How to Improve Accessibility in Care Home

How to Improve Accessibility in a Care Home

Learning Disabilities

Care Learning

3 mins READ

Creating an accessible environment in care homes is vital. This ensures all residents, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities, can live comfortably and independently.

Below are detailed tips to improve accessibility in a care home.

Assess the Current Accessibility

First, conduct a thorough assessment of the current accessibility status. Walk through the entire care home. Identify areas where residents might face difficulties. Note these areas for improvement.

Entrances and Exits

Accessible entrances and exits are crucial.

  • Install ramps alongside stairs.
  • Ensure doorways are wide enough for wheelchairs and walkers, typically at least 32 inches wide.
  • Use automatic doors or install easy-to-push buttons for opening.
  • Ensure walkways and doorways are clear of obstructions.
  • Mark steps with bright, contrasting colours for visually impaired residents.

Internal Navigation

Residents need to move freely within the home.

  • Widen internal doorways.
  • Install handrails along corridors and staircases for additional support.
  • Use non-slip flooring materials to prevent falls.
  • Implement clear, large, and contrasting signage for easy navigation. Labels should be in Braille as well.
  • Reduce clutter and ensure walkways are clear.

Bathroom Accessibility

Bathrooms should be safe and accessible.

  • Install grab bars near the toilet and in the shower or bath area.
  • Use raised toilet seats or commode chairs.
  • Consider walk-in bathtubs or roll-in showers.
  • Use non-slip mats and flooring.
  • Ensure that sinks and counters are at a height accessible to wheelchair users.

Bedroom Accessibility

Bedrooms need careful planning.

  • Ensure there is ample space around the bed for wheelchair or walker users.
  • Use adjustable beds to assist residents in getting in and out easily.
  • Fit wardrobes and storage units with easy-to-reach handles.
  • Provide call buttons within easy reach of the bed for emergencies.

Common Areas

Common areas should be welcoming and accessible.

  • Arrange furniture to create wide paths for easy movement.
  • Use different types of seating to accommodate various needs. For instance, chairs with armrests help those with mobility issues sit and stand more easily.
  • Ensure tables and counters are at accessible heights for wheelchair users.
  • Install appropriate lighting to ensure that areas are well-lit, helping residents with visual impairments.

Outdoor Accessibility

Outdoor spaces should also be accessible.

  • Install pathways that are wide, even, and non-slip.
  • Provide ramps where there are changes in elevation.
  • Ensure seating areas are available, with spaces for wheelchairs.
  • Install railings and provide shade where necessary.

Use of Technology

Technology can greatly improve accessibility.

  • Install emergency call systems in every room.
  • Use voice-activated assistants to help residents control lights, thermostats and other devices.
  • Implement electronic medication management systems to ensure timely medication administration.
  • Use monitoring systems to detect falls and other emergencies.

Staff Training

Train staff to be accessibility-conscious.

  • Provide regular training on accessibility needs and solutions.
  • Educate staff about how to use accessibility equipment.
  • Train staff on how to assist residents without compromising their independence.

Regular Review and Feedback

Accessibility isn’t a one-time task.

  • Conduct regular assessments to identify new barriers to accessibility.
  • Encourage feedback from residents, families, and staff.
  • Make necessary adjustments based on feedback.

Involving Residents in Decision-Making

Residents know their needs best.

  • Involve them in discussions about accessibility improvements.
  • Hold regular meetings to gather their input.
  • This ensures changes meet their specific needs and improve their quality of life.

Use of Personalised Care Plans

Personalised care plans cater to individual needs.

  • Develop care plans tailored to each resident’s requirements.
  • Include mobility, daily activities and personal preferences in plans.
  • Regularly update care plans to reflect changes in residents’ needs.

Fostering an Inclusive Culture

Cultivate a culture of inclusivity.

  • Encourage respect and understanding among staff and residents.
  • Promote activities that everyone can participate in.
  • This includes physical, social, and cultural activities.


Improving accessibility in a care home requires continuous effort and collaboration. By following these steps, you can create a safer, more comfortable environment for all residents.

Always involve staff and residents in the process. Regularly review and adjust to meet evolving needs. This ensures the care home remains an accessible and welcoming place.

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