How to Make Your Holiday Home More Accessible
How to make your holiday home more accessible is an issue that can arise for many reasons, whether you are letting and want to maximise the audience for your home, or simply enjoying your own holiday home in more challenging circumstances. Many of us have challenges in our lives – from our mobility to our sight or hearing and there is a large range of modifications that can make independent life a little easier.
If you are looking to buy a holiday home, lodge or static caravan that is specially-built for accessibility, this guide may help as a reminder of what to look for. Remember it is important to try out your home before making a significant financial commitment. What on paper may look like a perfectly adapted property, may not actually work for you and your specific needs. A trial run is essential in many cases to make sure you are not making an expensive mistake.
Similarly, if you are looking to buy a holiday home within a holiday park, you may want to investigate the park itself as many of them are specially adapted to maximise access for their residents. If you are already established in a park, you may want to politely suggest to the park management and owners, some inexpensive measures they could take to make life easier for their residents.
Whether you are trying to attract a wider audience by making your holiday let more accessible or looking to improve your own enjoyment of your holiday home, there are a range of things to consider. This is by no means an exhaustive list but, we hope, it is a useful starting point to give you some ideas to think about.
Additions to make your holiday home more accessible – outside
- Access ramps
- Contoured threshold mats and slabs outside and in
- Rails and anti-slip strips on any decking
- Ramps to access different levels of the garden – if there are any
- Stair lift
- External wheelchair lift
- An intercom system to replace a door bell
- Wide gate
Additions to make your holiday home more accessible – inside
- Wide doors
- Easy to use door handles and grab rails by all doors
- Motion-sensor operated, automatic lights, indoors and out
- Emergency lighting inside and out
- Low, large light switches
- Pull-rope switches
- Alexa or other voice activated device for entertainment devices
- A pole or billhook to reach window fittings
- Remotely-controlled electrically powered curtains or blinds
- Bathroom rails
- High grip mats in bathrooms and wet areas
- Adapted bath with a door for walk in access
- A walk-in shower or wet room
- Shower chairs
- Fit lever taps as opposed to twist
- Adjustable beds that allow occupants to be in an upright sitting position through to lying down flat
- Padded and rounded corners to minimise potential injury from falls, etc
- A small rechargeable vacuum cleaner (can be a lot easier to use for people with restricted mobility)
If you are letting your holiday home and advertising it as ‘wheelchair accessible’ or ‘guide-dog’ friendly, do make sure to test this with a friend or neighbour (if it is not appropriate to do so yourself) with a wheelchair or with impaired sight. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. For guide dogs, you may want to see this article about dog-friendly holiday homes.
Some of the changes suggested above are relatively inexpensive and easy to do, others are not. If the changes you need to make are extensive, it may be worth considering selling up and buying a brand-new home that is specially adapted. You are best placed, of course, to assess your own needs and judge whether it is actually time to move.
Most of these changes can be made so they have a minimal or no impact on the aesthetic inside your holiday home. Think creatively and your beautiful place can still be enjoyed by you and a much wider variety of people than before you modified it. If you are letting, making it easy for your guests and their carers could mean you reap the rewards in great reviews, valuable repeat customers and happy holiday makers.
This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist leisure insurance company with a successful track record of more than 16 years. We provide insurance for holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday lodges and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.