Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Barrier Free???

Not

Well, I suppose now is as good a time as any to learn about how well my house is set up to be barrier free. If I am to stay here into my old age, this is a lesson well-learned.

Area rugs can pose an obstruction to wheelchairs. My larger ones are OK, but if I were stuck in a chair for a long time, I might want to get rid of them.

Furniture is in the way.  Passages from one place to another are made difficult by chairs or other pieces of furniture in the way.

Other "stuff" on the floor is a barrier. Anything set on the floor that might get in the line of a wheel poses a problem.

Narrow halls and doorways at angles are a challenge. I have a narrow hall to the back bedrooms. The bathroom and one bedroom are at the side of the hall. It is very hard to turn the chair in the hall to get into these doors.

My bathroom is not accessible. A very narrow space, my bathroom is not wide enough for the wheelchair.
Now, I can use my crutches at the door to get in. I have no idea what I would do if I were stuck with just the chair.  A remodel would be the only option.

Stairs are problematic. My house is one floor of living space, so that's good. But the furnace is i the basement as is the washer/dryer. Obviously, I cannot get to either. The furnace needs water every couple weeks in the heating system. I need to get someone else to fill if for me if I cannot get downstairs.

The house is on one level, but there are two small steps up to the back porch so I can get in. I haven't tried to go outside since the day I fell. I'm not sure just how well I will be able to go down them to get to my doctor's appointment. (Yes, I am going to see the doctor just to be sure everything is OK.)  I will have a friend here to lean on. My head is roiling with ideas. I may come up with some method to get down the stairs without walking, but I will see. I don't think getting back up them with the crutches will be an issue, but "down" is a bigger challenge.

So, I am gradually understanding the challenges of mobility in an unfriendly world.....

I got a call back from the doctor today. We decided an X-ray would be worth the effort just to be sure I didn't wreck anything in my knee. Actually, it's a tiny bit better each day, so it's probably fine, but having an expert look at it is a good idea.

Stay tuned for that adventure, currently scheduled for the end of the week.

12 comments:

  1. Not a bad move practising for when you are REALLY old and decrepit Jean :-)

    Seriously though, I do hope that you are OK. SH would fit a motor to that wheelchair for you if you wanted - Santa Pod here we come?

    C

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  2. downstairs - sit on bottom and go down that way, using the good leg to bear the weight ... does that work?

    glad to hear it is feeling slightly better....

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  3. It's interesting to change perspectives and see how things are from that point of view. Hope all continues to improve . . .

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  4. An x-ray sounds worthwhile. Better to know what you're dealing with. Would a walking frame help your stability inside the bathroom? If this is to go on for any length of time, a consult with an OT person would probably be helpful. Ask for the kit they give hip-replacement folks. They have a clever contraption for putting on your socks without bending your leg (like a tube on a rope)and the pincher/grab-claw for picking up things from the floor. This could probably be converted to play with your cats:)

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  5. There are so many things that can pose a problem to someone in a wheelchair. Let's hope you're out of it soon and back to normal. Fingers crossed for you and good x-rays.

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  6. I must say that I am relieved to see that you have made a doctor's appointment. I am also optimistic that he thinks it's probably ok and that it's a little better every day. Certainly gives one perspective on what's potentially coming down the pike for all of us.

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  7. Keeping my fingers crossed for a clear x-ray, I can only imagine how frustrated you must be feeling by this setback... Keep staying positive!

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  8. Keeping my fingers crossed for a clear x-ray, I can only imagine how frustrated you must be feeling by this setback... Keep staying positive!

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  9. Keeping my fingers crossed for a clear x-ray, I can only imagine how frustrated you must be feeling by this setback... Keep staying positive!

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  10. Keeping my fingers crossed for a clear x-ray, I can only imagine how frustrated you must be feeling by this setback... Keep staying positive!

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  12. I am glad you are feeling better. I will send you more downloads to keep you busy ^-^

    Last year, my friend torn her Achilles tendon. She had a boot instead of a cast. She had two sons under 7 yrs old. She was on a wheel chair as she could not load her leg.
    So she found quite challenging moving about her house!!! She got lots of help, but it was quite a struggle, then she was on crutches and then she could load her legs but still on crutches.
    You can imagine the challenge to look after two kids on a wheel chair even if she had lots of help children wanted their Mum.

    It is a great idea to re-design your house. Here in Italy, there is a government scheme, where a architect re-designs your house, and all the building work all at the cost of the state.

    I bet The US Government might not be too keen for this kind of idea, but you ought to check anyway, you might get some grants!

    Good luck!

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