If you are the parent of a physically handicapped child who needs to use a wheelchair, you are most likely always looking for ways to make it easier for them to get around. Safety and avoiding discomfort is always foremost on the minds of both the child and their parents, making it difficult for the child to enjoy some of the activities others are able to do without worry. If you are in the process of looking for a new home, consider having a home built to accommodate your child's needs right from the very start. Here are some of the features you can have built right into your custom home, giving your child the benefit of being able to be mobile without fear.
The Overall Design
When designing your home, stick with a one-story plan so your child will have free-reign to all areas of the house. Have ramps placed at each entryway to make it easy for your child to get in and out of the home without needing someone available to pick up their wheelchair. Consider placing wide sidewalk areas outdoors so your child can enjoy fresh air without worrying about their wheelchair getting stuck on a rock or in moist dirt. Use laminate wood or tiling when selecting flooring, as carpeting will make the wheelchair hard to move and dirty wheels will alter its appearance.
When having the bathroom built, let the contractor know that you would like to place a handicapped-accessible bathtub in the room. Some tubs are made to allow wheelchairs to be wheeled right inside via the use of a wider hinged-door. Make sure there are hand-rails placed around the entire interior of the tub area so your child will be able to hold on as they bathe. Rails should be placed around the toilet area as well. When placing a sink, put it at a lower level so your child can wheel up to the fixture with ease. Having the piping located near the back of the sink is also important so your child's knees are not scraping the pipes when they use the sink to wash their hands.
When having your child's bedroom constructed, have everything placed at a lower level, including shelves, the bed, closet rails, and even windows. Place all light switches at a lower level as well. Your child will appreciate being able to use these items without difficulty while they are in the comfort of their wheelchair. Rails should be placed on all walls to help them guide their wheelchair to the areas they wish. Construct a large wheel-in closet so your child can see and reach for their own clothing.