And…my search for the most luxurious wheelchair accessible hotel room in the country
I love my little 3 bed semi – I really do. It’s my home and I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else. I have certain adaptations in my home that make getting around easier, such as a stair lift. All children that visit out home think it’s amazing and want a ride, but it’s the same with my wheelchair. I think it’s the novelty. For me, it’s a necessity. Our wet room is very…functional! It helps me to be able to shower, which is great, but it’s no marble floored Turkish bath themed paradise. I stayed a hotel recently, the Regents Park Holiday Inn, and I really did want to take their bathroom home with me!
Ok, it might not look like anything special, but actually being able to wheel right up to a standard sized sink with a mirror at my height was amazing. The bath facilities were out of this world, lowered enough so that I could get in and out easily with help, but my photo is to blurred to share with you. Baths are something I really miss, but are just to much hassle on a day to day basis (frowny face).
Before my disability really took hold, even I couldn’t forsee how much would have to change in order for me to live a ‘normal’ life in my own home. Huge thanks to Osbornes for allowing me to use this infographic to show you just how much needs to be considered when adapting a home to meet the needs of someone with disabilities.
I love the ‘extra room to store wheelchairs and equipment’ point, which in our house simply equates to a shed and a hallway full of travel wheelchairs, spare parts (for the wheelchairs, not me, though I do wish this was possible), mobility equipment and all the things I never realised would be part of your life when disability entered.
Of course if this were a ‘money is no object’ post, I would have a mansion with a wheelchair accessible pool, huge amounts of room for turning circles and wide doorways so I would never catch my fingers between the chair and a doorway again, and pretty much a fully automated house that would bend to my every whim. As this is not possible, I will stick with what is, and there are many things that can be done within a normal 3 bed semi to made it more accessible.
I think most of us will remember this huge eyesaw erected (and hopefully since demolished) by Dunbartonsshires Council (story courtesy of The Guardian). A huge £40,000 mistake, and a prime example of how people can get it so wrong when they’re trying to get it right, simply by not taking note of peoples needs. This is one of the adaptations I am having done to my home right now. Not this mess, but level access into my back garden. At the moment I can’t get out into my garden because the door is not level access and neither is the garden. This is not something I considered when I moved in as my health took a dramatic downturn soon after I moved in. This is my home, and I don’t want to move, so changes need to be made. Thankfully my Council is a little more sensible than those of Dunbartonshire.
So between my home adaptations, and my mini-mission to find the most disabled friendly hotel room in the world (or at least in England), I have been surfing the peaks and troughs of what it is to be disabled in an able bodied world. It doesn’t always need to be a struggle, though sometimes it really can be. The key for me I think is to get all the knowledge I can about how to make my own life and the lives of others easier on a day to day basis, so we can get on with the job of being fabulous, not ‘in spite of…’ but just plain fabulous!