For any number of reasons, you may find yourself in a position of discovering your current Houston home to be impractical for some newly arisen needs. It could be that a family member has become ill or been involved in some sort of accident and they now have different mobility requirements than they did when you first moved into the house. For this reason it is important to look for a new home and here are some things you might need to look out for and be aware of;
- Get a list from the physiotherapist, occupational therapist or other specialist/healthcare professional as to the nature of the things you will need to have in your house. For example you may have thought about ramps and stairlifts but you may not have considered the necessary handles and rails that need to go all over the bathroom or the usual proximity of the bathroom to any usual living space.
- Next, research the companies that carry out and provide these items and decide on the ones you are definitely going to go for. This means that you can get the specifications and go armed with them to every house viewing to make sure that the products you are buying will all fit. Linked to this, think about the wheelchair that will be used and make sure that all the doorframes in the house are large enough, or can be made large enough to accommodate the chair. You don’t want any room to be off limits. The point of getting a new house to satisfy these new needs is that it can become a home with as much ease and comfort as is physically possible.
- As well as researching the items you will need to research who you can get to fit them and carry out any building changes that need to be done to your new home. Though it won’t be a deciding factor in choosing your new home it might help to whittle down a shortlist of potential houses based on competency and price of labor in the immediate area.
- Also, when you are looking at houses make sure you have prepared a list of appropriate questions to ask the realtor and/or current owner to do with planning permission for your necessary changes. Chances are, you will be within your rights to do anything you like inside the house so long as it doesn’t affect the look of the outside of the house. However, take everything into account. You may have to build an extension onto the ground floor to provide a ground floor bedroom without minimizing the existing family living space. You may also have to look at where the water and electricity mains are in case you need to add an extra bathroom or increase the size of a current one.
Note: Some cities can be very funny about changes you need to make to a home so it is best to know what you’re getting into before you throw yourself into a legislative nightmare.
- Finally, consider the new neighborhood. What is the access like for shops and public transport routes so that your family member does not have to feel that all their independence is being taken away. Look at the actual routes to shops and activities in the vicinity and consider how this route will be maneuvered in a wheelchair. Are there adequate crossings? Are any areas sharply sloping? Are there steps?
I’m sure these are all things you will be considering anyway but hopefully it’s useful to have it all written down in a format you can refer to and keep handy.