From The Ground Up -- 5 Tips For Designing An Accessible Home

Health & Medical Blog

When looking for an accessible home, it's often easier to design your own layout rather than try to remodel an existing house. You can control the accessibility features easier and also tailor the home to your preferences and needs. If you're in the position to be planning your own accessible home, here are 5 tips for any homeowner.

Learn the ADA standards. The Department of Justice has a number of recommendations (mandatory elements of certain buildings) for accessibility that you can use to help guide you and your contractor in how wide to make traffic areas (such as the 60" minimum for a U-shaped kitchen), what height to make counters and what special considerations to use when buying accessories. 

Use an Open Plan. To avoid many maneuvering difficulties, it's good to aim for an open layout as much as possible. Not only does this make it easier for a handicapped family member to use, but it also helps keep the family feeling less isolated and is generally more inclusive. When designing the separate rooms, be sure that there are few or no barriers or changes in elevation at entry points. 

Short, Wide Hallways. It's probably best to avoid unnecessary hallways, which can prove to be difficult to maneuver if too long, too narrow or with too many angles. To avoid these problems, plan for a wide hallway -- probably at least 3 to 4 feet in width -- that is as short as you can get away with. 

Give Attention to the Accessible Bathroom. The bathroom that will be most often used by the handicapped user should be designed larger than necessary to make it easier to use. Be sure to leave more than the minimum of space around main items like the shower, tub, toilet and sink. You can find chic versions of many accessible features like a pedestal sink, matching grab bars and fixtures, roll-in showers and walk-in bathtubs, like from Even simple things like a bench in the shower can be both functional and beautiful.

Buy Accessible Appliances. When they think about increasing accessibility for appliances, many people think about lowering items. And this is true for many things (like sinks), there are also other things you can do to help. Raising the dishwasher can make it easier to use. In addition, opt for a refrigerator/freezer combo with the freezer on the bottom and a range with staggered burners to prevent burns. Use lower shelving or cabinets to hold small appliances -- including a microwave, blender, coffee machine or food processor. 

By designing your own house to meet your family's individualized accessibility needs, you can create a home that everyone will love and be able to thoroughly enjoy for years to come. 


8 July 2016

introducing your daughter to the gynecologist

Having a daughter comes with a number of challenges. One challenge that you will one day need to tackle is determining when to introduce your daughter to the gynecologist. Do you take your daughter to the same gynecologist that you see or take her somewhere else? Do you wait until she gets her first period or do you take her in to learn about the menstrual cycle from the doctor? There is a long list of questions you likely have about introducing your daughter to the world of gynecology. Having gone through this twice myself, I have learned quite a bit and have included a lot of helpful information in my site to help other parents get through this complicated time a little easier.