Many people struggle with mobility, as well as accessibility. Do you want to stay mobile? If so, then you’ll want to consider your door’s design.
There are many people with defined requirements. This includes those who use wheelchairs. Not only that, but there are people who don’t use wheelchairs, but still need a little bit of help staying mobile.
All of this is important because the UK population is living longer. In fact, around 18% of the population in the UK is aged 65 or older. By 2046, that number will increase to 25%.
Each and every single one of us should be thinking about the design of our homes. As we get older, our needs and requirements will change. Even now, there are probably friends and family members who need to make changes to their design.
Helping people with restricted mobility all begins with the design of entrance doors. Doors can improve a person’s life. In fact, it can improve their lives drastically.
A good door design can offer support in many ways. A door can actually help improve a person’s independence. It can also reduce the risk of injuring themselves.
Government figures show that a third of people aged 65+ fall at least once per year. That number is increased to half for those aged 80 and older. When an elderly person falls, then they can suffer from pain, distress and decreased confidence.
Thankfully, there are a number of things a person can do. They can add a ramp and a handrail. Such things can greatly improve mobility and accessibility for both front doors and back or garden doors. Accessible doors on conservatories in Hampshire is something KJM Group specialise in.
Another key aspect is the reliability and ease of operation. If you’re after maintenance free doors, then go for either PVC-U doors or composite doors. They can withstand quite a bit of impact and they won’t twist or warp like other types of doors.
Low-Threshold is the most important thing you want to consider. When it comes to standard doors, their threshold is approximately 70mm. The height is set at that to improve the door’s sealing and to improve thermal efficiency.
However, 70mm high thresholds do pose a challenge to those with mobility issues. A wheelchair’s wheels can bump into the door, but struggle to get over the threshold strip. This is why doors should be set at around 12mm high, as this is a low-threshold that can greatly improve access for those who use wheelchairs.
Wheelchair Access Doors
There are other things wheelchair users should consider, with one of them being ECW, short for Minimum Effective Clear Opening Widths. The ideal width for ECW is around 900mm. However, if you have an older property, then you might not be able to achieve this.
There are other considerations to think about. Space needs to be 1500mm by 1500mm in order for wheelchairs to be able to turn around. Make sure the space inside the door is clear and free of clutter. This includes spaces such as the hallway.
In order for wheelchairs to be able to pass through a doorway with ease, the doors should be able to open beyond the standard 90 degrees. Between the wall and door, there should be sufficient space of at least 300mm to allow this greater degree of opening.
If you want to improve mobility and independence, then consider the window design. One thing you can do is lower the height of windows for those with mobility issues. By doing this, you will make their life a bit easier.
As a rule of thumb, window sills should be no more than 1200mm from the floor. This should be enough to give people a good view of the outside. There are several types of closing and opening mechanisms too. There are powered systems and manual winders that you can consider getting. Choose the mechanism that will be the easiest for wheelchair users to operate. By doing this, you won’t have to worry about the users struggling to open and close the windows.