From grab bars to wheelchair ramps, you don't have to reconfigure your entire home to make it accessible for people with disabilities
Planning to retrofit your home to make it accessible for loved ones with disabilities? Fortunately, there are multiple ways to boost safety without tackling a major remodeling project. Instead, focus on a couple of strategic swaps to create a functional environment for someone with ambulatory issues or an injury.
1. Doorways. Wheelchair width varies, but many are too wide to maneuver freely through doorways. Depending on the doorway’s location, widening could cost $500 to $1,000.
2. Showers. Step-in bathtubs often are an accident waiting to happen. To prevent falls, many homeowners convert their tubs to wheelchair-accessible or walk-in showers. For a cheaper option, consider installing a bench seat for extra support.
3. Grab bars. These simple additions boost stability in and around the shower, tub and toilet. Professionally installed grab bars cost approximately $100 to $300 per bar.
4. Cabinets. High cabinets are difficult to reach for people with mobility issues. Move everyday items, such as toiletries and towels in the bathroom and dishes in the kitchen, to lower cabinets for easier access.
5. Toilets. A toilet riser adds height, making it easier to access for people who have trouble bending over. Many risers sell for less than $50 at retail or drug stores.
6. Ramps. Adding a threshold ramp to a doorway, or converting a stairway to a ramp not only makes it easier for wheelchairs, but for anyone with ambulatory difficulties. Costs range from around $100 for a low-threshold ramp, to several thousand dollars for a custom ramp, depending on the size and materials used.
7. Flooring. Remove thick carpet, rugs and other types of flooring that make it difficult to maneuver a wheelchair or walker.