Whether you have friends or family members with a disability or you’re just planning ahead for your future, when your mobility may be altered or limited, you can make your home more accessible for individuals with disabilities and without spending a lot of money. By making your home more accessible to everyone, you are showing your support and acceptance. While it may not be feasible to alter your home, here are some ideas to consider:

Providing an Accessible Entrance

 

In order to have an accessible entrance for any of your visitors with mobility limitations, such as wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches, you need to have at least one entrance with no steps or way to enter the home despite steps. A good option is a portable ramp, particularly if you won’t be using it everyday. Portable ramps, on average, cost a couple hundred dollars, but are durable and can be used in a variety of situations from visitors to assisting with safely moving heavy furniture.

 

For a more permanent accessible entrance, consider building a ramp, a “bridge” from the house to the yard, or install a weather-resistant lift or elevator. These options will be more expensive, but are suitable and a good idea for aging relatives with mobility issues and may lengthen the stay in your own home as you age or face some mobility limitations.

Widen Your Doorways

 

Widening your doorways may be more of an undertaking, but depending on how your home is designed, you may be able to provide adequate doorway space without too much money or construction. In order to accommodate visitors who use a wheelchair, doorways need to be at least 32” wide. Some simple solutions may include removing the door temporarily, installing swing-away hinges, reverse the swing of the door, remove woodwork around the door, or replacing the door with a wider one. If none of these modifications will work, you a pocket door may be a suitable option, but if you’re still struggling with widening doorways, contact someone with carpentry skills.

Suitable Bathrooms

 

An accessible bathroom can be particularly challenging since many bathrooms are designed to be small and narrow. If the doorway is an issue, consider some of the doorway modifications listed above or even consider installing a curtain (it depends on how much privacy you require). You may want to consider removing any cabinets below the sink to make the sink more accessible and the height of your toilet may propose a challenge. Install grab bars throughout your bathroom so your visitors can have safety and independence.

Other Accessible Options

 

Take a look at your existing layout of your home. Is it easy to get around or is it cluttered with sharp corners? Consider rearranging your furniture to make for a more fluid and accessible layout throughout your home. It’s also a good idea to take a look at the outside of the of your home. If you have a sidewalk, is it level? A broken sidewalk or an area covered with debris can be a tripping hazard for anyone, but can also make it difficult for anyone with a wheelchair, walker, or even crutches to navigate.