The Three Big Modifications To Make Before Your Wheelchair-Bound Parent Moves In

If your wheelchair-bound parent is about to move into your home, you're probably going to need some modifications to your home in order to accommodate them. While things like installing drop-down cabinets in the kitchen and faucet extensions in the laundry room will be important, some of these smaller modifications can wait. What you need to focus on right now is the big three modifications you'll need to make before the move-in date.

A Walk-In Tub or Shower

Bathing in a traditional shower or bathtub will be very difficult for your parent. But cleanliness is important, so you don't want them to move in until there's a way for them to bathe. Walk-in tubs and showers, which come down to the floor level and don't have a "ledge" to step over, are designed for wheelchair-bound individuals. Look for one with a big seat so that your parent can move from the wheelchair to the seat and bathe while sitting down.

Having a walk-in tub or shower installed usually involves making modifications to your plumbing. So even if you are skilled when it comes to DIY projects, this is a task best tackled by a professional.

An Accessible Toilet

While the plumber is installing your shower, consider having them install an accessible toilet, too. This type of toilet is usually set a bit higher than a traditional toilet so your parent can easily transfer themselves to it from a wheelchair. It should have grab bars to either side of it for support and security. Some accessible toilets also have a flushing mechanism next to the toilet, rather than to the side, since this makes it easier to reach.

A Ramp By The Front Door

Having a ramp leading up to your front door is essential if you want your parent to be able to leave and come back to the home safely. There are ramps that can be installed over a short staircase. They fold up to the side when not needed, and then you can pull them down into place when your parent needs to navigate the doorway.

If you have more space, you may want to have a permanent concrete ramp made. Even if this means taking out the stairs, anyone who is capable of walking up stairs should be able to walk up a ramp and into your home just as easily.

These three modifications are not the only ones you'll need to make, but they'll get you off to the right start. You and your parent can probably make do as you continue to make other changes.