Having an entryway that enables you to exit and enter the home quickly is not only important for safety reasons, but it’s also an important matter to address for the sake of efficiency, independence and dignity for those living with mobility limitations. Thankfully, there are many alterations – from big ones to minor ones – that can make your entranceway a breeze to get through for anyone using mobility devices such as a wheelchair or walker.
If you’re wondering whether you have a safe entryway, here are some factors to consider to help assess it and to give you ideas on how it could be improved for efficiency and safety.
Have a Clear Pathway
Before installing any additions to assist in entering and exiting, you should first take a look at the walkway leading up to your entryway. This should be cleared from any obstacles, such as overgrown hedges and garden debris. If there is any patio stones that are weathered and buckling or loose, these should be addressed and replaced first.
Light It Up
Having proper lighting is also crucial to avoid injury and make it easy to get to and from your home. Light features should be installed to illuminate any walkway or paths that provide access to your home. You can install a motion light that will kick on once someone approaches the entryway to ensure the door handle and lock is clearly visible at all times.
Low Riser, Long-Tread Steps
If you or a family member relies on a walker or crutch, then drastic improvements like installing a ramp might not be necessary. Instead, having low rising steps with long treads can help. These steps provide enough room to accommodate the size of a walker or similar equipment and don’t require taking such a big step up or down. This is a good option when a ramp is impractical but your current steps are too steep and cumbersome.
Ramps and Vertical Porch Lifts
If you do require accessibility for a wheelchair, scooter or a similar device then a ramp or vertical porch lift can be necessary. Ramps can be customized to your home and entryway, plus, you can have a “suitcase” ramp installed, which can fold up and be carried by handles. Porch lifts can bypass the hassle altogether by carrying a person on their device to the doorway level.
In order to determine whether you have a safe entryway, take a few moments to assess the layout and functionality of it. Simple things like lighting or loose patio stones can create potential safety hazards, whereas upgrading steps or installing a ramp could make exiting and entering much easier and safer.