If you or a family member is struck with mobility issues after an illness or accident, getting in and out of the house could suddenly become a significant problem. To insure against this potential trouble or to plan ahead for age-related mobility issues of your own, apply universal design concepts to the entryways and foyers of your home.
When accessibility issues arise, it’s commonly because one of the home’s residents has come to permanently or temporarily rely on the use of a wheelchair. Steps, ledges, steep walkways and other structural features make it impossible to use the wheelchair to get in and out of the house. Doorways that are too small and foyers that are too difficult to navigate also cause accessibility problems. But there are several ways to simplify the situation:Traditional Entry by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Jane Lockhart Interior Design
- Ramps – Ramps providing a gradual slope up into your home are an excellent solution to mobility issues. Wood ramps should take precedence over more permanent concrete ones in case the ramp needs to be removed to sell the house.
- Lifts – Lifts that raise wheelchairs up one or more levels are also an option, but are less practical than ramps. The mechanical and electronic components of lifts can fail or malfunction, especially when exposed to the elements.
- Doorways – Doorways should be renovated to be at least 36 inches wide. Though this exceeds ADA requirements, it provides plenty of room for wheelchairs and for residents performing tasks such as moving furniture or carrying in items. An automatic opener/closer will also make using the door more convenient.
- Foyers – Foyers should be kept free of obstructions such as furniture, clothes racks or other items that could impede movement.