If you are looking for housing for a relative who is disabled, you will need to ensure that the accommodation is suitable for their needs. Below is a guide to 4 things you should consider during your search for the perfect housing option for disability.
The first thing you should assess is the access to the accommodation. Many disabled people who use aids such as walking sticks, motorised scooters or wheelchairs will require ramps or lifts in order to enter raised entrances. You should check that the access points in the building feature a ramp or lift. You should also check that the parking lot is large enough to accommodate any oversized vehicles which are used to transport your disabled relative and any equipment they need. When doing this, you should keep in mind that any lifts fitted to the back of a vehicle will require additional space.
Check the doors
Next, you should check the type of doors which are fitted to the building. Ideally, the accommodation will have automatic electronic doors which can be opened by pressing a button on the wall. However, some older buildings may still be fitted with heavy wooden or metal doors which can be difficult for a disabled person to open.
Check the halls and doorways
Once inside the building, you should carefully measure the width of the halls and the doorways so you can check if they are wide enough for a wheelchair or other walking aid to easily fit through. You should also check that there are no trip hazards or other items which could cause an obstruction.
Check if the landlord will allow you to modify the apartment
The needs of every disabled person are unique. For this reason, you may wish to modify the apartment with equipment and features which improve your disabled relative's quality of life or their safety and wellbeing. For example, you may wish to install handrails in the bathroom which will make it easier for a disabled person to enter and exit the shower or to move around the space. You may also want to adjust the height of appliances or surfaces in the kitchen so they are easier to access from a wheelchair. Before signing the contract, you should check that the landlord is happy for you to make these modifications.
If you would like further advice, you should contact a disabled housing provider.