Accessible Housing

Accessible Housing from a familyís point of view with Naiditch and Lewis): I have to apologize because a lot of this workshop I was unable to get typed up. On the tape there was a lot of background noise, and Garret, bless his heart, talks so quiet. But I have typed what I could.

The bathroom we added an accessible bathtub that when we first put in we put in a shower and after that he seemed to work his way in and out while sitting in a bath chair. Are you now more independent using the tub? Yes, definitely.

Then we have the sink which we can lower to his height. In fact, we just lowered it again. He can fit his wheelchair all the way underneath it. It is not that deep of a sink but he can reach what he needs to do with it.

There is a bath chair now that is on a sliding track that slides the chair into the bathtub, you donít even have move out of the chair to get in. Not a wheelchair, but a foundation combination bath chair that slides down inside the bathtub.

All the equipment in that book, is available to family members at a reduced price. (Catalog: 2002 Directory of accessible building products.) If you see something in the catalog you want just write it down and call me or fax me. There is a lot of good stuff in that book, his website and stuff. I found that mostly the best places to go are looking from other family members.

Is the toilet at a higher height? Yes, it is at a higher height, not so much for Garret but for us so when lifting we donít have to bend over as far. The other problem with having up that high is your feet canít touch the floor, so you need to put steps for them. What about the armrest and stuff? No, I donít have any, but yeah you can get bars and stuff. How about a back support? Do you have something to add for back support? I donít but I am sure they make them. There are plenty more options for your back than anything else.

What kind of ideas do you have for the doors of the closet, because we have the bi-folds for right now, but this may not work too much longer? Opening the doors is pretty easy for me right now, but once you get into the closet, it is like they are all really hard to get to. And there is no really easy way to get around the height and it turns out that there are some things that I canít reach. But some things I can reach. I try to do it that night to be prepared for the next day. What does work better is having a walk-in closet. So if you donít have the option to get a walk-in closet, you only have a closet along the wall, you can get those doors out of the way? Yeah, they are actually really easy to open. There is like no resistance on them. I do like to use the handles instead of knobs.

We are talking about getting hard wood floors or vinyl or something like that, so does anybody have any advice on that because we don't know which kind to get. If anything the hard wood would get pockets in it from being chipped from the gravel from the outside.

What kind of options are there for getting our children upstairs? I know you got the elevator, but I am not sure that would work. Are there any other options? There is the chair lift. Do you have just one set of stairs? No it curves. That would be more difficult to do, but it can be done. Exactly how much are the chair lifts? They are roughly about 10,000 dollars. Does insurance pay for those? No, not usually. How does it work? The track goes along the same path as the steps and the chair just folds up out of the way. But if you go with something like that then I recommend you using a manual chair lift, because the ones that are powered cost a lot more money and you have a lot more problems with it.

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