A handicap accessible home is the ideal living space for you as someone with MS. But what does that mean? Aside from a wheelchair ramp and grab bars in the bathroom, what else makes a home accessible?
If you are looking for - and I love this new term - barrier-free living options, you may wish for a place that will include everything and anything you may possibly ever want as your needs change.
First of all, what is the purpose of accessibility? What problems do home adaptations solve?
The following is a list of areas and things around your home you may need to think about adapting. Even if you don't need them yet, thinking and planning your home now can prepare for anything that happens in the future.
Most of these areas need to be addressed with the comfort and safety of the person with MS in mind. You also need to decide what is necessary now and what may be necessary in the future. You don't want to buy a three story home without thinking about the fact that stairs may become impossible to navigate when mobility becomes an issue.
Start planning for the future now, especially when it comes to big decisions like where you will live in ten years if you've already been diagnosed. This could be as simple as choosing a ranch home with an open floor plan that would be easy to modify.
Of course, if you have had MS for several years, you may already be experiencing disability. You will need to decide if you should find and move into a handicap accessible home. Or should you try to modify the one you're already in.
Communities like the following, address the needs of those who live with disabilities or special needs and also have families that live with them. Hopefully, places like this will become more and more available.
I just ran across a fun series called 7 Things You Didn't Know Existed. Not all of the things are geared to handicap accessible users, however, many of them would certainly be helpful if you are mobility, site, or other impaired. Check them out! See which ones might help make your life easier.