Accessible Housing

November 8, 2011

For Sale Friday

This is probably a topic you won’t think about until you or someone in your family needs accessible housing. Walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and scooters can be difficult to manoeuver in the best of situations, however once you get in a house it can be extremely confining. This frustration can be a great burden and stressor on you and your family; so, you may ask, are there any solutions to this problem?

Renovations can be very costly, and sometimes it won’t make sense to stay in your current home. If you’ve recently had to adjust your life to accommodate a disability, moving may be the last thing you want to do. There are some easy fixes to help your home life become a bit easier.

Simply getting into your home could be an important issue to address quickly, and a ramp just may be the answer. If you’re having any sort of difficulty navigating stairs, this should be a priority for you. Although they generally take up a lot of space, however constructing an appropriate slope for your needs is very important; you don’t want to fall if you’re walking up and down, and you certainly don’t want your wheelchair to get out of control. There are several online resources to get a template to build a ramp if you have family or friends who can do it for you, or you can hire a contractor for the job.

Another easy fix within your home can be in the bathroom. Getting into the bathtub or onto the toilet can be very difficult and often times embarrassing if you require help. Installing grab bars around these areas can be a great solution – and a cost-effective one! – to this problem. Your independence can be improved or achieved with these small additions in your home.

An extremely important safety issue for any home is fire safety. When you have a mobility problem, this must be planned down to every detail to ensure nobody in your home will fall victim to potential fire hazards. You need to make sure everyone can hear a fire alarm from anywhere in the home, and maybe even install extra fire alarms in your house to ensure this will not be an issue. Does your fire safety plan allow you to exit the home independently if something should happen? Creating extra plans from different areas of your home is a great idea for this situation. You can even let your local fire department know that someone in your home has mobility difficulties so they can be prepared ahead of time should an emergency service be required at your house.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)has several online and print documents that can help you learn and plan to renovate your current home or design a new one to allow for accessible living. If you ever need any further information, contact some local government or not-for-profit agencies to help you plan, and even pay for, any renovations you may need. You may be surprised at what some charities are able to provide you, so don’t let any option pass you by.

Having a mobility problem does not mean you can’t stay in your own home. Sometimes small additions to your house can make all the difference. If you’re building your dream home, consider planning for the future. Maybe paying a little extra for wider hallways and larger bathrooms and kitchens will pay off in the end so you can live comfortably. The future is uncertain, so it’s best to think of all possibilities for your best life!

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About Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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