How Accessible is Your Home?

Accessibility within a home is important for all ages and abilities. After all, accessibility represents the centre of comfort for ensuring you’re safe and secure while in your house or that of a loved one.

In celebration of White Cane Week across Canada, we’re reminding everyone of the importance of having your home inspected to ensure it meets the needs of all occupants – whether you plan to purchase a new home or renovate an existing one to accommodate changing needs. 

Held annually during the first full week of February, White Cane Week was developed by the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) to raise awareness of the challenges facing Canadians living with vision loss across local communities. 

Of course, there are many different considerations to make depending on meeting the needs of such family members as seniors or those facing mobility challenges. Does your home need to be wheelchair accessible? Is someone using a cane and needs to ensure everything is slip resistant? 

While the way you adapt your home will vary depending on specific considerations for the person/people you’re looking to accommodate, following are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • If you or a family member uses a wheelchair, living in your home can be challenging unless you can answer “Yes” to these four basic questions: 1) Can you get into the house? 2) Can you get through the doorways? 3) Can you get into and manoeuvre within the bathroom? and 4) Can you reach counters, cupboards and appliances in the kitchen?
  • If you’re modifying a home for someone who’s visually impaired, it’s best to imagine yourself navigating in low-light conditions. What would you want to have more clearly defined? It doesn’t always have to cost a fortune – many small changes can make a huge difference. This includes such additions as installing textured, brightly coloured tape on the lip of stairs, door frames and wall edges to provide enough contrast to show where one thing ends and another begins – drastically reducing the chance for falls
  • If you’re looking to make a home more user-friendly for a senior, for instance, the bathroom is among the most dangerous rooms in the home. Consider, among other things: Purchasing a spray attachment for the showerhead; Installing grab bars and rails; and Using nonslip bathmats and rugs
  • If your goal is to help prevent slip and fall accidents in and around your home, ensure graspable handrails are installed on all stairs and decks. This is important for people of all ages – from children and adults to seniors – as it provides an added layer of fall prevention throughout the home and outdoor areas equipped with stairs


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