With 5.6% of the population in Bangladesh having a disability and the segment of over 60’s growing faster than the total population, it is important to consider accessibility solutions for those with mobility issues. Making modifications to your home in order to make it more accessible to and from the outside could be of great benefit to an elderly person or someone with a physical disability. It will mean that they can visit the outside spaces or move around the home independently, which will have a huge impact on their lives and well being.
Important accessibility issues that could prove a hindrance to those with mobility concerns may include narrow or shallow staircases and lift lobbies within an apartment or even a lack of suitable pathways to access the building. Assessing the potential issues is important when initially designing the construction or modifications to ensure accessibility and safety for both elderly people and those with disabilities.
Potential accessibility issues
When constructing accessible-friendly residences, priorities should include the approach to the entrance of the building, from exiting a car in the driveway or garage to the entrance of the building, and up to the apartment entrance door, bearing in mind that the residents may use a wheelchair. The slope of the surface leading from one part of an apartment complex to another, such as from the car park area to the elevators or the entrance, is a primary consideration. Design points that ought to be incorporated into creating accessible paths from inside the home leading to the outside areas include features such as gradual corners and the placing of handrails, which are essential for people with restricted movement and wheelchair users.
Accessibility and aesthetics
In Bangladesh, there is an increasing proportion of the population in the higher age group, aged 65 years and older. With this in mind, in order to ensure there are no tripping hazards or difficulties for elderly people or wheelchair users, the surface of the apartment should be smooth, continuous, non-slip, and even. For example, slick tiles may not be ideal for those with mobility issues. However, there are a variety of materials to choose from that will offer suitable stability whilst also fitting in with the style and ambiance of the communal areas within an apartment.
Having access to outdoor areas from the apartment can provide a sense of independence and freedom for those with mobility issues that more able-bodied people may take for granted. For instance, having a lift that will take residents directly to the rooftop can ensure elderly or disabled people can enjoy the outdoors without help from others. While health and safety features must remain a priority, there is still room for choice and aesthetic value, adding further benefit to the well being of the elderly or disabled user. Detailed thought and consideration for the construction or modifications made to a home in an apartment in order to increase accessibility can never be too small and can truly make a difference in someone’s life.