Posted on: 6 September 2016Share
If your spouse has recently been in an accident and their legs are paralyzed, you'll need to make some modifications to make life easier for someone in a wheelchair. Below are some of these modifications so you can get started on them right away.
Inside Your Home
The first place to get started is inside your home. Some things you should consider include:
Make sure all doors in your home are wide enough for the wheelchair to fit comfortably through. For a standard wheelchair, this will be 32 inches wide. Measure your spouse's wheelchair to make sure it is not larger than this.
The cost of constructing a wheelchair ramp will vary depending on the materials you use and the size of the ramp. When constructing, make sure it is wide enough and add handrails. Add a non-slip surface, and you may want to consider putting a cover over the ramp for rainy or snowy days. If you do not have room for a wheelchair ramp at your home, you could install a vertical platform lift, also known as a porch lift, instead.
If you have stairs inside your home, you should install a stairway lift or vertical platform lift for your spouse to make it easy for them to navigate the stairs. This will give your spouse full accessibility to the rooms upstairs, as well as give them some independence.
Make you lower all doorknobs so your spouse can easily open and close the doors. If you do not want to do this, you can install automatic door openers instead.
Wheelchair Accessible Van
You should consider purchasing a wheelchair accessible van to make it easier to travel with your spouse. The van will have a lift to help your spouse get into and out of the van. These lifts lower all the way to the ground to make it easy for your spouse to roll their wheelchair on and off of it. When the wheelchair lifts your spouse inside the van, the wheelchair will be locked onto a platform to keep them safe during travel.
If there is not a platform to lock the wheelchair in place, the van may be equipped with tie-downs to hold the wheelchair in position. These tie-downs may be electronic or manual. These platforms or tie-downs can keep your spouse secured whether they are driving or are the passenger in the van.
The van will likely have transfer seats that swivel to make it easier for your spouse to transfer from their wheelchair to the seat in the van. The distance and the height of the steering wheel should also be adjustable.
Talk with your spouse's doctor about some other changes you need to make. They likely have some tips that you may not have thought of.