It has been too long again! I think with the new year and setting new goals, I am going to write down to blog in my planner and I think that will help. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about our blessing house more! I did a poll recently on Instagram asking which topic I should blog about and this one won by a landslide. So here it is: How living in an ADA house has changed my life for the better.
I will attach photos about what I am talking about at the bottom of this blog. For some reason when I do it in the middle the blog gets all mixed up especially on a mobile device.
So if you don’t know how or why “The Blessing House” got to be you can read that blog post here http://abby4110.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-blessing-house.html. Anyways, tomorrow will mark 3 months living in this house. I am still getting used to some things but that will all come together soon :).
In the old house I had to be really careful about how I used my spoons (energy). I could not leave or enter the house by myself. I once tried the scooter so I could see the solar eclipse but it was extremely difficult and hard and isn’t something I felt comfortable doing again by myself and I got stuck several times. To get into the house, my mom would push me up the ramps, there were 3 parts from the garage floor to the first landing, then a ramp into the house, and then the house/pantry into the actual house. It was very steep and had some bumps where it met the door which was painful for the both of us. We were extremely thankful though for the people that came and built it because this allowed me to get into the house. Now at our new house, the door from the garage into the house is level access so I can get into the house and leave all by myself now. If the scooter is in the garage I can go get the mail and go around the neighborhood which I see that happening when the weather warms up. The entire main level of the house is accessible, the only part of the house that isn’t or I haven’t been to, is the downstairs. Someday I maybe able to do many steps again but I can’t right now and that is ok. I will kind of “move through” the house in this blog.
So, starting outside we have a sidewalk that will eventually go through the entire subdivision it’s on the inner circle and outer circle. Our house is on the inner circle so we have a cross walk (not sure what to call it on our side) and across the road with a ramp so I can cross the street and go to the other side if I am getting pushed in the wheelchair or driving my scooter. The front door is pretty much level access there is just a little bump but it’s to protect outside air from getting inside the house. We have a doorbell which is nice, at the old house we didn’t so you had to go to the window to see who it was and be on the lookout ha if you knew someone was coming. They also added an entry pad outside the garage to get in and they lowered it so that if I am in my scooter I don’t have to get up! They think of all the neatest things here! Just simple/little things like that of moving something to a different height can make all the difference and save all the energy.
So once I am inside I can take my walker anywhere. I don’t have to leave it and rely on someone or the wall to get me the rest of the way. They even put outlets up higher so you don’t have to bend down and light switches are lower so you don’t have to worry about reaching up – like I said simple stuff but when you move it they make a huge difference.
The kitchen – I can actually be in and enjoy some of the stuff I used to do. I still don’t cook or bake a whole lot but when I want to it is easier. We have a “buffet” table and then it drops down lower and they measured it when I was in my wheelchair to make sure it was right. The whole bottom is open and the edges are rounded so I can come up anyway I want to. The wheelchair or my walker can go right underneath it. I can now get water and ice all by myself as we got a fridge that was way more accessible for me. They call it a grab-n-go door where you push a little button and it pops open so I can get food for myself now and when I am home alone it makes it easier and Mom doesn’t have to worry about packing my lunch. I didn’t even know something like this was possible until we went to the store that day to pick out appliances. We tested it out to make sure I could open it! Then what they call the “toe kick” at the bottom of the cabinets was raised so the wheels of a walker or wheelchair can go right under them. It is really cool how it works! Once you leave the kitchen my bedroom is off of the kitchen to the left and my mom’s bedroom is right across mine to the right of the kitchen. There are times where I have rough nights and need help so it’s really nice that we are right across each other. My bedroom is all accessible and I can take my walker all around my room and my bathroom is connected to it which has made such a difference especially during the night. My bathroom is fully accessible. My countertop is open at the bottom so when I do my hair or brush my teeth, etc I can sit down on my walker. I have hand bars on both sides of the toilet which is much safer and my shower is a walk in! There is a hand bar in my shower and the actual shower is hand held which is easier and I can make it the height I need to. I still can’t wash my hair by myself but this has made it much easier for mom to wash my hair. I hope someday to gain that back but for now I just am thankful for the small improvements I have gained in energy and independence. I also love that I can take my walker into my closet! How cool is that?! The electrician also suggested to put a light switch by my bed so when I get up or go to sleep I don’t have to go back to the front of my room and that has been a big help. They also installed “slider” controls (I don’t know what to call them); they are for the fan speed because I can’t raise my arms to pull the chain. I just have to slide the switch and I have dimmer lights which has been nice especially if I am having a bad headache that day.
So that’s all for my room and my sister’s room is downstairs so we are all really thankful for this house and how it has not only made my life easier but those that care for me as well! I also love living in a community like this. It is an intergenerational community so there are 4 “greenhouses” which is a newer way to do assisted living and then there are some young families and older families living in these houses and duplexes like us. We love our duplex! There has been so much support and so much kindness shown in this neighborhood. I am not the only young one struggling with health issues. I honestly don’t think about the old house or miss it as much as I thought I would. I think it is because it was just getting too hard for me to live in and that was a tough pill to swallow so getting out of there and moving to a house where I could get some independence back felt good. I think I say at least once a day I can’t believe this is our house and we get to live here. At first I told people this felt like a resort. We have lived here for almost 3 months now and I still can’t stop smiling about it or saying thank you to all those who made this possible. I will forever be grateful because this house gave me some of my life back. I feel safer on days I stay home because I can sit down in my walker if I start to feel sick and I can literally take my walker anywhere. I am trying to get better at that but for 2 years I was used to having to leave my walker in a different room and taking steps without really holding on to anything because my walker wouldn’t fit in the doorway to the other room. So like I said while some of this stuff seems so simple or little things they have made such a big difference for me. Living in a house that was built to make life easier for you to get around and live in is an indescribable feeling.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
|Light switch by my bed|
|my bathroom facing my bedroom and this is a big enough turnaround to turn a wheelchair or walker without crashing which is why the counter is rounded|
|walker under sink|
|lowered part of the buffet table|
|my accessible shower|
|leaving my bedroom|
|my bathroom (bottom is open for easy access)|
|the fridge water and ice on the left and the grab n go button is on the right|
|view of kitchen|
|our side of the duplex is the right side|
|inside the grab n go door|
|my light and fan control switches|
|outside the blessing house|