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Don’t overreact

TJ14TJ14 Moderator Posts: 3 Moderator
First Comment
 When people are initially injured it’s natural to think you have to buy a new home or renovate the entire house. Remember you’re going to continue to gain more strength and more ability to maneuver your wheelchair so don’t feel the need to immediately widen every single door lower every counter. Give yourself a little time to realize how much strength and mobility you’ll learn to use for day-to-day activities 


  • iamdadmaniamdadman Moderator Posts: 195 Moderator
    100 Likes 100 Comments 25 Awesomes First Anniversary
    I totally agree!  When I was first injured I could barely lift my head off the pillow.  Now, I can drive, dress, and pretty much do everything by myself.  I have gone surfing, kayaking, hand cycling and swimming.  I have gone from a ramp van to driving myself in a Subaru Forester.  
    I will say though, that having a home that meets your needs once you have gained a good deal of recovery is also a good thing.  We are getting ready to sell the home we bought about a year after I was first injured.  We had ramps installed, a roll-in shower and some other minor modifications.  We are going to build a new home and I am researching accessible homes.  I want this home to be comfortable and allow me to cook.  Our current house does not have an accessible kitchen and I really miss not being able to cook which is something I love to do.  

    Give it time but once you are fairly mobile and independent, make your home your sanctuary...
  • jaarchjaarch Moderator Posts: 50 Moderator
    25 Awesomes 25 Likes 10 Comments Name Dropper
    When I was first injured, we lived in a two story house. All of the bedrooms were upstairs and the ground floor was an open concept design. We knew we did not want to spend a lot of money on that house as we knew we weren't going to live there that much longer. I had my bed set up in the living room with a Freedom Bridge lift to get me into my bed or chair as needed. We did spend some money to modify the bathroom so I could have a roll-in shower and easy access to the toilet but that was it. We lived there for four years after my accident and we made it work. Living like that taught me how to cope with situations that were not ideal in regards to accessibility. 
  • EmmsEmms Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    10 Comments 5 Awesomes 5 Likes Name Dropper
    I live in a two story house, by choice. My last house was a bungalow, and I did love it's ease! But I love the house we've bought now. I don't have any true adaptions in this house, what I personally prefer more is space. Space around things so you're not backing up because you can't turn. My kitchen is a normal kitchen with built under appliances set at 33.5"/85cm. My bathroom has a roll top bath and walk in shower. I prefer a bath! If I want a shower I put the small shower stool in there, or I sit on the floor on a folded towel. The only downside presently in the bathroom is there is no sink next to the toilet, but that is being rethought along with a boxed in tiled surround bath when we renovate upstairs this year. I have a utility room with a toilet and large butler sink downstairs, and this sink and worktop is set lower at 31"/79.5cm. 
    We renovated downstairs this year, took out the step from the front door, installed a new door, refloored oak throughout. Had decking installed all around the rear and side of the property ramped down to the garden and completely level with the back door and the log cabin outside. Took out a wall between the front and back of the house to make it more open plan. For me it's perfect. I choose to get up the stairs on my bum, I'm very fit, and in the three years I've been doing it it hasn't caused a problem. I have a chair at the top. ;)  If one day I do need help, I'll fit a stair lift, which I can have sorted within a week if needed. I have a laundry basket with a rope on attached to the banisters upstairs, that goes up and down every day! I have a washing machine and condenser dryer in the utility and a ceiling kitchen maid on a pulley for drying clothes. We switched a couple of doors to sliding and pocket doors, that improved access in and out of the utility. I've found in my 22 years of being a para, it's not always adding special measures or fittings things that make a difference. For instance instead of creating wider doorways, taking the door out completely and taking out the door lining, and putting a sliding door in some cases creates even more space, and in small spaces opening and closing a slider is much easier! Putting an induction stove top in instead of a gas stove lowers those pans and enables you to slide heavy pans straight across onto a suitable worktop.. and how we have it.. then straight into the sink. A pyrolytic (self cleaning) oven means I don't have to bend down chest to knees or get on the floor for 30 minutes to scrub the oven! I know I'm a low level, so it is obviously easier for me in some respects, and I'm all for having the right equipment when needed, but sometimes things can be problem solved with normal design elements. My standing frame can be pushed round the house downstairs which also helps! It's a long way from my first property with handles, a shower chair and moveable worktops! 
    “Inhale the future. Exhale the past.”

  • skosillsskosills Member Posts: 13
    The house we were in at the time of injury was small for wheelchair use.  It was barely possible to get down the hallway, and we needed to widen the bathroom door (to double doors) just to make the turn to get in the room. We did that and a ramp (it was a 2+' high up house, we needed a lot of ramp!), and added grab bars in the bath. We got those door hinges that fold the doors back for most of the doors, so we could effectively widen them about 1.5" that way. We had a table that folded up when not in use that was attached to a cabinet. We knew we were going to get a new house, so we tried to minimize. But we lived there for about 3 years that way.
    The new house we built, so we had the architects design it to be accessible from the start. It's zero entry to the driveway. Our garage is attached by the roof but not directly by a door, so it doesn't need to be lower to accommodate possible safety hazard of gas buildup. We have small ramps down to grade in the back.
    We were fortunate to even be able to add an elevator. We had to give up a little in total space ($), but it more than doubled the area the chair can reach, so it was worth it. Pocket doors in several key places. If I had that to do over, I would get the sliding "barn door" style ones instead of pockets because they're easier to use and repair.
    We have a sink and cooktop in the kitchen that accommodate the chair underneath and high kicks on the baseboards to get the chair closer to the counters. Counters are variable heights and cabinets are variable heights. The microwave is below the counter instead of elevated. Wide hallways and doors. We overthought the bathroom; some aspects of that we would change like the type and location of the sink, and some of the cabinetry. Overall it's been great though.
    Peer Mentor for able bodied care givers
    Wife of T7 Complete Para
  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 384 Moderator
    100 Awesomes 100 Likes 100 Comments First Anniversary
    Great comments!

    We (Elena and Dan) lived in a 3 story town house in the suburbs previously to the accident. We are currently renting for double our mortgage (insert laughing/ crying face here) but, we were able to find a unit that was built for veterans years ago. This means, the doorways are wider, we are on the ground floor and the bathroom/ kitchen are large enough to do a spin around in with your manual chair. Did we ever luck out in this Vancouver market. We installed a small ramp for Dan to go in and out of the backyard, our lamps are remote control based, to allow Dan to turn the lights on and off when I am not home. We are both students and the best purchase we made was a counter high "bar" table from Ikea. We eat all out of meals together at the table and do most of our school work there. When company comes over we usually all sit at the same level at our table. Our biggest goal was to create an "equal playing ground"  so to speak when people would come into our home. Everyone feels like they can be on the same level, so we do a lot of sitting and playing games or having tea. :)


    Elena (Wags of SCI)
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • ZcollieZcollie Moderator Posts: 239 Moderator
    100 Likes 100 Comments 25 Awesomes First Anniversary
    I was very lucky enough when my accident happen (I was 15) my parents had just put in tile floor and we lived in a single story house. The only modifications we had to do was make a cement ramp so I could role into the house on my own through the backdoor. We modified our bathroom into a role in shower and those were really the only modifications we had to make. Now I currently live in an apartment that is pretty accessible but no role in shower. Oh how I miss it! haha. But if feels great to be living on my own! 
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
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