Your senior dad needs a wheelchair while he recovers from a surgery. You’ve been told that he’ll need a wheelchair for the rest of his life after a stroke. Moving to a new apartment or home may be easier, but he doesn’t want to move. Is it possible to make his house wheelchair accessible? Here are the things you need to consider.
Is His Home One Level?
How does your dad go into his house? Is the door level to the ground or is it higher? If there are stairs leading up to a doorway, a wheelchair ramp is necessary.
Ramp requirements state that for every 30 feet of length, the ramp must be flat so that the user can rest. The grade cannot be more than a one-inch incline for each foot of length. If there are stairs in the house going to the main floor or bedrooms, stair lifts have to be installed, too.
Wheelchairs can be up to 32 inches wide. Experts recommend hallways be at least 36 inches wide and doorways have to be a minimum of 32 inches. To turn in a full circle, a wheelchair needs 60 inches of space. If your dad’s hallways aren’t at least three feet wide and doorways are only 30 inches, a lot of modifications will become necessary.
Can your dad’s home support modifications? If you have to widen doorways that are in a supporting wall, can the modifications be made without affecting that support wall? You’ll need to call in a contractor familiar with wheelchair modifications and local and state housing codes.
HomeAdvisor lists the average costs for modifying a home to accommodate someone with a disability. Stair lift installations, wheelchair ramps, and remodeling projects average $11,000 nationwide. However, the size of the home and costs of materials in your area impact that average. That doesn’t even take leveling patios, moving door knobs and outlets, and lowering counters into consideration.
Arrange for Help
Your dad will need help, especially as he becomes accustomed to his wheelchair. He may need help opening doors at stores and restaurants that do not open automatically. He will need help getting from his chair to the toilet and back. He may need help getting into and out of bed. Are you prepared to be there for all of this?
Senior care professionals are trained to help with bathing and grooming, meals and transportation, and light housework and laundry. In addition to having help, your dad gains a trusted friend. Talk to our senior care agency to arrange care that matches your dad’s new needs.