Did you know that there should be special requirements for doors and windows that will be placed in a home of an elderly or disabled individual? Both of them are physically challenged. That means the door and windows in their home should be easy to use – but at the same time should still keep them safe and secure.
In the United States, millions of people are living with a form of disability. Not only that, it had also been a common practice for the elderly to live on their own – no matter how old they get. While they have learned to live with their physical challenges, that does not mean their home cannot support them in any way. Newer homes that are being constructed are usually equipped with the facilities that will make it easier for both the elderly and people with disabilities to live comfortably. However, older structures do not have these qualities – making it harder for those with physical issues to feel at home in their house.
It is very important to consider the special home structural needs of the elderly and those with physical disabilities so they have the option to live on their own. It is safe to say that these individuals, despite their condition, would not like to be a burden to other people. Because of that, here are some tips that you might want to follow when building or renovating doors and windows in houses that are specifically made for them to live in.
Tips to provide better doors
A door is primarily used as an entryway of a house. When creating a door for the elderly or those with disabilities, it is important to consider the width. Make sure all the doors in the house can fit a walker or a wheelchair. In case the door is old and narrow, a double-hinge can be used to allow the door to open away from the frame – giving it 1-2 inches more space. The way the door swings open should also be considered. For the bathroom door, make sure it swings out so it is easier for someone using a walker or wheelchair to maneuver themselves out.
For the main doorway, it is advised to place a shelf or even a bench where bags, packages, or similar items can be set down. This will make it easier to open the door without having to bend too much. If there are stairs or a ramp leading to the door, there should be enough space in the landing area avoid falling over.
Since mobility is often compromised when you are older or disabled, having handles instead of door knobs can also be helpful. The grip to open the door will be easier to manage. Door sills should also be painted differently so it can be distinguished well.
Obviously, doors are meant to keep your safe. The elderly and persons with disabilities are an easy target – especially if they live alone. Make sure there is a peephole on the door – and it should be at a comfortable level. Not only that, double locks and chains should be installed to boost the security. The chain is very helpful and will allow the homeowner to talk to a visitor without fully opening the door and thus becoming vulnerable to being overpowered.
Tips to provide better windows
When it comes to windows, you also have to consider practically the same things as the doors. Handles should be used to allow a better grip when it comes to opening and closing windows. It might also be better to install windows that swing out to open – instead of single or double-hung windows. That way, the elderly or disabled individual will not have a hard time lifting the window to open it.
Experts are actually working hard to use technology to help create better doors and windows for the elderly and people with disabilities. The main idea is to create them with automatic controls to make it easier to open and close them. Hopefully, these will make life easier for those who are having mobility issues because of their age or disability.
You can see more safety blogs here – window safety for toddlers