Posted on: 9 May 2016
There is no greater joy than falling in love with a child, except for maybe the pure bliss that comes on the day you get to bring them home. Adopting a child with special needs will naturally come with challenges, yet there are some simple things you can do before their official homecoming that will make them feel comfortable right from the start. As the completion of your adoption process draws nearer, use these universal design strategies to encourage independence and provide ultimate comfort to the new addition to your family.
Prepare Your Entrance
The entrance to your home is one of the most frequently used spaces, and making it accessible will ensure your child feels welcome in their new home. Begin by making sure that the front entrance to your home has a flat surface. Using a ramp to cover up steps will make it easier for a wheelchair to access. Add motion-sensitive lighting and electronic locks that will ensure your child can access the home if they have limited mobility in their arms or hands.
Focus on Bathroom Accessibility
According to ABC News, bathrooms are one of the most dangerous areas of the house, with 80% of the injuries being slips and falls that usually occur around or in the bathtub and shower. For this reason, it is recommended that everyone should have at least grab bars in the bathroom. However, a child with limited mobility will also benefit from barrier free showers that allow them to bathe independently as they grow up without the fear of falling. By installing these and roll up sinks, your child will be able to manage the majority of their personal hygiene needs.
Increase Their Reach
For a child with limited mobility, simple tasks such as grabbing a bowl from the cabinet or a jacket from the closet can be difficult. Lower the closet rods in their room to a height that will be accessible from their wheelchair. In the kitchen, place frequently used items such as silverware and lunch kits in bottom drawers. Looped handles instead of traditional round knobs on cabinets can also make it easier to open doors with a closed fist.
Designing an accessible home for your new child is the perfect way to give them a warm welcome as you accept them into your family. From installing roll in showers to making sure they can reach their favorite outfit, your child will benefit from having access to every area of their new home. Talk to a contractor,like Accessible Solutions, for more help.Share