When we bought our home, I was awaiting my hip replacement. I was in excruciating pain, which was actually a good thing, at the time. It meant that the pain was a good measuring stick for the accessibility of the home.
If I had been feeling better and more agile, I might have over-looked some things or assumed that I could manage. That’s optimism, of which I have a great deal.
When shopping for a new home, whatever the configuration, be it single-family, town-home, condominium or apartment, plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Create a list of your requirements, keeping in mind how you are feeling when you are flaring. It’s not always possible or feasible to meet everything on your dream list, but it helps to know what your non-negotiable features are. For me, it was a single-level home.
- stairs – self-explanatory
- walk-in shower – less of a struggle than getting into a tub
- door width – wheelchair
- cupboards – where and ease of access
- indoor taps – ease of turning on and off
- outdoor taps – location and ease of use
- flooring – easy on the feet
- type of windows – ease of opening
- parking – access for unloading groceries
- garage – window scraping or snow removal
- neighbourhood – check for proximity to noisier environments – train, fire station, etc.
- condo or apartment – noisier near the elevator.
I hope you’ll add to this list.