It's increasingly common for family members to take care of aging family members or loved ones with disabilities at home, in hopes of delaying the point at which they must live in a nursing home or long-term care facility. To make it easier to care for your family members (or enable someone to care for you), consider building a custom home that's conducive to caregiving. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your home.
The Design Should be Handicap Accessible
When designing your custom home, look at the design as a whole to make sure it's handicap accessible. This starts from the exterior of your home. Opt for a driveway and walkway that is flat and easy for someone with mobility issues to navigate. See that both the driveway and walkway are well-lit.
There should be a ramp, with attached handrails on both sides, that provides entry into the home. Ramps are less cumbersome to use than stairs, and they can accommodate wheelchairs, rolling medical equipment, and hospital beds.
Entry points to your home should have ample room. This additional space will make it easier to maneuver a wheelchair or portable medical equipment. When possible, stick with single-story designs.
Doorways and Walkways Should be Wide Enough for a Wheel Chair
Wheelchairs vary in terms of their width; to ensure that your home can accommodate heavy-duty or wide width wheelchairs, plan on your doorways, halls, and other walkways being anywhere from 36 inches to 48 inches in width. A 36-inch width is wide enough for some wheelchairs, but to be on the safe side, stick with a 48-inch width.
This measurement is wide enough for even larger-sized wheelchairs and power scooters. Even if your loved one uses a smaller-sized wheelchair, the size and type of wheelchair or mobility aid your loved one needs to use may change as they age.
Check That the Home Has Ample Bedroom Space
Caregivers and the people they're caring for will both benefit from privacy. Ideally, you should add enough bedrooms to your home's design that each caregiver has their own space.
Many siblings share the role of caregiver, and you might want to hire outside help at some point. Having an additional bedroom broadens your options for having live-in assistance to help with your loved one's care.
See that the bedrooms are located in close proximity to each other. This will allow you to help your loved one without having to traverse across the entire house.
To learn more, reach out to a local custom home construction service.