Adapting a Home for Disabled Family Members

When I moved into my home five years ago it already had most of the requirements for a disabled person because it was a newly built house. I had no idea that just two years later I would be so grateful for these. If my house had been older I may have had to make a lot of changes. This post is a guide to what changes may need to be made should a loved one become disabled.

Whether a disability is borne out of a chronic illness or unforeseen trauma, living with one isn’t easy. Many disabilities impair one’s capacity to get around, which is why it’s important for family members and loved ones to create an environment suitable for accommodating their unique needs. And although many new homes are designed to aid persons with disabilities, often, older homes need to be retrofit to do the same.

That said, if you have a loved one or family member with a disability, here are a few things you can do to make your house more comfortable and inviting for them: 

Major Renovations


1. Change your flooring

photograph of a hallway with wooden floors and doors

If you have marble floors or a carpeted hallway, it might be good to replace them with hardwood floors or ceramic tiles. These different types of flooring provide traction for wheelchairs, not to mention being easy to clean.If you don’t have enough money to re-floor your property, The Spruce suggests covering it with linoleum instead. Aside from being resistant to water and stains, it doesn’t hold on to dust and is good for wheelchairs. We have wood effect linoleum in our hallway and people often believe it’s real wood. It’s great for my wheelchair and makes exiting the house easy.

2. Widen hallways and doors

photo of a white dining room with a table and chairs and a sliding doorway

Your home’s doors need to be at least 36 inches wide for standard-size wheelchairs to fit through. A carpenter can usually complete this job within a day, as it is pretty straightforward. 

However, if you want to make the adjustments yourself, you can install doors with swing-away hinges. You can also opt for dividers and sliding doors, which not only make access easier, but they can also make your home look more open and spacious. From the selection of internal doors on Screwfix, it is evident that your choice can impact the overall look of an entire room or home. This is why when choosing new doors, you need to make sure they are functional, as well as beautiful. 

3. Add a downstairs toilet

photograph of a bathroom with shower, toilet and sink unit

If you find installing wheelchair platforms, stair lifts, and wheelchair climbers too expensive, you can renovate your home to make another bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor for your disable relative to sleep. This way, you won’t need to worry about how they will get up and down the stairs regularly.

Minor Renovations


1. Change door and cabinet knobs

photograph of a door handle on a white door

Door knobs can be difficult to use if they have limited mobility in their wrists or hands. It’s better to use door handles that will allow your doors to be unlocked and opened using only one hand. Locks, bolts, chains, and peepholes should be placed between three to four feet from the floor, so they can easily reach it.

2. Add accessible accessories to your bathroom

Photograph of a bathroom with mirrors,

Showering and sitting on the toilet can be challenging, especially if they have restricted in terms of their movement. Installing handy bathroom accessories like shower seats and sturdy handrails will be very helpful—and are easy to blend in with your bathroom’s overall design. If you have more resources, you can follow the designs featured on the Telegraph and overhaul your bathroom to turn it into a wet room. This means that it will have no moving parts or doors that need to be opened or closed. It’ll be turned into one seamless room that can easily be accessed even if your family member is in a wheelchair or walker.

3. Add sufficient lighting

photo of a living area with sofas and lots of lighting on the ceiling.

Whether they are using a walker or a wheelchair, it’s important to make sure every nook and cranny of your home — including the stairs, rooms, and hallways — is well-lit. An electrical technician can help you improve your home’s lighting and make sure you leave no dark corners. Long hallways should have light switches at both ends and the switches should be reachable from a wheelchair.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your driveway and garage, too. Garden paths need to be wide enough for wheelchair access and the paving should be wheelchair- and walker-friendly, Lushome notes that some of the most important considerations you need to look at when it comes to your driveway are safety, access, drainage, and aesthetics. Once you’ve crossed out all these off your list, your home will be ready for any family member with a disability.

Overall, minor and major home improvement projects for the benefit of a disabled person are a welcome change. And while you’re at it, why not take into account your loved one’s style and preferences? For ideas on choosing a theme, have a look at our guide here on Raisie Bay

Preparing Your Car for Winter Journeys

traffic stuck in snow

I hate driving in snow and ice, it scares me and I’ve had a couple of near mishaps. Once, I was coming out of an icy car park, approaching a busy road, when the car just wouldn’t stop. I was skidding towards the moving traffic sideways on. Eventually the car stopped just inches from the road, just as a bus went passed. 

I avoid driving in snow and ice whenever I can, but sometimes it’s not possible. The weather stays bad for months and the car needs to be used so I’ve put together some tips for making sure the car is ready for winter journeys.

Do Your Checks

Make sure your tyres are in good condition, you may even consider changing to winter tyres. The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm but 3mm is recommended for a better grip in bad weather.

Car batteries have a life of around 5 years so it’s worth checking how old yours is, it’s going to take a lot of pressure over the winter months.

Check the amount of anti-freeze in your water and top it up if necessary. In winter it should be fifty percent water, fifty percent anti-freeze.

Clean your lights, windowscreen and wipers. Being able to see properly is a priority on darker days and nights. Check for chips in the windowscreen too as these can grow when it’s cold.

Always make sure you have a decent amount of petrol in the tank in case of delays in your journey.

Emergency Supplies

It’s always best to be prepared for an breakdown or being stuck in traffic in cold weather. We all see it on the news, rows of cars stuck for hours in the snow, but we never know when it could happen to us. So it’s wise just to be prepared. A simple breakdown kit could contain, a shovel, torch, blanket, scraper, de-icer and a few food and drink supplies. That should help until you get moving again, or rescued. It’s always good to have a fully charged phone too.

Last but Not Least

Do make sure that your car is up to date with it’s service checks and MOT. According to the AA a lot of car problems in the cold weather could be avoided by regular servicing and maintenance checks. So, get yours done before it’s too late. No one does better VOSA approved MOT in Northampton than Calmac Tyres Autocentres. Get your car checked today!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post


Making Your Kids Bedroom Warm and Cosy

mount fuji in Japan at sunset
Image Credit

Winter is quickly creeping in, and at this time of year we all feel the need to hibernate like the animals our children learn about at school; in fact, with darker nights and colder days, having a house that’s warm and cosy is imperative to creating a feeling of “home sweet home”.

There’s nothing less homely than being in a house that is cold and drafty, yet, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm and cosy bedroom that makes you feel all safe and snuggled up from the cold weather outside.

Indeed, winter can be a magical time, for as the snow begins to fall for the first time, the whole house will get excited about the prospect of building snowmen, going sledding and having the inevitable snowball fight.  Of course, there’s the occasional Scrooge like character that fails to see the magic of this time of year and considers only the affect such adverse weather will have on traffic conditions… but for most people, and in particular, most children – the snow starting to fall signifies a time of magic and wonderment.

There’s nothing better, as a kid, than being wrapped up warm looking out at the snow falling from your bedroom; going to sleep, then waking up every now and then, peeking through the window to see if it’s still snowing and whether the snow has settled.

Child’s Bedroom

Now, in terms of making your child’s bedroom warm and cosy, the furniture in your kids bedroom is quite important.  Cuckooland offer perhaps the coolest kids bedroom furniture to create a modern yet cosy atmosphere, though, a lot of making your kids bedroom more warm and cosy comes down to is related specifically to their bed and lighting.

Lighting is one of the most vital components when it comes to creating a warm and cosy space, and there are a number of things you can do to add to the feeling of warmth within your child’s bedroom, whilst also offering a safe “night light” glow that is conducive to sleep.

Many times, people put warm LED string lights into their child’s bedroom to emit a warm glow that is safe to stay on throughout the night (particularly if battery operated), whilst if you’re looking for something a little more fancy you could use a himalayan salt lamp, as this will create a cosy glow in addition to providing numerous health benefits.

Then, when it comes to the warmth and coziness of your kid’s bed, it can be helpful to add a memory foam mattress topper to their bed, as this will provide much warmth and insulation whilst also making the bed feel more cloud like in that they will sink into it.  

If your house is particularly cold, and electric blanket can work wonders in providing a constant supply of localised heat – or a hot water bottle provides a more specific heat source that can be nice to put in the bed prior to bedtime.


Disclosure: collaborative post

The Home Office

I used to have a corner of the living room as my home office. I had everything I needed, a desk, chair, pc and complete filing system including my luxury branded ringbinders.

Then I got sick and rarely used my work station so it was passed on to Star. She now has everything in her bedroom and my living room was reclaimed  became a dumping corner for toy boxes.

I’ve decided now that I’d like it back as a home office. It just felt different having a space to work in. I seemed to get so much more done, I was more productive without distractions. 

The Little Man’s bedroom should really be a home office, it has so many plug sockets and it’s just the perfect size. But I’d have to kick him out and he’s only eight so I don’t think I’d get away with that. Maybe in the future there will be a bedroom shuffle, because I’m sure if one of the other bedrooms became free there would be a rush to move around. The Little Man is happy in his little room for the time being though, so I will have to settle for my living room.

My Ideal Office.

I’m lucky enough to have quite a large living room so I can easily spare a corner. I do think my needs have changed since the last time though. For one, I’d need a very comfortable chair to sit in. I would be using my laptop so the desk would not have to house a pc. I’d like lots of storage for all my paperwork. 

But, it’s not just work, there is also play involved. I like to do a bit of papercraft, so it would be nice to have the desk to use for that. And I really love stationary and pretty things, so it would probably be less office like than before. 

And when I’m not working, I’d love to be able to store everything neatly away.

Inspiration

It will be after Christmas before I can set up my new office because that’s when we’ll be re-decorating. But I’ve been looking on Pinterest for some inspiration. I’m a long way from making up my mind though.

a simple white desk and matching chair against a grey painted wall with a wire bookcase
Maybe if we went for grey, but I’d need more storage
a dark wooden bench beneath a large bookshelf full of books and plants
A bit too cluttered, but I do love bookshelves
An old wooden desk with a a floral chair topped with a painting and a lamp and set against a handpainted mural on the wall
I love the wooden desk
two white cabinets with a plank of wood across the top to make a desk
Or maybe I should have something made to suit. This is a plank of wood over two filing cabinets.

Do you have a home office? 

How to make that perfect garden the whole family can enjoy

 

A garden should be enjoyable for those who tend to it, but also for the entire family to enjoy the ‘green’ outdoor space together. So, how can you create an inviting space for everyone to make use of this summer? Consider some of these simple tips.

Add pop and colour


Choose flowers, plants, and arrangements which stand out. You don’t want a garden which is dull or is lacking something vibrant which sets it apart from your neighbour’s garden. So, consider a distinct floral arrangement, some fun garden ornaments, or other decorative pieces, so your garden will stand apart from the rest. If you are not a keen gardener and would like some assistance you could get a local gardener to come and help you. I would recommend looking on a trade directory like myjobquote.co.uk.

Photo by Val Toch on Unsplash

Add a spark of fun


Consider adding a swing set for the kids, a walking path, or even a jacuzzi or slip and slide area for them to play. If you have the space, add an attached deck or fire pit. The more interactive the space is, the more it is going to be enjoyed by the gardener, and the entire family. And, the easier it is going to be to bring everyone together, when you want to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Add a fountain


A water fountain or water pit, with surrounding gnomes or garden ornaments, will really stand apart from other gardens where you live. It is going to have a distinct look and feel, it is going to add a decorative flair to the space, and it can easily bring the entire garden area together, especially in a larger home, with large outdoor (or separate garden areas) space.

Photo by Alexandria Courtney on Unsplash

Your garden should bring enjoyment to everyone who sees and experiences it. These are some simple tips to incorporate to ensure it is enjoyed by yourself, as well as your family and friends who come to visit your home as well.

For further ideas on garden transformation please see my former post on how to make the garden a fun filled space for kids.

 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.