Margie’s home presented significant barriers to her goal of independent living. An extensive home modification by Architecture & Access dramatically increased her safety and independence, and reduced her need for carer support.
“I built my home 20 years ago,” says Margie. ”Twelve months after we finished, mum moved in with us. My son was here until he was 26. Now, my daughter-in-law and grandson visit. This is my home and I wasn’t going to move.”
Margie’s home presented significant barriers to her independence, with modification required to the kitchen, ensuite, laundry, internal and external doorways and the construction of a ramp and stepless thresholds.
At the consultation, Margie was quite worried about what the house would look like.
“People are often concerned about the compromises they may have to make when planning their accessible home,” says Architecture & Access project manager Aaron Stowe.
“The occupational therapist and myself collaborated and consulted closely with Margie to develop a design solution.”
Margie was very hands-on with the design development and enjoyed close involvement in the discussion and decision-making.
Margie believes that the success of home modification comes down to communication.
“You have to let people know what is right for you and your independence, and ask as many questions as a you can fire at them,” she says. “And you also need to listen to experienced advice.”
Margie’s personal preference was for the location of the ramp to be at the rear of the house, this was a safety and security issue for her.
The placement of the toilet and grabrails accommodated her left-sided transfer. The height and depth of the kitchen benches were also customised to accommodate her larger chair.
Over the about 10-week construction stage, she planned regular site visits and the supply of home made cakes.
Upon return to her home Margie scaled back all her formal care, down from around 40 hours per week to one person to assist her at the pool in the mornings.
In evaluating the success of the home modification in assisting her to achieve her access and occupational goals Margie says, “You can’t give someone their legs back, but this is as good as it gets.”
See pictures of Margie’s home modification.
Find out more about Architecture & Access home modification services.
Download the Architecture & Access home modification brochure.