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Aging Parents—How to Make a Mother-in-Law Apartment Wheelchair Accessible

Mar 25 2020

By Kara Masterson

From dealing with aging parents or your own future a more accessible interior environment can be an issue of the utmost importance. Upgrading a mother-in-law apartment, renovating a guesthouse or other add-on in order to make it more accessible can be worth the time and effort involved.

Ramps and Handholds

Being confined to a wheelchair or forced to depend upon a walker or other mobility-assistance device to get around can be very constraining. Homes, residences and other properties that lack a suitable ramp can be all but inaccessible to those who lack assistance. Putting in a ramp is a simple and effective way to ensure that aging parents are still able to get around unassisted.

Walk-in Showers

Many slip-and-fall accidents occur in the bathroom. Slippery surfaces and the effort needed to get into or out of a tub or shower can be a dangerous combination. Installing a walk-in shower can go a long way towards ensuring that elderly or infirm family members will be less likely to injure themselves. Renovations that make it safer and easier to bathe or use the bathroom can be well worth the expense.

Wide Doorways

Trying to make an old space accessible can be a great challenge for most people. The great thing about building your own home is that you have control over dimensions throughout the building project that will expand hallways, widen doorways to make sure that walkers and wheelchairs are easily able to make it in and out of every part of their mother in law apartment. Speaking to new home builders about the best ways to make sure that the design is wheelchair accessible prior to constructing a new residence or beginning construction on a new addition may give you innovative ideas and solutions to ensure the most accessible experience for your dear parents.

Lowering Countertops and Shelves

Counters that may be out of reach, appliances and fixtures that are difficult to access or storage spaces that may be too difficult to utilize can quickly become a real problem. Lowering counters, cabinets and repositioning appliances in order to ensure ease of access can allow elderly loved ones to retain a greater portion of their independence. Renovating an existing environment in order to ensure those who suffer from impaired mobility are still able to make full use of the space can also be a great way to boost the market value of your home.

Whether you are struggling to care for aging parents or seeking to rent an unoccupied guest room or mother-in-law apartment out on a short-term basis, addressing issues associated with mobility impairment is often a smart move. Providing those who need a wheelchair or other device to get around with a safe, easy-to-navigate environment is never a matter that should be left to chance.