Friday 13th May is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2022. The day aims to raise awareness of spinal cord injury and highlight the challenges people living with a spinal cord injury face every day.
This year, the Spinal Injuries Association are focussing on everyday challenges (#EverydayMountains) and how people can lose their independence in a split second following a catastrophic injury.
For people who have sustained a spinal cord injury, life doesn’t go back to normal for quite some time, and many face new barriers, including general stigma around disabilities, lack of access to care and restricted accessibility.
Being able to return home after a spinal cord injury is a key part of a person’s recovery and can have huge benefits to a person’s overall wellbeing, quality of life and ongoing rehabilitation.
At France + Associates, our aim is to provide every client with a bespoke, fully accessible home that enables them to live as independently as possible following a life changing injury.
Below, we look at some of the ways a home can be adapted to make it accessible for a person living with a spinal cord injury.
If your current home has stairs up to the threshold, ramps can be added to make it accessible for a wheelchair. These can be added as a temporary or permanent solution, and allow access in and out of the home, and into the garden where needed.
Doorways can also be widened to allow for a wheelchair to easily navigate around the home. Automatic doors, that can open when they sense movement, also enable wheelchair users to move around the home without having to stop and use the handle.
For many people, getting back to normal day-to-day activities following a spinal cord injury is vitally important, which is why we ensure kitchens are fully functional, usable and accessible for a wheelchair dependent person.
Kitchen worktops are typically too tall for most wheelchairs, so low counters or adjustable worktops, sinks and hobs are installed. We also include pull down shelving to make all equipment and kitchen items easy to reach and create space for a wheelchair to move around the room.
As with the kitchen, when designing a bathroom for a person with a spinal cord injury, a key consideration is to allow enough space for a wheelchair to move through the room without having to contend with any obstacles.
Specialist equipment such as grab rails, walk-in-showers and transfer seats can also be added to this space to enable independent bathing. To prevent slips and falls, non-slip flooring will be installed, as well as ample storage space.
There are many ways the bedroom can be adapted to make it fully accessible.
These include locating it on the ground floor for easy access, using durable carpets (to avoid wheelchair track marks) and installing custom height wardrobes for accessible hanging, shelves and drawers.
Profiling beds and bed rails can also be included to ensure a good night’s sleep!
It was announced earlier this year, that due to mobility issues, the Queen was adapting Craig Gowan Lodge, Balmoral, and had installed a wheelchair lift.
Lifts are a great way to achieve accessibility in the home and eliminate many common barriers faced by people living with a spinal cord injury, including access to upstairs rooms and staircases to different floors. A lift in the home also future proofs the property to allow a person and their family to stay there for as long as they wish to.
Our expert design team have a reputation for incorporating inclusive, creative design within a home. We avoid clinical finishes and aspire to create environments that look and feel like a home.
If you would like to know more about our work, please contact us on 01484 960560 or email us email@example.com.
For more information, contact us on
01484 960560 or email us +
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