Making a few simple changes in your home can improve the safety and comfort factor of your home.

You’ll hardly even notice they are accessible as much as you’ll notice how much more enjoyable and comfortable they are to use.


22 Simple Changes to Make in Your Home

D-shape handle

#1) Knobs to handles. Switch out your cabinet, drawer, and closet doors handles from knobs to D-shape handles. These are much easier to grasp and operate for people with hand injuries, arthritis or weak grips.

#2) Single lever handle on your kitchen and bathroom faucets. Useful for when your hands are soapy or greasy and are easier to use single-handedly.

#3) Pull-out faucet. While you’re shopping for a faucet, make sure to purchase one with a pull-out nozzle for filling big pots, buckets and for quick rinsing of dishes and food.

Threshold ramp

#4) Mini ramps at thresholds. Install mini ramps at your exterior doors and sliding glass doors to reduce the tripping hazard of the threshold lip.

#5) Grab bars with dual purpose. We love the grab bars that are combined with towel rails, tp holders or corner shelves. They don’t scream grab-bar and blend in seamlessly to your bathroom.

#6) Lever handles on doors. Replace all your door knobs with easier to use lever handles. Get rid of that thumb-latch handle on your entry door and replace that with a lever too.

#7) Backsplash shelf. Add some extra storage that’s super convenient by installing a shelf along your backsplash. Think about what you want to store there before determining the shelf depth.

Pull-down rail

#8) Pull-down clothes rail. Use them in your bedroom and entry closet to bring the clothes down to you.

#9) Put up a second stair hand-railing. Assuming you have at least one handrail, a second one will add to the safety and usability of your stairs. If you don’t even have one, make sure you install one as soon as possible.

#10) Pull-out shelves. Retro-fit these in your kitchen, bathroom and utility cabinets so you can find things quickly and easily without having to get down on your hands and knees.

Shower head on bar

#11) Hand-held shower. Install an adjustable hand-held shower on a bar in your bathing area. This allows everybody to change it to the height that works best for them. TIP: It also helps to make cleaning quicker and easier.

#13) Improve your lighting. Easily done by changing to brighter bulbs or adding extra floor or table lamps.

#14) Raise your washer and dryer. Put your washer and dryer on a pedestal to save bending over. Go for a diy version or buy them from an appliances supplier.

#15) Install night-lights. Have combo night-light/receptacle units installed along the path you travel to the bathroom.

#16) Receptacle and switch combo units. Do what the Swiss do and have these units installed at the  convenient level of switch height. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

#17) Motion lighting. Add a motion light to the exterior of your front entry to increase security and safety.

Swing away hinge

#18) Wider doorways. Installing swing-clear/offset hinges to your doorway can add up to 2in/5cm which may make them wide enough for wheelchairs and walkers to get through.

#19) Pathway lighting. Light the pathway up to your entry door. It can be as simple as using solar lights available from your local hardware store and sticking them in the ground.

#20) Organize your closet. Install a closet organizing system with drawers or pull-out shelves. TIP: For even greater accessibility remove your closet doors altogether and/or replace with a curtain. It’s worth trying out for a while as you can always put the door back on if you wish.

#21) De-clutter. Improve your safety and remove tripping hazards that are lying around on the floor and the stairs. Do you really need all those extra pieces of furniture cluttering up your living space that you have to navigate around?

#22) Shower seating. Install a fold-down seat if you don’t already have a built-in bench. TIP: If you don’t need to sit down for showering they are great to use when shaving your legs.


Action Plan

Whether you’re in your 20’s, 50’s or 80’s making your home as accessible as possible will benefit you and your family and friends, today and well into the future.

Follow the advice above and start taking some steps towards improving the safety and comfort of your home.