Visitability & Adapting Your Home For Visitors

With the holidays approaching, many of us will be opening our homes to friends and family. Of course some visitors will effortlessly be able to enter and navigate a standard home with multiple steps to enter & stairs to common areas. Many visitors, for a wide variety of reasons, have trouble climbing steps or utilize a wheelchair and/or walker for mobility.

Visitability is a trend that is gaining momentum and generally gains the most deserved attention around the holiday season.  A home that has strong “visibility” is a single-family home that is designed in a way that can be lived in or visited by people who might use adaptive equipment and/or have trouble climbing stairs. In addition to completing simple home modifications that can make an existing home more “visitable”, a growing trend is to build new homes with visitability in mind.

Basically, the strategies to make a home visitable include:

  • Doorways with at least 32 inch passage space
  • One bathroom on the main level with large enough space to maneuver a wheelchair and grab bars in the shower and toilet area
  • One entrance barrier-free entrance utilizing a ramp is ideal whenever possible, however, sturdy bilateral railings on entrance steps and bilateral handrails on interior stairways also greatly increase visitibility.
  • Well-lit walkways and clear pathways throughout the home.

Some home owners or adult children may balk at modifying their homes to accommodate visitors, however, if aging in place comfortably is a personal goal, it may be worth considering making upgrades now to plan for the future.  Also consider that ramped entrances significantly help with baby strollers and wider doors help with furniture moving. Visitability is truly benefits everyone!

If you know that your aging parents or grandparents might have a difficult time coming over for the holidays and the stairs to enter are the primary barrier, Oakley Home Access can help make your existing structure visitable this holiday season with our ramp rentals. If you are considering more permanent options with the goal of aging in place, we can also discuss ways in which we can help with other home modifications.