Leaving the hospital after a spinal cord injury is one of the most stressful things anyone can endure. Everything is completely different and you must relate to the world in a whole new way. This is especially true with your home.
For many of us, our favorite room or activity in our home is no longer possible, and it can feel pretty lousy on top of everything else we’re already dealing with.
For this post we’re specifically talking about accessible modifications in apartments – they’re some of the most popular forms of housing for many people with SCI, and there are many things you can do to an apartment despite being a renter. There are some great accessible apartments that come by default too.
Check out three of these apartments below, and some great DIY’s to help take your place to the next level.
Video #1: “Lucky Lady Crystal” Gives the Grand Semi-Accessible Apartment Tour
If you haven’t watched a video by Crystal yet, a spunky C6-7 quad, then you’re totally missing out. In the video, she gives a tour of her self-dubbed “semi-accessible” apartment located in a 200 hundred your old building where the kitchen isn’t quite accessible, but the rest of the apartment is.
The reason the inaccessible kitchen works is because her caregivers visit three times a day and help her with her meals. And in her bedroom, she has a barrier-free ceiling lift that carries her from her bed to her bathroom, right over her bathtub. She also has a very cool modified tub chair that many quads will likely covet hard after seeing.
Video #2: Quad Moves to Dubai, Adapts New Apartment
Meet Chris Colwell. He very well could be in the running for the most interesting man in a wheelchair in the world. A longtime resident of Florida, he moved to Dubai on a whim a few years ago, and in this video he gives a tour of his new apartment. Very interesting stuff.
Since he’s a renter, he couldn’t make many big adaptations to the apartment itself either. He did however do several small modifications – Chapstick on a string and tied to his bed in case he drops it, zip ties on the door handles for the heavy doors in Dubai (most are all wood) and a CD glued to the bottom of his cologne bottle to make it easier to pick up.
Video #3: “Try Me” Accessible Apartment for Inpatient Newbies
Over in Australia they have a really cool thing going on for newly injured individuals who have yet to leave the hospital. It’s the CHOICES Apartment – a completely accessible two bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment, 2 bathroom, and it’s a beautiful piece of work.
This perfectly accessible home, from the lowered kitchen countertops and pull out dishwasher to the two roll-in showers, is part of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, a great organization down under helping people with spinal cord injuries live independent lives.
Watch: SCIA’s CHOICES Apartment
It’s never easy getting your place ready for your new life post-injury, but we hope these videos give some insight into how it can be done, and that no way is the absolutely “right way” to go about doing it. Everyone has their own personal requirements of accessibility, and that’s absolutely ok.
What adaptations have you made to your apartment that have made a huge impact?
Watch the videos!