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Thread: Interested In Universal Design?

  1. #11
    Veteran Member Eve1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    The term "universal design" means design for humans of any physical ability and any stage of life.

    I am going to remodel my bathroom this spring, due to a plumbing issue. As the project proceeds, I will make changes such that if I have to use a wheelchair down the road, I will still be able to use that bathroom and stay in my home.

    I wondered if you guys are interested in this topic? The idea is to find luxury, beautiful products that enhance the home's value and also offer safety to disabled homeowners.

    So far, I have decided to replace the toilet with a wall-hung unit, replace the sink with one a wheelchair fits underneath, and use a seamless floor treatment, such as terrazo or epoxy.

    I will tear out the bathtub and install a shower, using sloping, etc. to contain the water without a curb.

    I expect all of you want to maximize your home's value. Something as simple as widening doorways can make a huge difference.

    Thanks in advance, if you choose to reply.
    Excellent idea if you live in a bungalow. If you are in a two story or multi level dwelling it doesn't make sense. You need at least one bedroom on the main-floor with the bathroom and kitchen and entrance suitable for a wheel chair. Doing what you suggest to a home that has 20 steps up to the front door doesn't really make sense either unless you can make the entrance wheel chair accessible

    If you don't have one floor that has everything than you need then you need to installing a lift or elevator into a two story or multi level dwelling. If you have to do all that then making just one bathroom wheelchair accessible may not be worth it. It would be cheaper to sell and buy a home that has it already.

    PS remember that if you plan to have a live-in caregiver someday they must have their own bedroom and their own bath. In short, don't expect to get live-in help in a one bedroom one bathroom apartment or home.

    Also please consider if you need a lift from your bed to your chair. From your chair to the tub, from the tub back to your chair. This occurs in cases were the patient has no ability to help themselves. One person lifting you will not due the trick. Essentially people with no use of their arms and legs are dead weight and unless they weigh less than 70lbs no one caregiver will be willing to do it without help.

    I had to make an entire home wheelchair accessible and it cost a small fortune. That worked for a few years until my father essentially became unable to even help himself off the bed or toilet. At that point instead of one caregiver I needed two. Also I needed to install the lift at which point it became ridiculous to keep him at home as that was untenable. Again you needed another bedroom and bathroom for the second caregiver. I wasn't prepared to build a hospital to keep him at home. Don't forget, at that point the patient can't be left alone. You have to switch up caregivers for day and night shift, weekends and holidays. I think at one point I lost track of all the names and phone numbers I had to make sure someone was with him at all times 365 days a year 24 hours per day.
    Last edited by Eve1; 15th March 2018 at 04:39 PM.
    Thanks from Madeline

  2. #12
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve1 View Post
    Excellent idea if you live in a bungalow. If you are in a two story or multi level dwelling it doesn't make sense. You need at least one bedroom on the mainfloor with the bathroom and kitchen and entrance suitable for a wheel chair. Doing what you suggest to a home that has 20 steps up to the front door doesn't really make sense either unless you can make the entrance wheel chair accessible

    If you don't have one floor that has everything than you need to installing a lift or elevator into a two story or multi level. If you have to do all that making just one bathroom wheelchair accessible may not be worth it. It would be cheaper to sell and buy a home that has it already.

    PS remember that if you plan to have a live in care giver some day they must have their own bedroom and their own bath. In short don't expect to get live in help in a one bedroom one bathroom apartment or home.

    Also please consider if you need a lift from your bed to your chair. From your chair to the tub, from the tub back to your chair. This occurs in cases were the patient has no ability to help themselves. One person lifting you will not due the trick. Essentially people with no use of their arms and legs are dead weight and unless they weigh less than 70lbs no one care giver will be willing to do it without help.

    I had to make an entire home wheel chair accessible and it cost a small fortune. That worked for a few years until my father essentially became unable to even to help himself off the bed or toilet. At that point instead of one caregiver I needed two. Also I needed to install the lift at which point it became ridiculous to keep him at home as that was untenable. Again you needed another bedroom and bathroom for the second caregiver. I wasn't prepared to build a hospital to keep him at home. Don't forget that at that point the patient can't be left alone so you are switching up care givers for day and night shift, weekends and holidays. I think at one point I lost track of all the names and phone numbers I had to make sure some one was with him at all times 365 days a year 24 hours per day.
    All excellent points! I am so sorry you went through all this, but your hard-earned insight is invaluable now.

    As I remodel the bath thisvspring/summer, step one is to widen the doorway. Reinforce the ceiling, in case a lift is ever needed. Use wheelchair accessible fixtures.

    I am worried about the two story design I'm in, but I hate to move. I think I might be able to put a bath in downstairs, or at least a powder room.

    Dunno....it's more than just local building codes. It's also the condo board. I can probably force them to cooperate, but I don't want that in my life.

    Haven't made a final decision, and the longer I put it off, the less real options I will have.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    I got excited about this trend after watching This Old House's series, "The Essex House". They remodeled a cottage in Massachusetts and every detail was so thoroughly considered! They used geothermal heat/ac, which just blew my mind.

    If you haven't seen it before, you should.

  4. #14
    Veteran Member Eve1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    All excellent points! I am so sorry you went through all this, but your hard-earned insight is invaluable now.

    As I remodel the bath thisvspring/summer, step one is to widen the doorway. Reinforce the ceiling, in case a lift is ever needed. Use wheelchair accessible fixtures.

    I am worried about the two story design I'm in, but I hate to move. I think I might be able to put a bath in downstairs, or at least a powder room.

    Dunno....it's more than just local building codes. It's also the condo board. I can probably force them to cooperate, but I don't want that in my life.

    Haven't made a final decision, and the longer I put it off, the less real options I will have.
    In a two story if you have to life on the first floor you have to have a place to shower so a space that fits a wheelchair shower is a must at the very least. You can't go through life just having a sponge bath. If you can't do that then you have to put in a lift/elevator to go from the bedroom area on the second floor out to the main floor so you can leave the house in your chair.
    Technically speaking you can stay in bed on the second floor and use the bathroom on the second floor and eat your meals in your room so long as you have live in help but you still need to be able to get out of the house in case of an emergency and you still need to go to medical appointments. You can't have an ambulance service put on a stretcher and be carried out of the house when you need to go outside or downstairs, it's dangerous and impractical.
    Last edited by Eve1; 15th March 2018 at 04:55 PM.
    Thanks from Madeline

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