Hello all!  We are about to begin modifying our house to make it handicapped accessible.  We would love any advice/suggestions from you!  What do we need to have in our home to make Kevin's life (and our life) easier, better, etc.? 

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Hi,
I do not have any firsthand experience, but I was actually just in touch with our local MDA last week asking the same type of question. They gave me a list of local resources, as well as the ones below that may be some help to you. I too would love to hear advice from those who have completed these types of modifications. Best of luck to you!

The Center for Universal Design and NC State University
The Center for Universal Design (CUD) is a national information, technical assistance, and research center that evaluates, develops, and promotes accessible and universal design in housing, commercial and public facilities, outdoor environments, and products. Our mission is to improve environments and products through design innovation, research, education and design assistance. The site includes resources and accessible house plans.
www.design.ncsu.edu/cud

Publications:
Accessible Home Design: Architectural Solutions for the Wheelchair User by Thomas D. Davies Jr. and Carol Peredo Lopez
Can be purchased at www.amazon.com.

A House for All Children, Planning A Supportive Home Environment for Children with Disabilities. This publication was created by the Center for Architecture and Building Science Research at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. It can be ordered online at http://www.ahouseforallchildren.njit.edu/book.htm or by calling 973-596-3097.

Universal Design for the Home: Great Looking, Great Living Design for All Ages, Abilities, and Circumstances by Wendy A. Jordan
Can be purchased at www.amazon.com

Universal Design Ideas for Style, Comfort & Safety by RSMeans and Lexicon Consulting, Inc.
Can be purchased at www.amazon.com
How about a "changing table" in his bathroom? I was given this idea by a lady whose son had CP. She said that when she transferred him out of the bath or rolled him out of the shower, a table in the bathroom was the ideal place for drying him off and for dressing. Otherwise you have to also dry off whatever you are using to transfer and roll it through his bedroom. You might also have to dry him and change him on his own bed which you might not want to get wet. Also, you may want an alternative heating source in his bathroom, as the boys will get colder easier. We went with an in floor heating system - not because he'll walk on it - but the heat will radiate upwards. We also put blocking in our ceiling to give us the option to install a ceiling track that would help transfer from his bed and go through his bathroom stopping at the changing table, toilet, and finally, the bathtub. A local disability company advised us what to do to prepare for the ceiling track. We installed a whirlpool tub and also a roll in shower. In our garage, we are installing a 9 ft. door because we have a large family and will probably end up with a conversion van with a popped top. We also left lots of room on the right side of the garage for easy drop off with the van lift. We are installing rocker switches for light switches at a dropped height and raised the height of our outlets. In our son's room, we are putting extra plugs everywhere, including his closet for battery charges. Also, include counter space and lots of storage space in bathroom for medical supplies, etc. We are putting in all hardwood floor and tile - no carpet. Our local high school has a trade school that builds a house every year in a joint cooperation with our city. This year they are building a zero step entry house for us for the cost of the materials and for the licensed contractors which bid on the project. Oh, and we purchased the land. We are ecstatic. We'll have wide hallways and 36 in . doors. And, we also had the electrician set up the wiring so we could hardwire a generator in the future. There's alot more advice out there. Check previous threads as they were HUGE is giving us ideas. One more thing, keep in mind that the ADA requirements are typically set for manual chairs. There are differences when you are talking about a heavy, taller, longer, power chair.
Hey Peter and Eileen,
We should talk again. We have our plans into the architect now. We can compare notes. It was good to see you at our open house fundraiser in our town. Thanks again for coming.

Patti and Gene Frank
This is a really interesting thread as we are currently in the process of building a new house and incorporating all the modifications we will need as our son's duchenne progresses. Danelle, you have given me plenty of food for thought - your ideas are really worth putting into our plans. Also, we have no choice but to build a 2-storey house and are wondering if we should put James on the top floor (with a lift) or the ground floor. Either way, he will have his own purpose-built ensuite. We have 3 other children and they will all have their own rooms on the top floor, so maybe James should also be up there so he doesn't feel left out. However, I'm wondering which would practically be the best solution.
How old is he? My suggestion would be to put his room where its convenient for you. I know that may sound bad, but as the boys get older, they need more help. We turn or reposition our son at least two times every night, but somehow he needs us for something on average 4 times a night. I couldnt imagine being half asleep and having to negotiate stairs or an elevator several times a night. I know some people have no choice, and they amaze me!

Sharyn Thompson said:
This is a really interesting thread as we are currently in the process of building a new house and incorporating all the modifications we will need as our son's duchenne progresses. Danelle, you have given me plenty of food for thought - your ideas are really worth putting into our plans. Also, we have no choice but to build a 2-storey house and are wondering if we should put James on the top floor (with a lift) or the ground floor. Either way, he will have his own purpose-built ensuite. We have 3 other children and they will all have their own rooms on the top floor, so maybe James should also be up there so he doesn't feel left out. However, I'm wondering which would practically be the best solution.
Hello there
have you finished all the mods?
we have two boys with Duchenne, and it is work in progress.
Ken

Hi we are also looking to move to or build a more suitable home.  We are looking at one house but it only has a single car garage that is 16 feet wide.  Is this enough room to fit a van and still have room for the wheelchair lift?

 

My son is 4 but we don't want to find out when the time comes that the garage won't work for us.

We r also in planning stage and where planning Ada height countertops in bathroom , kitchen and bedroom. At ppmd meeting we got some advice that for desk and kitchen we might actually want higher not lower height so that arms resting will be closer to mouth etc to support arms. What r the thoughts of those who know better than us. One person suggested bathroom sink and counters should be low
When we remodeled our bathroom our sink ended up being a little higher than we wanted due to tiling issues, but it actually worked out better for Jonathan. He can rest his elbows on the counter and brush his teeth and wash his hands better than if it were lower. We made the part under the sink open so he can roll his chair under the sink and it is working out great. The problem was that the cabinet we ordered has full overlay doors and drawers so we had to add about an inch so the tile would clear the drawers.

When it comes to the Bathroom what makes more sense to have?

A roll in Shower with a seat or a bathtub?

I am getting ready to build and my son is currently 4 years old.  Should we install a Shower or a tub or a shower first than a tub when we need it.

 

Any suggestions would be helpful.

 

Thanks

We are taking this summer to investigate what modifications our home would need for our son, Jared.  It is day 1 and I am already frustrated!  MDA gave me some contacts, and I am waiting on responses.  I could figure out general stuff if we were building the home from scratch, but we built our house two years before we knew Jared's diagnosis, and it is so NOT accessible.  I feel like I need to find a builder experienced in such modifications-- to know what can be done to our home now.  Any suggestions from the Grand Rapids, MI area?

 

I would suggest the roll in shower.  We added a bedroom onto our house for our son with his own toilet, sink and shower.  The roll in shower was the best thing we could have done for him.



Bryan & Cari Sweet said:

When it comes to the Bathroom what makes more sense to have?

A roll in Shower with a seat or a bathtub?

I am getting ready to build and my son is currently 4 years old.  Should we install a Shower or a tub or a shower first than a tub when we need it.

 

Any suggestions would be helpful.

 

Thanks

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