Make Your Home Inviting for Older Relatives or Anyone with a Physical Handicaps.
ENSURE SAFETY WHILE MAINTAINING DESIGN & STYLE
The number of people needing a handicap accessible home has greatly increased over the years. Modifying homes can have a positive impact on safety and may appear to elderly individuals as well.
The most popular room to modify is the kitchen. This requires careful planning & execution. Areas need to have the proper dimensions, in order to accommodate wheelchairs and other equipment. Sink, appliance, and counter height are all key factors that need to be considered prior to beginning the work.
Space plays an important role in the overall design and layout. It is the first issues you will want to address before purchasing appliances and cupboards.
Typical counter height is usually at 36”, so the installation height for counters would be about 34”.
There should be an open space underneath, with a knee space of at 27”.
Electrical powered cabinets are a bit more costly, but have a very versatile functionality that would appeal to many handicapped individuals. Also, when planning shelving and storage, think low and accessible first.
Making doorways and entrances in the home should be at least 36” wide; however, a 42” width is preferred.
Appliances should be approximately 31” from the floor. Appliances with touch pad operation are great for people who have limited finger strength and control.
Other things to consider:
- Placing electrical outlets lower, but not lower than 15” off the floor.
Installing switches & thermostats no higher than 48” off the floor.
- Creating multiple work areas, to make things more accessible from more than one position.
- Placing the lighting controls so you never have to navigate in the dark.
Using a base cabinet on wheels is an excellent idea for making chores and serving an easier task.