If your spouse was in an accident and is now in a wheel chair, you have likely made changes inside your home to help them get around more easily. If you are planning to install a new patio, you should do this with them in mind. Below are two tips to help you get started so they can enjoy the patio with the rest of the family.
Path to the Patio
Unless you have access to your patio from walking through a door inside your home, you should put in a walkway that leads from your home to the patio. Make this path something easy for your spouse to roll their chair on, such as concrete. You could always stain the concrete to give it some color. Wood would also make a great material, but you have to stain it at least once a year to protect the wood from the elements.
The walkway should be straight with no slope, and it needs to be wider than their wheelchair. Consider installing rails on each side of the ramp for your spouse to grab onto just in case they need help.
You could install a wheelchair ramp like you may use for the front of your home. This ramp could be made of steel, wood, or aluminum.
Design the Patio
The patio itself should be large enough for your spouse to easily maneuver their wheelchair around. You do not want them to feel left out if everyone is conversing in one area where they could not get their wheelchair to. Consider the type of patio furniture you are going to use. Purchase a table that is high enough for your spouse to put their wheel chair under. Purchase a patio sofa that is tall enough if your spouse wants to move from their wheelchair to sit on it. This will make it much easier for them and for you to assist them to and from the couch. Include plenty of cushions on the couch for comfort.
You can purchase picnic tables that have one end of the seating cut out for your spouse to put their wheelchair under.
These are just a few tips you can use when designing your new wheelchair accessible patio. If you need help, you can hire a designer to set up the patio for you. Talk to contractors in your area about building a path to and from your patio, and check out retailers like http://www.mh2g.com/ to browse furniture.