Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tips for creating the perfect Accessible Home

Example of an Accessible Home built by Kingsway Forest
Quite possibly the most important thing we can do that will help make our lives a lot easier is to do our best to find some place to live that is fully accessible. Over the last few years it has been my dream to somehow be able to afford to live in or build myself a home that was set up to handle all of my specific needs. After all just like anyone else I would love to be fully involved in the day to day running of my household. As it stands now I seem to be asking my wife for help with almost everything. So not only does being able to live in a fully accessible home help to make our lives easier but the lives of our spouses as well. One of the reasons I long to own a fully accessible home is so I can live my life without always having to ask for assistance. Like most people I enjoy my independence and want to be able to take care of myself and be able to help out when needed. Sure there are still many things I can do but at times it can be frustrating always having to ask for help. That’s why I long to one day find a place to live which is fully accessible since I know it will go a long way in making my life that much better. Now I know not everybody including me can afford to purchase or live in an accessible home but I write this post with the aim of making people more aware of the issues some of us face in and around our homes. Over the last few years I have learned a thing or two about accessibility around the home and that’s why I would like to share with you a few tips on what makes perfect fully accessible home.

When it comes to purchasing or renting an apartment or home finding the right place can be a difficult task, one suggestion I have is to look for a place that is either already fully accessible or can be made accessible in the future. Finding the perfect home can result in making your life less stressful which in the end will benefit not only you but your spouse as well. Now the first room that is very important to those of us living with Becker Muscular Dystrophy or pretty much any disability is the bathroom. This one room can become a major source of frustration for many of us - from my own experience I know how difficult it can be just stepping in and out of a tub.
Examples of accessibilty solutions
This is why I would suggest trying to find an apartment or home that comes with a large size walk-in or roll-in shower since it might be a necessity in the future. Next up is the kitchen this is another room that can be a bit of a problem for those of us with physical limitations so you will want to try and find a place with a good sized kitchen. And if it is possible and you can afford it you will want to install kitchen cabinets and drawers that slide out - a very useful feature when it comes time to get a pot or pan from an area that can be a difficult place for most of us to access. As far as appliances go and I know they can be a little pricey but again if you can afford it you may want to purchase a side by side fridge which will help make both the freezer and fridge very accessible. When it comes to the oven for some Wall Ovens are a great choice since they can be put at a level that works best for your particular needs. Another appliance that is very useful in any kitchen is a dishwasher since it will make your life much easier or you could always just start using paper plates and cups. The next room you may want to look at is the laundry room which in recent years has been the cause of a lot of difficulty for me - for those who don’t know doing the laundry is a time consuming task which surprisingly involves a lot of physical activity. That's why I would suggest trying to live in a place where the washer & dryer are easily accessible that way doing laundry won’t be such a problem. If you own a home I would have to suggest front load washers & dryers since they are easily accessible and you always have the option of purchasing what they call pedestals to help you raise both appliances to a level that works best for you. Now if you live in a two storey home you may want to install stair lifts or if you can afford it some builders are now including elevators as optional features. Sure these options can be expensive but if you can afford it I would suggest seriously looking into both of them. A few other key features you will also want to consider are wider doorways and passageways, automatic door openers, lower light switches, higher receptacles and height adjustable kitchen cupboards.

When it comes to living in or making a home fully accessible the reality is that there are a lot of costs involved and in the end it can be quite expensive. Like most people I am just waiting for my numbers to come up in the lottery just to be able to afford all the costs involved in owning or building a fully accessible home. Thankfully though in some countries there are government programs which are there to help by offering rebates and funding towards necessary customizations to help you make your home more accessible. That being said the reality for many is that they can’t afford to buy or build fully accessible homes. I am in that same category and like many people I too wish a show like ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover would build me a fully accessible home but that’s not reality. When it comes to accessibility around the home for most of us the only thing we can really do is try our best to find a place to live that suits our specific needs. Just like anything in life even when it comes to accessibility the more money you have the more you can do. So if it is possible you will want to stay out of debt and start saving your money as early as you can so when the time comes it won’t be a major issue finding or living in a fully accessible home. You see when it comes to accessible housing the best thing you can do is plan ahead as the earlier you start taking accessibility in to consideration the better off you will be. I truly hope a few of the suggestions that I have provided you with here today help you when the times comes and you are looking for a place to live that is fully accessible and set up to handle all of your particular needs. 

 Photos from

1 comment:

  1. Great to know there is people thinking and sharing ideas to make everyone's living easier.