Having a disability does not mean that you need to compromise on comfort, convenience, or style. With intelligent solutions now available to everyone falling within more realistic budgets, and different types of funding and support offering more options, your home can start to work for you, in your way – and look fabulous too.
When you have a disability, the key to successful home upgrades is to consider your individual requirements and how you want to live in your home. What is a ‘must-have’ and what is a ‘would-like’, then prioritize. Think about exactly what you want and how you can make it happen. Smaller life hacks can cost a few cents rather than thousands of dollars and make an instant different.
Here at Stiltz Home Elevators, we have put our top five life hacks to improve the daily lives of people living with a disability:
- Open Plan Style
Sometimes the best solutions are the most obvious.
Open plan is not only a sought-after design trend which creates a warm and well used central hub for friends and family to congregate, but also fully inclusive and accessible.
Consider each part of the area and how every zone can be tweaked to maximize performance for you. For example, ensure doors in bathrooms open out or slide.
Think about flooring – does it need to be smooth or have grip, does the lighting need to support your vision needs? Think about how to reduce glare. Natural daylight light bulbs enhance your mental wellbeing and create an atmosphere.
Consider placement of furniture and whether you can comfortably move around it and use it. Include ramps if there is a change in level throughout your home.
- The Drive
A smart drive looks great and can include some intelligent features to make your life easier but also adding value to your home.
Gently sloping driveways, that slope towards your home, create an easy route of passage if you use a wheelchair. A smooth finish provides a drive solution that is key to eliminating slips and trips.
A smart drive also adds ‘curb appeal’ and makes a great first impression if you are looking to sell your property in the future.
- Upgrade Your Yard
Raised beds are a fantastic and practical way to ensure you can enjoy gardening without having to crouch, kneel or bend. Tall flower beds add structure and appeal to your yard, and their walls create the ideal location to affix pathway lighting.
Why not create an ‘outdoor room’ with firepit and shelter, with a meandering, sloping sidewalk to reach it from the main house. The color and texture of the new sidewalk could coordinate with the front entry and driveway for a great aesthetic and continuity.
Within your outdoor sheltered space, you can enjoy the fire with friends and a custom fire table built with specially tapered sides will allow you to move in close to the warmth of the fire, if you use a wheelchair.
- A Home Elevator
Find the perfect home lift solution for you. Home elevators include intelligent sensors during operation to keep your travel experience safe and smooth. The Stiltz Home Elevator is modular which means it arrives in smaller sections and can be built up into places, making it highly versatile in terms of location.
Whisper quiet, thanks to its discreet integrated motor, travel between floors in under 30 seconds and if you are in a wheelchair, the world-first ‘thru-car’ design allows you to enter and exit from both sides for maximum convenience. Call your personal elevator to you, with one of two remotes that come with a Stiltz lift as standard.
With a standard retrofit installation typically taking only one day, you can re-claim your independence and freedom in no time at all.
- Assistive Technology in the Kitchen
Appliances that have side opening doors rather than bottom opening doors and that are installed at the correct operation height for you are ideal. If reach is a challenge, this set up enables the user to get closer to what they are working on.
Assistive Technology in the kitchen can be empowering. Examples of clever devices include a tactile timer device which is perfect for people with visual difficulties, a reacher to reach or grab things higher up or a handy dicer, which cuts food into small pieces with ease. Silicone is a really lightweight and practical material for spatulas and cooking utensils