Bedroom Accessibility:

The Accessible Bedroom:

Most traditional homes were built with the idea of living space on ground level and bedrooms on the second floors. Unfortunately, this planning concept doesn’t lend itself well to those who have trouble getting up and down stairs. A master bedroom, preferably with its own bathroom or one nearby, on the ground level of the home is the safest and most comfortable option.

Space Utilization
Oftentimes, bedrooms become the place where a majority of our “stuff” is kept and stored. This can oftentimes lead to clutter and trip hazards. Having accessible closet space and accessible shelving systems throughout the bedroom is an important aspect of staying safe as well as organized. Another consideration should be the location of the bed. It should be located in an area of the room it can be easily accessed from all sides, to help with cleaning as well as the oftentimes troublesome process of getting into and out of the bed.

Lighting and Electrical
Light switches should be located in easily seen and reached areas near the doorway of the bedroom. They should be larger than normal switches and have a dimmer option to add or decrease light amount. The actual lighting of the bedroom should be adjustable and be located in areas that highlight the entire room, not just specific areas. Closets should have separate lights to prevent unforeseen accidents while looking for things. In some cases, soft night-light cord lighting can used to illuminate an individual’s path from the bed to the doorway for late night instances.

A lot of bedrooms have typical carpeting on the floors. Once mobility and balance become an issue, carpeting becomes a major trip hazard, especially in the bedroom. If possible, remove carpeting or throw rugs and replace with smoother surface flooring (laminate, wood, etc.) that are much easier to navigate in a wheelchair or with a walker. Radiant heat floor panels can be installed under this new floor to alleviate the notion of “cold bedroom floors” and create a warmer, more efficient heat source for the bedroom overall.

Bedrooms should only have the necessary pieces of furniture in them so as not to create unnecessary hazards around the room. By adding more than what is needed, the bedroom loses valuable care space. This space is used by care professionals and the individual for daily routines and basic hygiene. Also, oftentimes professional care beds and other lifting equipment require lots of space to function.






Top Recommendations:

  • Rethink the general concept of bedrooms upstairs and plan for a master bedroom (and bathroom) on the ground level.
  • Remove thresholds and widen doorways to master bedroom.
  • Get rid of carpeting and throw rugs.
  • Consider putting a new, smoother surface floor in the bedroom with possible radiant floor heat.
  • Look into assistive devices like bedside safety bars, bed poles, and easy-lifts.
  • Setup large panel light switches for ease of use and location.
  • Add easily accessible lighting in all closets and areas of storage.
  • Consider adding a walk-in/roll-in closet with accessible shelving and storage to decrease clutter.  
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