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Sjogrens Topics => Living Life In Spite of Sjogren's => Topic started by: Bucky on May 29, 2012, 09:38:41 AM

Title: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Bucky on May 29, 2012, 09:38:41 AM
Hi . . .

I've thought about this a lot lately and thought I would throw this out there - if you are planning on moving or remodeling your homes, take into consideration the future.

Move into something that will accommodate your needs should you need to use a walker, crutches or a wheelchair in the future. 

Are all the bedrooms and bathrooms on an upper level which would be hard to get to?

Are the hallways narrow that a wheelchair won't fit through them?

Are there many steps getting into or out of the house?  (porch, garage, etc.)

Is the laundry on another floor other than the main floor?

When one is healthy and mobile and able to get around easily - these are things you don't even think of.  But . . . they will play into effect if your health changes and you have to adapt to new methods.

My older brother just bought a new house (they haven't even moved in yet) and all the bedrooms are upstairs, etc.  I mentioned all of the above things and his response was "we'll worry about that if it happens".  I just shake my head as he has obviously forgotten what a struggle it was for our Mom when her health took a turn and she had to use a wheelchair and there were many steps getting in and out of the house that were a huge hurdle to her, laundry on another floor, narrow hallways, etc.

It must just be me, but I would rather be prepared BEFORE, than scrambling after.

Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: ashewoman on May 29, 2012, 01:40:11 PM
Bucky-- great advice.  I'm having a really hard time locating a place to move into just considering that I own a washer/dryer set, a dog, a cat, and 2 box a/c units.  What am I going to do without hook ups?  What about the petkids?  And then because I'm only allowed a certain rate of rent with the rental assistance, it seems I've eliminated everything but trailers.  I don't want to sound like a snob but I'm scared to live in a trailer.  Most of the local break-ins here happen in trailers because the doors are easier to jimmy open and because well trailer parks have a certain name for a reason.  They are like storm magnets where I come from.  And yes, people do think all toothless ufo spotting people live in trailers.  I already lost my teeth way too young... I might as well put up a dang sign that says "UFO sighting central" LOL :)  Okay but seriously the storm fears are very real, the mobility fears are very real.  A trailer may be all one level but you have to get up to that level because they don't set them right on the ground.  Those bulky window units may come in handy as I recall trailers are really hot in summer and really cold in winter.  But at least in this mountainous area they almost never get tornadoes and never ever get hurricanes.  Still I have some serious phobias after storm after storm after storm.  I think one plain old thunderstorm banging around on a tin trailer roof would scare the &%$$ right out of me all over again. The crime fears are real, too.  My brother says "forget the storms, forget the social stigma, forget getting broken into, I don't want you living next to a meth lab that explodes."  I hadn't even thought about THAT!  What am I going to do????? GG
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: irish on May 29, 2012, 02:27:12 PM
I would suggest that you find the less of two evils for the time being. If you have to sign a contract on something you aren't happy about then make sure it is a short term contract.

Also, you can store the air conditioners if need be. A lot of apartments and mobile homes have central air now. I know all of this can be a problem.

My hubby and I are at the point where we need to think about getting out of our large house. I have been reading the real estate adds for months. It is hard to find what you want with the right price.

I don't want to sound like a snob either, but all these newer houses (even the cheaper ones) have about 3-4 levels with about 6 different levels of roofs. Page after page of these homes. They are hard to heat cause the heat rises plus if the roof goes bad it will cost a fortune to reshingle.

What happened to all the one story homes???? Also, so many older homes with only 1 bathroom. All these houses for sale and can't see anything that is usuable to oldies.

I would imagine that aprt. are pretty much the same. Can't do stairs and no elevator. That doesn't work either. So many apts have the community laundry---in the basement!!!!

Can you find an aprt in a private home---or a duplex???? Sometimes moving to a smaller town helps cut the costs. The bad thing is finding a ride to the doctor. Getting sick is the pits. GEtting old is the pits. However, getting old and sick is yucky. The alternative isn't so hot though. Good luck girl and let us know how you come out. Irish
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Joe S. on May 29, 2012, 02:55:07 PM
Another option is to slowly make corrective changes to your home as you can afford to. The first thing that we did was to put in a high rise toilet. We are working slowly to improve the rest of the house.

The house next door was rehabbed by Habitat and made handicap assessable. Changes to Hallway, Bath and stairs was all it took.
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: quietdynamics on May 29, 2012, 02:57:30 PM
Yes we are going to put the house on the market next year and so is my mother. Her house is a beautiful ranch contemporary and she already has a buyer (a neighbor approached her knowing that Dad had passed a year ago)

We found a lake community that we like, has golf for hubby...and I said to my Mom I really love watching the kids in the water. It is not a grid community and the road are windy and at different hubby is looking at a golf cart for my Mom and I and her lab Mom is 82.

We want bedrooms on same level as living/ kitchen/laundry. Some houses have open walk out basements with sliders (not dark) that have family rooms and a bathroom that we can add a kitchen to and make it a mother/daughter.

Originally, Mom wanted to buy her own house (in my name), I had to be honest with her about my condition which I hid from her as she was caring for Dad. One house is better and we could even add on a master modular suite.

I do not want wall to wall carpeting,we do not need a living room nor a formal dining room, or a lot of property,

I go on trulia dot com and lakehouse dot com  to search for houses  :)

Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Pisces24 on May 29, 2012, 03:11:54 PM
Yes you have to "guess" how things will be in the future when getting a place to live. I have a ranch style house with a basement BUT I don't think when I retire I can keep up with all the mowing, snow shoveling, and using the stairs. And no I don't have nor will have the big bucks to hire someone.    I have a retired cousin and hubby building a new house from scratch. Two floors, three acres, etc etc but they can afford to have someone do the upkeep.

So I have planned, to buy a mobile home with a garage or carport. We have several nice mobile home communities in the city, most on bus routes with storm shelters, etc. Yes I have to rent the "land" but it will be mine. I am not used to condo/apt living so a mobile home works out. I am just getting my mind prepared for it.
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Gayle on May 29, 2012, 03:21:07 PM
I had this same, sad experience.... I just moved 7 years ago to my dream area... I bought a house I loved and could pay cash for... Unfortunately it is 2 levels. Fortunately my bedroom is on the main BUT my office is below... It can't be changed around and I hurt everyday doing 16 stairs all the time. Oh and my laundry is downstairs and TV room. I am now looking to buy another house but hard to find one I like as much and can afford... so mad at myself. I should have known whatever was wrong didn't just magically go away and would rear it's ugly head again.
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: 4Kids on May 30, 2012, 06:37:04 AM
New house has all on the main level but a shower. The main bedrooms/bath are upstairs. Here we are on one level but it is a bi-level with 6 stairs to go up and 6 down when you first walk in.  Laundry downstairs.  It does have humungous wide hallways which my Mom on her wheelchair was able to get around in very easily.

Sad to think about.

Ashewoman, I wish you a quick success. Wish I could help you.
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: eye2dry on May 30, 2012, 03:03:14 PM
hello all.

1890 is calling me and I want to go.

Old farm house up the road with barns, outhouse and just little over 5 acres has caught my eye. 2-story, needs TLC, owner rents it out to a young family.

thought of contacting the owner to see if they would be interested in selling.

i live in a ranch with believe it or not a concrete ramp coming up the sidewalk into the back pation door. The previous owner had it put in for "someday". laundry on main floor.
I jus don't wna the 30 acre lawn care headache (and taxes) anymore
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: quietdynamics on May 30, 2012, 06:59:20 PM

If you search
kitchen, homes, bathroom.... just to get ideas it helps.

Do people get disabled to the point of needing this type of accommodation from SJS or is it more when there is an overlap of AI?
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: quietdynamics on May 30, 2012, 07:14:04 PM

Somewhere on
American with Disabilities there is a guide for handicapped housing

So things like lowing the placement of the wall heater/ac control for handicapped people
lower kitchen sink with open space underneath that a wheelchair will fit into
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: eye2dry on May 30, 2012, 07:33:26 PM
One thing I wanted to post before accidentally hitting the post button was..

all those AARP advertisements with all the helpful gadgets....some are actually good ideas.

Tubs that can be made to walk in.....chairs to glide you up the steps,etc......these things may make you more able to stay in your house longer if you wanted to.

I use to laugh at them when younger but not anymore.

Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Bucky on May 30, 2012, 09:35:59 PM
Do people get disabled to the point of needing this type of accommodation from SJS or is it more when there is an overlap of AI?

I know a couple of our members have been "challenged" from SJS and need accommodations in their homes.

eye2dry - I'm glad you mentioned about the walk-in tubs, as lifting ones leg up and over the height of a standard tub is very difficult for some people.  If you don't have a walk-in shower, you're up a creek (or will have to bathe in a creek  ;)).  A tub even with a transfer seat, can be very difficult (it was for my Mom).

I know for myself, when my sciatica acts up, I can hardly stand up straight and walk, then alone even THINK about stepping into the tub to take a shower.

I do not want wall to wall carpeting

Vacuuming can make my arms/elbows just ache.  :-\

Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: ashewoman on May 31, 2012, 12:13:23 AM
I talked my brother into going with me to look at this 1br cabin tomorrow.  The guy said he'd take the voucher but he's going to charge me $100 more so he gets the full amount they will pay.  Granted I'm not paying it but I think that's illegal. Still, I can't complain because I need a place and the places I looked at today were SCARY.  I could hardly believe humans inhabited them so I didn't even stop and look inside.  But other than that the little cabin sounds like a little piece of heaven.  It has a deck and is sitting next to a creek.  If you cross the creek you are in a national forest.  Even though it is kind of remote, there are two other houses on the property so if you yelled someone would hear you.  LOL And hopefully come... LOL :) The landlord described them as a cute retired couple who gather plants from the forest and make wild crafted tinctures and a older working single woman who is almost never home.  Sounds like great neighbors.  He also said there is space between the three houses so you have your privacy but you aren't in the middle of no where.

The only slight issue is it's only wired for a one piece compact washer/dryer unit.  I was going to have to buy a washer to go with my dryer though since the one here belongs to the landlord.  I guess I could maybe trade my dryer in or sell it to my brother.  Chances are I will just let him use it though.  But I can have a washer and dryer there just not the one I have.  Like I said I was going to have to purchase a washer anyway.  But I'm taking my brother because I don't think about things like outlets or light fixtures or plumbing.  I hear I lucked out last time by not getting oil heat.  Apparently, its very expensive and not terribly safe.  I need him to look at that practical aspects for me and help me decide if this is safer than what I have.  I tend to look at neighbors and cleanliness.  Maybe that's why I made such a poor choice last time... plus I was in a mad rush so I kind of had to take something available immediately.  It's 25 minutes away but at least its basically on the same side of the county as my family.   25 minutes isn't too bad.  And it seems like it will be a lot safer. 

My brother came over a bit tonight to watch tv and he opened the door for me.  He said the down stairs door isn't even locking.  Obviously when I set the bolt it locks but if I am leaving I can't do that.  It's one of those sliders that you have to be inside to latch so basically anytime I leave my house can be opened if you just bump your hip into the door.  It pops open.  What I thought was locking the door was the knob sticking.  He's not happy about that but since that door is in the back and I'll be moving asap I doubt anyone even knows its there without poking around and I have great neighbors.  Someone would call the police.  At least when I am here I know its locked.  It's going to be such a relief to decide on something and get situated.  If this place works out I can put down a deposit and start the packing process.  SIGH!  At least it is all one level.  Very little is here because of the hills.  Even if it is one level you probably have to go up or down to get to that one level.  Wish me luck.  I can't sleep so I'm typing.  LOL  GG
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Meld256 on May 31, 2012, 03:45:55 AM

You bring up an excellent point!  ;)  Most times when we're healthy we really don't think about what type of accomodations we may need later.

A case in point: My MIL and FIL built their dream home 15 years ago. After living in an old, 2-story house with a basement for years, they knew they wanted everything on one floor.  She was tired of doing laundry in the basement.  Her elderly mother lived with them, so they made accomodations for her; a walk-in shower, taller commode, wide hallway and doors, and a wheelchair ramp from the back deck.

Her mother passed away at 93 and they were still in good health and very active in their late 50's. Then...within months of one another, my FIL was diagnosed with lung cancer and MIL had a stroke.  They just decided the year before to take up the carpeting and put in hardwood floors.  That was a huge help.  If they didn't have the other changes in the house, I'm not sure how it would've worked.  It would have been very difficult.
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Bucky on May 31, 2012, 09:06:28 PM
GG - good luck as you go to look at the cabin.  It sounds like it would be a little vacation cabin!   ;D

It's a good thing your brother is going with you - that will be a big help to have two heads to think things through.  Just don't rush into things - weigh all the pro's and con's and then think on it over the weekend (if you were thinking of making a decision right away). 

Will it be OK to have your pets there?  Does the creek rise out of it's banks when a hard rain comes?  Will you be in bear country??  I wouldn't want to wake up to a grizzly peering in my window!   :o

Good Luck!

Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: ashewoman on June 01, 2012, 01:12:17 AM
Oh Bucky-- it was a disaster.  LOL  Apparently that creek has risen before.  Beautiful outside.  Amazing if it had been a campsite.  But the cabin smelled like mildew and had water damage.  Plus it was teeny and dark.  And as if that wasn't enough, it has oil heat, not even propane.  I've heard horror stories about how expensive and inefficient that kind of heat system is so I can imagine going thru around $300 or 400 filling the oil tank every month and still being cold right there at the foothills of that mountain.  I've had friends who've done it.  It's better to pay more to get a furnace. 

It was more like a fishing camp style flop house than I had hoped.  LOL  I'm going to look at a house tomorrow, I think.  Wish me luck.  I'm afraid of what I'll see when I get there as it is less expensive and larger than the cabin, but I think the land lord is less greedy for that.  So the search continues.... GG
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: xANTHONYx on June 02, 2012, 09:08:26 AM

I am only 24 and reasonably able bodied, but I actually live in a handicap apartment because it was the last unit available when I moved closer to college. It has it's advantages and disadvantages. If I were to build a house, I would likely want it to be able to be easily converted into a handicap accessible place if need be. What I mean is somethings are harder to change than others like door widths for instance. My grandmother was confined to a wheelchair and she could go through any door in my parents house except for the bathroom! For some reason the bathroom door was two inches smaller than the rest which required a larger door be installed at great expense.

In my two years of living in this handicap unit I have noticed a few things I dislike.

The lower counters require me to hunch over when using them. It's mainly a problem when cooking as it is impractical to sit while preparing food.

There is no storage under the sinks. This also means that the drain, disposal, and water lines are all exposed.

There is also no storage or counter space at all in the bathroom. This is because there is no vanity in place and there are grab rails all around the toilet that have so far made it impossible for me to find a storage solution that fits in between them.

No bathtub, just a shower stall. It also lacks any sort of ridge to keep the bathroom floor from filling with water when I shower.

There are also some things I like.

The controls for the oven are in the front so I need not reach over hot pots and pans to adjust them.

The closets are long and shallow with doors that open all the way along the length of them. This means everything in the entire closet is on display when I open the doors.

The handicap toilet is quite a bit taller than a conventional residential unit and it's just better in every way. I personally would install one in any house I owned if I had the room for it. I will say that one of my not so bashful classmates complained that she lost her sandals and undies while taking care of business because her feet would swing as she couldn't touch the

And my favorite feature, it is on the ground level. I have a bad heart and I very much hate stairs. I despise carrying garbage bags, groceries, etc up and down the stairs. Especially when you would meet someone on the way and one of you would need to retreat until the other passed.

With all things considered I personally would prefer to live in a non handicap unit but in a college town it's so hard to find a place I have decided to stay here. I will say if there is any sort of chance you might need that type of facility, go for it. I have got by just fine in mine.

Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Bucky on June 08, 2012, 06:28:38 PM
GG - any luck on the housing front?  I'm glad you decided against the cabin by the creek.

xANTHONYx - I find that our sink in our bathroom (and it's a "regular" bathroom) is kinda low and when my sciatica acts up, it can be pretty tough to bend down to wash my face or "sit" on a low toilet - I like the higher toilets too.   ;)

It seems there are quite a bit of variations in heights if most homes are "standard" heights.

I noticed the same problem with walk-in shower at my brother's house - hard to keep the floor from getting wet when you open the door and all the water goes all over the floor.   :-\  Seems like a poor design to me.


This past week I was visiting family in another state and got to see the house my brother and SIL will be moving into in July.  In my opinion, (not that it matters), they are making a huge mistake getting this house with all the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs (there is a toilet only bathroom on the main floor).

There have been back & knee issues through the years (back is still on-going) - I would really reconsider this endeavor if I were them . . but, it's their decision.  Both my husband and I agreed we would never EVEN consider this house due to all the stairs.  To each, his own. 

Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: ashewoman on June 10, 2012, 12:53:17 AM
Bucky-- I've decided to stay where I am.  It sounds like once they were given an ultimatum to make repairs they are going to.  Thank goodness I couldn't face the effort in finding another place much less packing up and moving into it.  GG
Title: Re: If you are planning on moving or remodeling
Post by: Cricket on June 10, 2012, 10:52:09 AM

Just read the title and first thing that popped into my head was "don't I wish!". And I am not picky either one would be great.