You want to be hospitable by entertaining your guests well, while also providing a safe and comfortable space for everyone. If your guests have limited mobility, here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure they can easily navigate your home during their stay.
Ask them about their preferences in advance.
It’s important to remember that your guest(s) with limited mobility value their independence just as much as you value your own. Before making any assumptions about what would be helpful, just reach out and ask! You may want to ask which entrance they would prefer using to enter your home and if they will need assistance when they arrive. Educating then about the layout of your home and any foreseeable obstacles This will allow your guests to know that you respect their independence and are excited for them to stay.
Share the itinerary ahead of time.
If you’re planning an event-filled time for friends and family, you may want to be cognizant about what rooms you will be utilizing throughout your home. If some rooms require guests to climb a set of stairs or step down into a sunken living space, your guests with limited mobility might not be able to navigate these obstacles. Try to think ahead and nail down a schedule for meals and activities, then send it to your guests before the event. This will allow them to decide what they want to participate in and when they may need assistance to access certain areas.
Create an accessible entrance and exit.
If your family or friend with limited mobility uses an assistive mobility device, like a walker or wheelchair and the entrance of your home has obstacles such as stairs or a raised door threshold consider purchasing a temporary ramp. The two most common uses for ramps when hosting individuals with limited mobility are for entryway access and uneven surfaces throughout the house.
Create clear pathways throughout your home.
If you have several people or families gathering at your house, you’ll need to make sure that everyone is working together to keep pathways clear. We suggest asking anyone who does not have issues with mobility to park on the street. This will allow individuals who use walkers or wheelchairs to park closer to your home to ensure a lesser distance to travel. Within your home, try rearranging the furniture to allow ample space between each room that people will gather. For example, there should be a clear, wide path to travel to all usable areas such as the kitchen, dining area, living space, and bathroom.
Find a safe space for your pets.
It’s no secret that our pets get excited when there are new visitors around. While we agree that this is adorable, we also suggest that pets are kept in a separate room. Or, make sure they are out of the way while guests are moving about, especially those who rely on an assistive device for stability. The last thing a host wants is for their guest or their furry friend to get hurt when an individual with limited mobility is trying to move around.