Living with a disability is no easy task. The needs of disabled individuals may fluctuate throughout their lifespan and may involve emotional, social, and financial issues. Depending on the mental or physical limitations experienced by a person, seemingly simple tasks such as eating a meal, bathing or simply leaving their home can become difficult or even impossible.
Tools designed to increase independence and bridge the gap for those with disabilities, are not always readily available or easy to obtain. A wheelchair is an example of an accommodation for a physical disability, but without adaptations in the home to accommodate; a wheelchair can become part of the problem rather than the solution.
To allow an individual to fully function in their home, they must feel safe and confident in their surroundings. Minor alterations from grab rails to walking aids will help give confidence to those with mobility and balance issues. However those in wheelchairs may need major adaptations to allow day to day tasks being fulfilled, things many abled bodied people take for granted.
During lockdown we have understood the importance of outside space and the positive impact this can have on your mental health and general wellbeing. Just imagine you were wheelchair bound and were unable to access the outside space as a result of the home you lived in. How would you feel?
Accessible housing for the disabled is in crisis 91% of homes do not provide the four access features for even the lowest level of accessibility. Around 400,000 wheelchair users are estimated to be living in homes that are neither adapted nor accessible. With increasing numbers of people living into their 70s,80s, and 90s.In less than 20 years one in four will be over the age of 65.
With councils and housing associations adapting and building more accessible homes. This will create a safe, comfortable, barrier free living environment for a wide range of people. Helping to increase an individual’s independence, allowing interaction with society and ultimately enabling people to feel independent and confident in their home they love.