How to Accommodate a Wheelchair in Your Two-Storey Home

Posted on: 26 September 2018

If your elderly parent has started to become frail, you may have taken matters into your own hands and have brought them into your home to live with you. To do so, you have already converted part of your house into a granny flat, and they may have been happily living there for a while. However, in the most recent past they suffered a nasty fall and will be confined to a wheelchair once they are released from hospital. This has presented you with a challenge, especially as their accommodation is situated on the upper floor of your house. How are you going to deal with mobility now that they are wheelchair-bound?

Installing a Lift

The best course of action here is to install a device that can help them move from the ground floor to the upper floor with ease and safety. To do so, you will need to find a place to install a wheelchair lift, and ideally, this will be very close to the existing staircase. Most people will choose this option if they can, because they will then be able to take advantage of the stairwell structure. This is very strong and will avoid the need for structural alterations somewhere else.

Plenty of Room

Ideally, there will be plenty of room at both ends of the lift, so your relative will be able to present their wheelchair without having to make some awkward manoeuvres. You must plan the dimensions carefully, so there is no gap between the lift platform and the landing surface.

Thinking of Safety

Always take into account safety and especially if you have any little ones running around the area. When you install your lift, you will need to take out some of the handrails from the upstairs landing, but you must also have a gate of some kind in place here when the lift is on the bottom floor. Sometimes the lift itself will come with this equipment, but you must take this into account at all stages of your planning.

Supporting Structure

Erect a solid base on the ground floor to accommodate the weight of the lift and its occupant. Don't underestimate this, and make sure that your base is made from a solid wood or concrete structure. Remember, the lift will be electrically powered so you will also need to install an outlet nearby, unless you already have one.

Bringing in the Experts

If you're thinking about installing the entire structure yourself, you should probably think twice. This is quite a complicated job and one that needs to be done correctly, for both safety and practicality. You can certainly make the initial preparations, but you should talk with experienced contractors to help you get everything ready before your relative gets home.