Building a house & land layout for wheelchair/ aging concerns - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 04-01-2009, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
Denvergirlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Foothills west of Denver
Posts: 2,042
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
** Mods this could go in country living, but I've placed in MHM as it deals with more than just land layout, but also the house itself which I think is a bigger concern to me than outbuilding and land, etc.


We are still a few years out from being able to escape this city and get out to a patch of land a little further out.

We plan on building, looking at strawbale. However, also recognize that we very well might end up caring for parents as they continue to age.

Have any of you planned for caring for elder family members, or have you yourself had to remodel due to your age?

What have you planned for/ put into place for the aging years?

We would like to stay with a one level house, but basement/ root celler. I've started to think about a landing mid way down the basement stairs with a bench and good handrails.
Thinking about wide doorways, bath tub with "door" and other like-minded concessions in the building process.

Also, things like planning out the land, walkways, outbuildings, driveways for being as accessible as possible.
Most likely only looking at livestock fowl, maybe a goat for amusement sake, no real desire for horses or cows at this time.

Likewise, any tips for house/ kitchen layouts, etc?

Granted, we can't plan for everything, but thinking in advance will at least give us as much knowledge as possible.

Does anyone know of any online/ book resources for the planning of what all we might want to consider?

One thing I guess about being in the city now, is at least we can try and plan as much as possible now.
Denvergirlie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 5 Old 04-01-2009, 12:12 PM
 
grahamsmom98's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
You are smart to be thinking about this now!

We built a separate guest cottage for our parent's use (or, for a caregiver, should we need one, someday). It is 100% wheelchair/walker-accessible

Make sure your doorways are wide enough for a full-size wheelchair and that bathrooms are big enough for a wheelchair to turn around easily. Sinks that are wall-mounted make it easier for a wheelchair to access. Illuminated switchplates make it easier to turn on the lights in the dark (and guide a person to the door area). Door handles, rather than knobs. Hardwood floors (or, a tightweave carpet, like berber) make walking safer (or, for a walker/wheelchair to roll over).

There needs to be enough space in the bedroom for a wheelchair to turn around as well as fit easily next to the bed.

Blinds/curtains with pulls that can be reached and easily used from wheelchair height.

The bathtubs with doors are wonderful (pricey), especially if you know baths are the preferred method of bathing. I visit my Mom three times a week at her assisted living residence to assist her with the step-in tub, and bathing her is very easy with that tub (assures her cleanliness, too, and keeps me dry, versus trying to help her shower!). (((I'm not sure, but you might be able to get one through insurance if a doctor writes and RX for the person in need. I can find out, if you want!)))

But, given their price, a walk-in/roll-in shower is great, too (we have this in our guest cottage). Get an adjustable, hand-held shower head (it can move up and down on a vertical bar and lock at any height). That is what we have in our guest cottage. It also has a built-in seat. It is big enough for a walker or wheelchair to fit, as well.

There is a company that makes a bottom-of-the-tub/shower brush-on product that is no-slip (hotels use it in their tubs). Invisible, easy to clean and works. I can find the name, again, if you want. No more in-tub/shower suction-cupped mats. By the way, those types of rubber mats with the suction cups on the bottoms will NOT adhere to textured tub bottoms. I'll take a smooth bottomed tub anytime over the textured!

The guest cottage counters are at bathroom height, rather than kitchen height, in both the bathroom and the kitchen areas. The upper cabinets all have knobs (easier to reach with a "grabber" than those without any hardware).

Faucet handles that are easy to use (NOT those single "crystal-look" knobs). A higher, goose-neck faucet is nice, too.

Grab bars, built into the studs, near the bed, toilet, shower and doors (elderly tend to grab the door for support and doors do not hold still!).

In the bathroom, make sure there is room for a grab bar on either side of the toilet to assist in rising. This can be built-in or freestanding. They are lifesavers and help with independence. Nobody likes having help getting up from a toilet!

Make the toilets "comfort-height", easier to use for everyone (except short, little children ).

I like a stainless sink, as some meds can stain other materials.

Bi-fold or accordion-type closet doors are nice and easier to use than sliding doors, if you are in a wheelchair or use a walker. Less moving needed.

A very low bedframe allows easier access to their bed (it is very difficult for the elderly to climb UP into a bed!).

Hooks in the closet and on the backs of doors at waist-height make it easier to hang and quickly access often-used jackets or sweaters versus the higher bar in the closet. Hang a bar lower in the closet, too. Those in-closet shelving units are wonderful and save space in a bedroom (no dresser needed) that could be tight if a wheelchair is needed. We have those shelving units in the guest cottage as well as ds's bedroom closet and our spare guest room, in the main house.

Lighting, lighting, lighting!! Multiple switches so the person doesn't need to go back and forth to turn lights on or off. Better to have a central switch on either end of the largest room near the bathroom and bedroom. Extra electrical outlets near the bed (on a separate breaker would be great, in case an electric bed is needed).

By the way, I was wheelchair-bound for 10 weeks last year and managed beautifully in our home. We designed it so that we could always live here, and we discovered how well we had designed earlier than we expected!! We have also had a friend that has MS, and is in a wheelchair, stay in our guest cottage and she gave it a huge , saying it was better than any hotels she's ever stayed in!

I'm sure there is more stuff, but I am off to the city. We're renovating my Dad's house to sell (he died in November). 180 miles, roundtrip, today! I'll check-in later.

Feel free to pm me if you want any additional ideas. I'm really experienced with this stuff!
grahamsmom98 is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 05-13-2009, 06:29 AM
 
zacharysmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 170
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
as a care giver one thing i would recommend in building or renovating make sure you have turning space for assitive devices besides the wheel chair including a hoyer lift or power chair they both need more room than a manual chair and at times are a little harder to manuver
zacharysmom is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 05-13-2009, 12:54 PM
 
SuzyLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had some ideas but the PP was so thorough she covered them all!

One thing my g'parents found very helpful was having front loading washer/dryer on pedestal so they didn't have to bend over to do laundry.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
SuzyLee is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 05-17-2009, 02:24 AM
 
foreverinbluejeans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Tucson
Posts: 1,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm disabled and use a wheelchair part of the time. It's hard to find house plans that are designed for wheelchairs. Some plans have a large bathroom and then call themself universal design.

There is a designer I really like. Her name is D.R. Coleman and her homes are energy efficient and passive solar. She has several atrium plans I like. You can find some of her plans at www.architecturalhouseplans.com

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

foreverinbluejeans is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off