want to have the bathroom counter and sink lowered to meet your child's needs. Switch out your cabinet vanity for a design that is open underneath so your child can wheel his or her chair up to the sink.

Kitchen Accessibility

You may want to switch your top-mounted freezer for a side-by-side unit or one with a bottom-mounted freezer. This will make it easier for your child to access food. If you have a pub-height breakfast bar, consider having it lowered to accommodate your child at mealtime, and move plates and cups to lower cabinets for easy reaching. Consider investing in a microwave cart that is positioned low enough for your child to reach so he or she can prepare leftovers or microwave meals without assistance, as this will help to foster a sense of independence.

Bedroom Assistance

Be sure your child's bed sits low enough to the ground for easy transfers at bedtime. Consider placing the bed against one wall in the room to free up space for your child to move freely in the room, and add a grab bar next to the other side of the bed to make it easier to get in and out of bed each day. Lower the dowel rods in the closet so your child can reach clothes easily, and look for shorter dressers to provide easy access to socks and underwear. Add hooks and shelves to the walls to organize daily living aids, such as shoe horns and grabbing sticks to keep the space neat and to keep them handy for whenever they are needed.

Work with your child's team of doctors to come up with other accessibility modifications you can use to make your home more comfortable for your child, and be sure to discuss the changes you are making with any other children living in the house. With a few adjustments, everyone in the home can have full access to everything they need. Contact a company like Accessible Solutions for more information.