A picture is worth a thousand words...

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mare

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I've noticed there have been a few threads/posts asking about renovations, as well as quite a few new members who are new to this as well.
I thought it might be helpful to see the spaces as they relate to each other (particularly PWC & doorways!); I know I tend to be a "visual" person, and as they say, "...a picture is worth a thousand words..."

In a perfect world, we could all either move to a fully handicap-designed home with all the luxury amenities, or add an addition to our homes to accommodate these things.
But it's not, so we do what is "perfect" for us- work with what we have space wise and budget wise to create the perfect space for our PALS.
And try as we may to prepare for whatever is down the road, there will be some "tweaking" as you move forward. (at least, in my experience)

The one thing I would say to those of you who are starting this daunting process is to think outside of the box. Do you have a bedroom that is not being used because the "kids" are grown & moved out? Do you have a guest room that doesn't get much use? Consider that space in your planning- after all, do you really even want houseguests these days?:wink: A bathroom renovation doesn't have to be the master bathroom- maybe another bath has easier access or better layout, and therefore less work & less cost.

I have pictures in albums to show our bathroom renovation. If I had been doing an addition, yes I would have made it bigger. (can a bathroom ever be too big?:lol:)
The space does work but I would not want it any smaller. (it is 8'3" wide x 11" long; configuration of the fixtures does need to be considered though) Pictures show how our shower w/c moves through the space, which is important to consider. Also, you'll see when the shower chair is in place there is plenty of room; a shower w/c however fills the space more. And when trunk weakness sets in, you will need the chair to recline (takes up more space) to prevent falls. (my husband fell out of his shower w/c; trunk weakness snuck up on us! :shock:)
Before we installed a ceiling lift, we had a loaner "hoyer-type" lift. While I was able to use it in the space (when he fell), it does take-up much floor space to turn, as well as a few pivots. (remember, it does not have the turning radius of a PWC; more like the flat-bed carts at a big box home improvement store!:p

How wide is wide enough? Each person is different, so hopefully seeing some of the pictures will determine that for you. If you say to yourself, "I could fit through the door way if the door wasn't there", off-set hinges are a great way to do that. Careful driving will get you through; a few "dings" are gonna' happen- don't sweat the small stuff!:smile
 

glupavomomiche

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Thanks so much for sharing this, mare! My mom and I had studied your pictures closely a couple of months ago when planning my bathroom. We will definitely take a look again now that you have made more changes and shown such great detail. The photos are awesome! Thank you thank you thank you! We're about to embark on rennovating my bathroom and bedroom. I actually have what was listed as a "handicap bathroom"... um, maybe it was by 1970s standards, but today... uh, no. LOL I'll be sure to post before and after pics when we're done to help others as well!
 

momap53

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Thanks so much for sharing your photos. They're a great help.
 

HelenL

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nice bathroom shots thank you for posting! I need to figure out if a bathroom will fit into my 10' pantry, and what to do with the w/d if it does...
 

mare

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glupa-

In my experience, I found that the definition of "handicap accessible" means different things to different people. (especially contractors!) And most likely, the contractor will have no knowledge of ALS & its progression. They tend to see what you are capable of doing now &
Just know that the ADA guidelines are just that- guidelines. You can & should personalize the space to your needs. My husband sat in each position (toilet, at sink, in shower) & decided what height was most comfortable for him, and then the contractor marked it.

Be sure to sit in the proper chair to ensure the right height; a PWC sits higher than a manual w/c; same with a shower w/c as compared to a stationary shower chair. (unless it is height adjustable) A rollator walker with a seat can substitute in a pinch, as that sits about the same height as a w/c.

You don't need to have an ADA certified contractor either. Our first bid was from one & he was TWICE the cost of our other 2 bids. We went with one who did not have certification, but had done a roll-in-shower before.

And for some who may not have seen the thread "New Bathroom Plans" (in people with ALS forum; thread starter was arkallen; 7/27/2011- perhaps Lori will see this & post a direct link? ;-) ) it has lots of other tips as well. A member (tomby) posted his blueprints of his addition that I thought were ideal!

There are other options if a roll-in-shower is just not going to happen- if you have a large enough stand-up shower but it has a "curb", or even a standard tub, there is a shower chair that can go over the curb or side of tub.

Good luck with your remodel, and do post pictures when done. They help to realize options and give lots of ideas!
 

marypat

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there is also a couple pictures in an album on my page, that show a bathroom in a hotel. there was some good ideas in it. not all perfect but it gets the thoughts rollin
 

Tsipi

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Thanks for the useful pics. We are currently in the middle of renovating our bathroom, and the tips I have got from this forum have been wonderful. We are considering installing a bathroom sink tap with an electronic eye, as my husband has little strength in his one functioning hand. We're not 100% sure about this - we are worried that it might not be reliable. There is nothing more annoying than standing at the sink in a public WC and waving your hands under the tap trying to get the water to flow! But if we do decide to go ahead with it, I'll be sure to post and let you know if it's something to consider.
 

marypat

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we did install motion activate light switches so i wouldnt have to reach them and remotes for the fan/lite combos. the switches were 15 bucks and work well. the remotes,30, i think. we also have a wall plug that has a remote switch, so u ccan plug a litge and put the switch by the bed or whereever
 

Bill Simpson

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Like many others, my three-bedroom ranch house (built in 1976) is not conducive to PWC use and certainly not assessable for bathroom activities. The single best "remodeling" came in the form of Offset Hinges. With these hinges, the openings of the bedroom and bathroom doors are increased by 2 inches in width. 2 inches may not seem like a lot but in reality, it is a tremendous difference. (Demonstrated by the lack of skidmarks on the door facings, a byproduct of the PWC squeezing through the opening.) These hinges are Unavailable in local hardware stores or home improvement box stores. (Although Lowes does carry a 1 1/2 inch offset hinge. Unfortunately 1 1/2 inch offset hinges do not fit around the most common door moldings.) On line you can Google "2 inch offset door hinges" and you will get numerous sites that carry these hinges. Expect to pay $30 or more plus shipping for a set of 3, 2 inch hinges.
 
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