Monday 17 May 2021

5 Ways to Make Your Home More Accessible

 **Collaborative Post**

Our homes are our safe space, the place where we can relax and feel at ease. But there can be a variety of reasons such as Chronic Illness, Disabilities or perhaps even just old age, that might mean our homes need some adaptions to make them the safe, relaxing spaces they should be. 

There are many ways that we can adapt homes now to make them accessible, comfortable, and enjoyable spaces. Some of these you can do yourself whilst others may require help from an electrician, plumber, or other tradesperson. These can range from simple, inexpensive changes to some bigger home renovations that may need more planning involved. Whilst the adaptions you make will of course be personal to you and your needs, below I am sharing some ways in which you could adapt your home to make it more accessible and easy to live in. 

Accessible Entrance 

Before you even think about the inside of your home, the entrance/path way is definitely something to consider. Accessibility to your home at the entrance is often something overlooked but if your home has steep steps, a large step into the door, narrow doorways or an uneven surface or pathway all of these things can cause issues, especially for those using a mobility scooter/wheelchair or who may be unsteady on their feet. 

There are many ways around this though such as widening doorways to allow for more room to enter or to allow wheelchairs to be able to go in and out of the doorway easily. If you have steps or a large doorstep you may want to think about installing a ramp to make it easier to get in and out without having to navigate tricky steps. There are also smaller changes you could make such as installing a hand rail or placing non slip matting or resurfacing bumpy pathways that may become a trip hazard.

Stair Lift 

Stairs can be one of the biggest issues people who may have issues or problems around accessibility may find. If you live in a home with a stairway but you find it difficult climbing the stairs or you rely on a wheelchair to move around it can be a huge issue. However installing a stair lift can be a great solution in allowing people to stay in their homes, access upstairs areas whilst still being independent. This is especially important if the only bathroom/toilet area and bedroom areas are on an upstairs level! 

Stair lifts range in prices and designs and many companies will happily come out to your home and give you plenty of options based on your stairs and the space you have available (not all stair lifts are big and bulky anymore). Whilst they can be a little expensive, they often give people with reduced mobility a real sense of independence and so can really be worth the investment. 

Flooring and Avoiding Trip Hazards

We walk around our homes daily and never really think about the floor or how we actually move around, that is until it may actually pose a problem in accessibility if you need to use a wheelchair or aid to get around. When considering flooring and accessibility it is best to try and avoid clutter, leaving plenty of space that can be used to move around in and eliminating many trip hazards with unnecessary items. As well as space, the type of flooring you use needs to be considered too. Whilst carpet may look and feel nice, it isn't the easiest to walk or move around on, especially if you have a wheelchair. It can make it very tough and it is also tricky to clean if it gets muddy or dirty from a walking aid or wheelchair. Instead wooden floors are smooth, easy to move around on as well as being easy to clean for any mess or spills. 

It is also worth noting that whilst items like rugs and door mats may look nice they can become a trip or slip hazard for people and so it may be best to avoid using these all together.

Lower Switches and Worktops 

We often take for granted being able to flick on a light switch or plug in our phones, even reaching the kitchen worktops and cupboards. But for people who may rely on a wheelchair or who have mobility issues the placement of all of these things can cause major issues in day to day living. Whilst lower kitchen worktops is a large job there are ways around this such as having a lower table/work top area that can be used instead and utilising cupboard space in lower cupboards for every day items. You could also add extra storage on walls at a height easily reached too. 

The same applied with switches and plugs, these are things that are used every day and need to be accessible. If they cannot easily be reached it may be worth speaking to an electrician who can discuss how these can be moved to a better place and height for the home owner. If you are concerned about loved ones being home alone you could also look at installing an emergency pull cord that can be placed in an easily accessible space in the home and used in emergencies or in case of falls etc.

Wet Room or Bathroom Adaptions 

Being able to freely access the bathroom is an essential in your home and it is so important that it can be accessed independently and confidently for anyone in the home. There are a number of ways in which a bathroom can be made more accessible including installing a wet room so there is lots of space, no climbing into and out of a bath or shower and less chance of slipping or falling. However this is of course quite a costly and large job so if you are looking for something a little easier to achieve there are lots of things you can do to your existing bathroom. 

These include installing a sturdy hand rail, a bath/shower seat or stool so the user can sit rather than stand in the bathroom. There are also things such as walk in baths that can be much easier to use. It is also important to ensure the flooring is not slippery and this can be achieved using special flooring or using non slip mats designed for the bathroom area. 

Hopefully you have found this post helpful and some of the ideas may be able to help you or your friends and family feel more comfortable in their own homes. I also wanted to mention that if you or someone you know if thinking of adapting their home to make it more accessible there is sometimes funding in place to help. The funding may be able to help with some of the costs of adapting the home and it is worth speaking to your local council to see what may be available to you. 


**This is a collaborative post.**


  1. Having a daughter with a chronic illness, all these things we know too well about. It is the little things we never think about that can make such a difference, great post

  2. These are some great ideas, also higher plug sockets getting down to them right by the floor is so hard!

  3. Making sure your rugs are ridged and can't turn up is my simpilest tip. I love the idea of wet rooms!

  4. These are all great ideas for accessibility! Family members of mine have stair lifts and wet rooms and it has made the world of difference to their lives.

  5. Yes, really helpful, thanks. We live in a very old house and it woudlm be quite complex to have to make some adjustments if they were needed.

  6. Lots of good ways to make your home more accessible. The people who owned our house before us had a stair lift for the owners dad x

  7. These are great tips. I think adding hand rails around the home could be a huge help.

  8. I always worry about how inaccessible most of my home is but with some small changes here and there we can make it a little bit more accessible.

  9. There are so many things you can do to make a home more accessible. We had to do this for my gran years ago. A wet room is a great option.