There are millions of people in the world with some kind of visual impairment. However, the one thing they all have in common is the wish to be as independent as possible. This requires their home to be spacious, well lit, carefully laid out, and with easily accessible tools and furniture. Luckily, this is not that hard to achieve, so here’s how you can remodel a home to fit the needs of the visually impaired.
Think about the lighting and colors
Brighter colors help those with partial blindness see a bit more clearly, so if possible, paint the walls of your home in such colors. If that’s not an option, then try to create a strong contrast by placing lightly colored furniture items next to darker walls and installing lightly colored doorknobs. Also, try to avoid patterned upholstery.
In terms of lighting, the best thing to do is let in as much natural light as possible. Furthermore, glare can be very harmful to the visually impaired, so keep that in mind and perhaps switch to stronger light bulbs or those that simulate natural daylight. Make sure there are extra lights in the closets ‒ not just the bedroom ones but all that are often used. Finally, add extra lighting in the areas that are prone to accidents, like stairways.
Think about the location
It’s not just the interior you need to think about; the visually impaired are more vulnerable when it comes to thefts, robberies, and other kinds of crimes. This is why if you’re looking for a new home for your visually impaired friend or family member, you should make sure it’s in the safe neighborhood. For example, if you are from Australia, there are many nice new homes in Sydney that are well designed and located in safer areas of the city.
Reduce the risk of falling accidents
If there are any repairs that your home needs, it’s important to take care of them on time. This includes broken staircases, torn carpeting, missing handrails, etc. Also, don’t keep around more furniture than you absolutely need as it only creates obstacles that make moving around more difficult. Moreover, don’t leave lying around anything you could trip over or slip on ‒ put away all your shoes as soon as you take them off, don’t leave clothes on the floor, and clean any spills as soon as they happen.
Additionally, supporting handlebars are extremely important because they allow the visually impaired to use the toilet and shower on their own. Besides the handlebars, you should also add non-slip flooring in the bathroom for the safety of the users.
Mark the appliances and food
To make it more convenient and easier to find one’s way around, use differently colored labels or brightly colored fluorescent tape on all the kitchen appliances. Also, you can’t really tell what’s in cans of food just by shaking them, so they should be properly labeled. If your visually impaired friend cannot see colors, you can use Braille indicators instead of colored labels. Rubber bands are also good for labeling food cans; for example, you can use two for fruit, three for vegetables, etc. Moreover, if there are any helpful signs that need to be made, always place them at the eye level and use larger letters.
Image source: homecrux.com
Consider getting a dog
Dogs are not called a man’s best friend for no reason ‒ they can make people feel safe both physically and emotionally. For example, people are less likely to pick on those who are accompanied by a dog, and dogs can help the visually impaired move around more quickly, especially if they are feeling uncomfortable. Plus, nobody can feel lonely around such a sweet and protective friend.
For those who can’t see well, there are safety hazards everywhere. Accidents do happen – but you can still eliminate their chances in your home by thinking about the lighting, colors, labels, and all the other details that can make the life of people who are visually impaired that much easier. If you take care of everything, you can truly create a safe and comfortable home for those who couldn’t do it on their own.