Any alterations on your home?

jeanninetxApril 3, 2005

I am just curious as to what if any alterations any of you had to make or will make to care for a relation in your home. I know I had my dad fix a rail to grab for mom to get in and out of her bed, luckily they had those Craftmatic electric beds, plus I loaned them a bath bench so she could sit in the shower. He bought her, with my advice, an automatic recliner. Must admit she hated it!!

Dad did okay, as his was loss of memory mainly.

As you all know, our houses are always being altered. A Wheelchair is not something you have in your home without changing things. Special bed, hoyer to get him in and out of bed/chair, wide doorways, ramps on all elevated steps (in this house just the porch) Now we have the wheelchair bathroom and wheelchair shower, and sink.

The way things are going these days, our daughters told us when we are gone, and they have to sell the house that may be a big selling point. LOL So many families do have someone to care for nowadays, it would help.

Just a small list of our needs, there are way more, too many to list.

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Lots..mostly small ones, like grab rails all thru the bathrooms, grab bar at the rear entrance to help with walking the stairs, wheelchair ramp (BIG investment), elevated the toilet seats, shower chair and transfer bench...lots of stuff. I am not at all sure that it will be of value in selling the house. Of course, you have a lot more revisions and more complexity!
How are you guys feeling now? Derry

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 4:18PM
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We also have the assorted grab bars, elevated toilet seat, elevating recliner, etc. Our big concern is our "sunken" living room. Considered a posh fashion statement when we bought the house, it is now a real hazard for mom-in-law. We try to watch her closely to keep her out of that part of the house, but she has already wandered into that area and fallen once. (short distance and onto the carpet, no injuries thank goodness) We will probably try to fence it off with one of those pet fences, braced by heavy furniture.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 12:22AM
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WE live in a tiny,tiny house with a basement, so the first thing we had put in was a ramp, 33 feet of it. the CCAC (with Glitter speaks about) sent a facilator over (fancy name i think for passing the buck and keeping people employed!) well they send this slick guy over and he is good Al this Al that, like they are best of friends, i can get you this ramp made from X company and it will "only" be 6,500.00 however you will not be able to use your garage! well we like to use X company and they are good. Al sign the contact. well this is when i came in the room and ask what is going on, brian says i'm having al sign a contract for a ramp, oh i say, i don't think so, he's on morphine and we discuss everything and we haven't discussed this privately at all. brian's face turns red and says well i'll come back tomorrow after you've talked it over, smiling that million dollar smile. in the meantime, i talk to someone else, who "knows a guy" (everyone should have one of these! - lol)who makes ramps especially for wheelchair bound people and is employed by a major company buy works on the side, he comes over and designs a lovely ramp with 2 sitting areas, buys all the wood etc and with a helper they build this 36 ft or so ramp for ,,,, are you ready ... 1,000.00!! (this is materials and labour!). brian comes over 3 days later and rudely says oh, you got the ramp up, i guess there is no need for me to contact you again for anything! too make this long story short, we al and i in our 40's at the time, what on earth does this guy do to the "little old lady or man", takes them into his confidence and basically rips them off! because i seem to have a big mouth and al is in the hospital alot i speak up to people and warn them that if this guy shows up at all, make sure they don't sign anything or have a relative there with them at all times they are with him! i'm sure most people are not like this guy, but when there is only one company that does this, you have to wonder! it's warming up already to 54!!!! debbie

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 11:53AM
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I agree about salesmen. Luckily for me, my hubby was a wood worker, he actually learned from having to do things in our homes. Our house at the time of sons accident was a no brainer "No fixing possible" The rehab folks said to put an outside elevator in for him to get upstairs. This in North Dakota!! With snow and below freezing daytime temps. yeah, my son told me what to do with that idea!!
In our house in Michigan, we had a sunken Den, hubby built a ramp that luckily was able to go straight down, now granted it may be too steep if you go by the ADA guidelines, but son had a power chair and could make a sharper uphill climb than hand powered ones.
Here we put in a permanent cement ramp over the front porch stairs, and a small ramp from the patio to the back driveway. This house had the nice wide doorways, one reason we bought it.
It is a mess trying to modify some homes, and others just work out nicely.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 11:47PM
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There was a time when it looked as if I would need a full time wheelchair and there was not a chance that our house could have the hall, doorways, etc altered to work. So when we added on a den, bath, laundry room, we made sure that the new bath had plenty of room for a wheelchair. The den is large enough that it could be converted into a good size bedroom/sitting room. We also have safety bars in both baths. They look like towel bars, but have heavy duty screws/bolts to achor them to the studs.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 10:12AM
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Hi! Did i mention my dislike for salesman? Oh yeah, i don't like them one bit! But Al actually remembers the degrees this ramp the guy wanted to put in, he says it was like a steep hill, and he remembers me going to the library and getting a book on disabled requirements. can't remember what we had for supper but can remember this - lol, and this ramp has a nice slow grade. he also says that the guy also tried with the elevator lift too (since you were in north dakota and us in northern canada - 3 1/2 hour drive from duluth, minn) what was this guy thinking? he also says we can alter your bathroom - are you ready for this -- by using your daughters bedroom and making it into a bathroom and even went on to suggest a whirlpool! (if i wanted a whirlpool i can go out my back gate and go to an indoor swimmingpool, this whirlpool and sauna and weightroom for only 3.00!). boy when they find out funding is involved-- they fingure you'd go for anything! also, i don't think you were here last year, when i told my funny story -- when i decided to make my own sidewalk so al could enjoy our patio! well i levelled the ground, put down that netting to keep weeds out and went and bought ONE bag of cement, what a hard job mixing the stuff, then pouring it, only to find out that one bag only did a 2ft x 2 ft area. well i went out and bought 6 2x2 patio blocks for 4.00 each and learned my lesson! - lol. enjoy your day and smile at a stranger! debbie

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 10:40AM
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When we moved in not 2 year's ago mom was walking. She was running out of breath but she was walking, slowly. I have a raised seat for her in her bathroom, and a bath bench for the shower.

Now that she is on oxygen and in a wheelchair (but only when we go out) in the house she pretty much walks from room to room. The Dr prefers her to walk.. Here in Tx some of the stores have little carts that the handicapped can ride themselves around in. Mom has knocked over many a display.. I have handicap plates so I don't have to park to far from the door to leave her for too long..

Things aren't that bad yet.. Thank God, we have NO steps here, my brother made sure when he found us this house. All my rooms are on one floor..

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 10:38PM
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Your mom is not the only one knocking over things!! When my mom was still mobile, but needed a walker, she would use those carts at the grocery store. My dad finally told her no more shopping! She ran into people, knocked over displays, and stopped to look at the shelves quickly causing him to run into her!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 2:45PM
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Last time we were in Walmart, she busted the door going out!! LOL

I laugh because I didn't think those carts went that fast, plus mom could have gotten very hurt.. Thank God the glass didn't break..

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 2:43PM
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My DH has MS and when we moved into our house we had to build a ramp for him to get into the house on the day that we moved (of all days!). That ramp is his main entrance into the house (backyard/kitchen). We also have a temporary ramp from our dining room into the sunken living room. We hope to have a hardwood custom ramp built someday.

The bathroom was a major renovation.

We ripped out the tub and put in a walk-in/roll-in shower.

Grab bars were installed in the shower as well as on either side of the toilet.

The toilet is a Kohler 18' (I think) but because DH is so tall (6'3'), we added a toilevator for more height ( feet swing).

Everything was done with DH's height in mind so things are higher than normal ADA code.

We also installed pocket doors in the master bdrm & bathroom. This has been space-saving. Funny how some of our friends think we're earthy/crunchy & 'don't have a door' to the bathroom.

That is all we have done so far. Hopefully, a hoyer lift will never be in our future, but if it becomes necessary, we did make allowances for some hefty beams in the bathroom ceiling to accommodate a lift.

We will eventually do a kitchen remodel & raise the cabinetry a few inches higher so we no longer (hopefully) have all the scuff Mark's for DH's footpad & shoes all over my cabinets. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Bathroom Renovation

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 5:37PM
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When we had our house built 7 years ago we knew Mom would be coming here someday so we had the doors all 36" except the master bath. The contractor didn't really want to do it but we insisted. Of course we did the shower bench, grab rails and raised toilet seat with the bars on the side. We have to fix the wall in 2 places where she dented it with chairs before we noticed she was too close. We may have to replace some of the floor molding where it's scuffed so bad from her walker. We really haven't had much expense.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 10:22AM
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