A barrier-free apartment is one of the most important foundations for people with disabilities to be able to live their lives largely without outside help. Modern, “intelligent” furniture often makes barrier-free furnishing easier – but it is best if barrier-free planning begins during construction. This article gives you tips for each phase and living situation. To see commercial floor coverings, please check listofledlights.
It starts with barrier-free construction
Forward-looking planning makes things much easier later on. Regardless of whether there are already restrictions or whether you are thinking ahead, you should at least observe the following points when building without barriers:
- Avoid stairs and steps:They can represent insurmountable obstacles for wheelchair users. If possible, avoid steps up to the front door.
- Large rooms: Ideally, all rooms – including the kitchen, bathroom and hallway – are wide enough for wheelchair users to turn around in them.
- Wide Doors: All door frames should be wide enough to comfortably accommodate a wheelchair or walker.
- No thresholds: seamless transitions between rooms make walking easier for wheelchair users, the mobility impaired and the elderly.
- Walk-in shower: This means that the shower can also be accessed with a wheelchair or if you have difficulty walking.
And if the house is already built? Even then, a barrier-free facility may still be possible. In a rented apartment, the landlord must give his consent, but doors can also be widened, a stair lift installed or a walk-in shower installed later.
Tip: If there is a need for care with at least care grade 2, conversion measures can be subsidized by the care insurance fund.
Barrier-free facility in each apartment
Regardless of your living situation, some measures can always be implemented. You don’t always need the landlord’s approval for minor changes. However, to ensure that you are allowed to make changes to your rental property, you should inform your landlord about your plans. The smaller aids include, for example, handles (e.g. in the bathroom or on the bed) or non-slip bathroom tiles that make walking and standing safer.
If carpets are laid in the apartment, it is part of the barrier-free facility that their edges are hidden under furniture or thresholds. Otherwise you can easily become a stumbling block. The same applies to cables: these are best laid along the wall and not on the floor. If there is a second floor in the house, this can be easily reached via a stair lift.
Relief thanks to barrier-free furniture
Thanks to adaptable furniture, it is now easier than ever to furnish yourself with barrier-free access. “Intelligent” furniture can be adjusted, tilted and moved in such a way that rooms remain accessible – regardless of individual restrictions. A simple solution for barrier-free furnishings are height-adjustable tables , chairs and beds . A bed with a high lying surface can also help when getting up. With the help of a cloakroom lift, clothing is also easily accessible from a wheelchair.
Sofas and armchairs with stand-up aids are ideally used in the living room. Ergonomic armchairs also adapt to the body shape and seating position and can be adjusted if necessary. Ideally, the barrier-free furniture is accessible from several sides. They should be set up in such a way that there are no narrow aisles or tripping hazards.
In the kitchen, the barrier-free furnishings include height-adjustable worktops and lowerable cupboards. Lowerable toilet seats and wheelchair-accessible washstands can help in the bathroom. Mirrors can be tilted, shelves can be brought to the right height by remote control. In general, custom-made furniture is a good choice because the height, width and depth of the furniture can be perfectly adjusted.
With all measures, it is important that they are adapted to individual needs – and of course that the feel-good factor is not neglected. A barrier-free facility is also possible in a chic, modern design, so you don’t have to make any compromises.
Tip: Multifunctional furniture also fits well in a barrier-free apartment. You can choose these according to your ideas and requirements.