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The term ‘accessibility’ is used a lot, but what does it really mean within the home, and why is it something all homeowners should think about?

Accessibility is about levelling the playing field, making the world available to everyone, no matter what their physical abilities, and the great thing is that when the environment is truly accessible it is generally improved for able-bodied people as well as those less able.

Within the home this equates to making sure that those unsteady on their feet, using a wheelchair, or with other impairments can access and be comfortable within the home as much as anyone else. Modern technology and design advances have meant that adaptations to the home can be made without the style of the home being impacted. Indeed, some accessibility features even add a wow-factor, and can increase the market value of the property.

Whether homeowners are making their homes accessible for their own current needs, their future requirements, visiting friends and family, or for future buyers, there are many quick wins to creating an accessible home. Here at Stiltz Homelifts, we look at the best changes to make to your home to make it easier to get around and more comfortable.

Entrances

Possibly the most obvious and most important accessibility points to consider are the doors into the property. These are often one of the biggest stumbling blocks within the home, as there can be steps up to the threshold, a door fame to navigate, and even the width of the door can prove too narrow. Doors need to be suitable to fit a wheelchair through, and many standard doors are only 67cm. Steps to the entrance of a home can be easily changed to a sloped path with a handrail to allow those with mobility difficulties to reach the door more easily, either in a wheelchair or with a walking aid.

Stairs

When the staircase within a home is the only route to the upper floors, this can make the entire upstairs completely inaccessible to someone with mobility issues. In the past, this has resulted in the need to move all living space to the ground floor, or a house move to single story living, either of which is far from ideal. By installing a new-generation home elevator, however, the home becomes accessible in its entirety, allowing all family members access to the whole of the house.

Because modern home elevators are compact and discreet they can make a massive change to the accessibility of the home, without making a huge impact on the layout.

Safety

Those less physically able are unfortunately more likely to have accidents around the home, and so many accessibility changes are about making the home a safer place to be. Additions like grab rails in bathrooms are vital to those for whom maneuvering around is more difficult, and the risk of slipping is greater. Bathroom companies now produce products for bathroom safety in attractive styles to complement a stylish bathroom, rather than detract from it. And additions like non-slip tiles on the floor and a fold down seat in the shower can be simple changes that make all the difference to someone who is less able-bodied, and also improve the safety of the home for everyone else as well.