Home Modifications for People with Disabilities and the Elderly

A recent addition to our library collection is the Colorado Division of Housing’s Home Modification Look Book. This publication provides helpful guidance on making accessibility modifications to the homes of people with disabilities and/or the elderly. Wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, and bathroom modifications such as grab bars and walk-in/roll-in tubs and showers are among the options discussed. Not only does the Look Book offer ideas for modifications, but also guides readers through important considerations. For instance, where is the best location in the home for a modification? What areas/rooms does the person most often need access to, and how do they use the space? What is the range of their mobility?

wheelchair accessible kitchen counterThe guidebook is divided into sections dealing with different types of modifications. The section on ramps provides tips and diagrams for measuring the rise of the ramp and determining the best layout, material, and type. Another section describes the variety of plumbing options available and how to choose which one is right for the user’s needs. Other sections discuss flooring (what kinds hold up best for wheelchair traffic) and kitchen modifications (pull-down shelves, accessible counters, etc.). Photographs of the different modification options are provided throughout the guide.

stair liftThere’s lots to consider when planning how to update a home’s accessibility. Each person uses their space differently and has different needs. The Look Book provides many helpful tips, not only on types of modifications but also cost considerations, structural challenges, and more. If you’re considering any kind of accessibility modification to your home or the home of a loved one, take a look at this helpful guide.