Posted on: 8 February 2016
Getting a deck installed in your backyard can be a fantastic way to gain a space to enjoy the fresh air and entertain guests, but it is vital that you consider how you will be able to use it as you age. To avoid an accidental fall, you need to invest in a few safety additions with seniors in mind. With the following additions to the deck, you can have an enjoyable space to spend time outdoors with the peace of mind of safety—perfect for aging adults and even children or pets.
Add a Ramp Instead of Stairs
While stairs are the typical choice for decks, a wheelchair ramp can be much more beneficial. In the event that you ever need to rely on a wheelchair, you would not be able to use the deck any longer if all it has is stairs. Along with getting a ramp installed, make sure it has an 8.3% grade to avoid any problems with a self-propelled wheelchair.
Allow Enough Clearance for a Wheelchair
The installation of a ramp is not enough for it to be wheelchair friendly—in fact, you need to make sure that it is wide enough to allow the standard wheelchair to fit through. With a clearance of 36", ideal for fitting the wheelchair and armrests properly, you can be confident that any seniors bound to a wheelchair can fit through without an issue. This feature is essential for a home that you intend on living in forever.
Invest in Anti-Slip Strips
Along with focusing on the ramp up to the deck, you should consider adding more traction for walking around on the deck. This can prevent slipping, especially in the middle where they is not any railing to hold onto. Anti-slip strips can be applied throughout the deck and even on the ramp to provide traction and make it easier for a wheelchair to get around on the ramp and deck.
Install Lever Hardware for the Door Leading to the Deck
As you age, your grip may not be as strong as it once was, making the change of doorknobs throughout the home a smart idea. When getting the hardware installed for the door leading to the deck, use a lever handle instead since it is easier to open and close without a lot of grip strength.
As you compare your options for installing a deck on your property, it is vital that you make the right choices for the future. With a deck that is safe for seniors, you will be able to enjoy it for the rest of the time you live in the home.
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