One more item to add to my to-do list is find ways to modify our home to make life a little easier taking care of Walker. When we bought out house four years ago, we had grand plans. We knew the space was small but were convinced by a sharkey mortgage broker that in two years we would be able to refinance and add on. Well, like the story of many other homeowners in our country, the housing market crumbled and we were left with a tiny two bedroom house, that was not valued at the price we paid for it. So, after trying to sell it, arguing with the mortgage company here we are back in the too small house, sleeping in the living room with Walker's crib next to us.
I made the decision to keep us all down stairs so that I didn't have to carry him up and down the stair case several times a day. Not only would it have been killing my back, but also dangerous in case we slipped. We have made due with the space we have, I remind myself, that people live in much closer quarters and survive. The other issues however, are getting him in and out of the house in his chair safely and bathing him in our current bathroom.
Our front door is not wide enough to get his chair through and the back sliding glass doors open up to a small concrete set of steps. Currently, we pull him and his chair down back wards, but as he gets heavier this will no longer be an option.
Our fantastic social worker, (have I mentioned how much i love her?) found us a non profit organziation that offers financial assistance to modify homes for children like Walker.
Yesterday the consultation crew came and we were able to get some ideas of what is proper building code. It was valuable information, like door ways should be three feet wide, and a ramp must slope twelve inches for every one inch of elevation. They also pointed out that the if we install a handicap shower stall we would need to replace the bathroom vanity because we wouldn't have much room to get to the toilet. (pretty important I think) This is why these guys are called in. They've done it and seen it and know things that we would never even think about.
It is a slow process, but I am trying to look ahead and figure out what Walker's needs will be in the future, and how we can best accommodate them. If you or anyone you know has done this before, I would love to hear ideas!