THE HOMES FOR LIFE COALITION
Homes for Life Coalition Encourages
Visit-ability: Visit-ability is a term gaining recognition and political support across the country and in Europe. A visit-able home allows visitors and residents with different abilities and changing needs welcoming access to the main floor living area.
Basic features of a visit-able home are:
· One zero-step entrance to the main living area
· All main floor interior doors – including bathrooms – with 32 inches of clear passage space
· At least a half bath, preferably a full bath, on the main floor
Source: Concrete Change
Barrier-free: Rooms, entrances, and environments that are designed to minimize or eliminate barriers like steps; thresholds greater than ½”; and narrow, cluttered, or restrictive passages.
Source: AOTA Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Home Modifications
Universal Design: Universal Design (UD) is the design of products and environments to be useable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
Source: Center for Universal Design, North Carolina University
Basic Universal Design features are:
· At least one no-step entrance
· Complete living area including master bedroom and bath on first floor (or elevator access if multi-story)
· 36” wide front door with exterior lighting
· Interior doorways at least 32” wide (36” is preferable)
· Clear hallways 36”–42” wide
· Blocking for grab bars in bathroom walls near toilet, tub and shower
· Lever handles on interior and exterior doors
· Thresholds ¼” in height or less (1/2” if tapered)
· Switches and outlets 20”-48” from floor
Benefits are . . .
· Life is easier for people with aging parents who come to visit grandchildren or stay
· A family is more likely to be able to remain in the home if a member must use a walker or wheelchair
· It is easier to bring in baby strollers, grocery carts and heavy or bulky furniture
· Anyone in a cast, on crutches, or using a walker or wheelchair can easily get in your home
· Re-sale value is enhanced
Whether building a new home or remodeling an existing home . . .
Think Visit-ability, Barrier-free and Universal Design
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