Homes can often be modified and made more accessible with some minor structural changes and can be done without the help of a professional. You can ask your child's physical or occupational therapist for suggestions of adaptive equipment and modifications. There are sometimes inexpensive and creative solutions to improve accessibility. Other challenges require extensive renovations and the assistance of a professional remodeler or architect.
As you identify needed modifications, remember to think about your child's future needs. As a child grows, will the bathroom be large enough and will the bedroom accommodate a hospital bed? Will you need a dedicated room for therapy? Some popular examples of home modifications include:
- Constructing ramps
- Widening doors and changing from knobs to levers
- Lowering countertops
- Installing grab bars, shower seats and walk-in bathtubs
- Installing a stair glide or elevator
- Easy Access Housing, made available through Easter Seals and Century 21, provides helpful suggestions for adapting every room in the house.