Accessibility is a concern when you have a disability such as cerebral palsy. One step is like a hundred if you use a wheelchair or have mobility issues. I have tried to create an accessible home environment, but money is always an issue. If cost were not a problem, what would you like to have in your house to make everyday tasks easier?
I like to imagine my dream house. My childhood home was the opposite of accessible, so growing up I learned how to be independent while out of my wheelchair.
My ideal dream house would have soft furnishings and easy-to-clean floors. Surfaces would be padded for my knees, and seats would be comfortable to allow me to sit on them for extended periods.
When my muscles and joints are cold, they become stiff, making it harder to move around the house. So my ideal bathroom would have heated floors. I’d also want a toilet built into the floor so I could pull myself up to sit on it without putting excessive strain on my joints. I currently have a low sink, but my perfect basin would be sleek with an automatic faucet.
My shower is a walk-in model with a ledge that I have to climb over. I fancy a zero-entry shower so I could slide right in. The shower would be set to the perfect temperature for me with shampoo and soap dispenser pumps that are easy for me to use.
The bedroom would have ample space for a king-size bed, a place for my wheelchair, and a reading area. I’d need a dressing area with room for someone to assist me. I’d have a small floor elevator in front of my bed to raise me up and into bed. Right now, I have an ottoman placed at the end of my bed that enables me to climb into it.
I don’t have an office right now because I have two children. If I did, I’d want cushions on the floor to provide comfort and stability as I type. I’d need multiple charging stations for my devices that would be easily accessible despite my jerky hand movements due to cerebral palsy.
My kitchen and dining room wouldn’t need many alterations. But they would be large to accommodate my wheelchair and family members comfortably. I can’t cook or carry food by myself but I would wish for room around the dining room table to fit my wheelchair. A lowered sink would be handy to allow me to wash my hands in the kitchen.
I spend a lot of time in my living room. In my dream house, this room would be spacious to hold my wheelchair, furniture, and all of my family members. A small elevator that ascends from the floor to enable me to get into my wheelchair unaided would represent incredible freedom for me.
It’s nice to dream. Perhaps someday, accessible equipment and devices will be more affordable so that people with disabilities can live full, independent lives.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disorder. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.