One thing (of many) that can be really frustrating when you first rely on a wheelchair full time (I can walk a couple of steps on crutches) – your home not being accessible.
I was pretty lucky, when we moved due to kiddos need for a garden, they have us a ground floor flat with a wet room. So, when I became a wheelchair user, this was handy. Except the toilet was separate and just in a small cupboard type room by itself. The door went into the ‘room’ just clearing the toilet, that was how tight it was. The door frame itself was not wide enough, there was absolutely no way my bulky NHS style wheelchair was getting in there. Even when I got my first active user chair, it was still too small. Back then I had to sort of throw myself at the toilet in the evenings as going in on crutches was hard work and I couldn’t do it all day.
I was referred to OT and and they came out and they knocked the wall out between the bathroom and the toilet making it one large room. They closed off the old toilet door and made my bathroom door wider. I ended up losing one of my 2 and a half storage cupboards – which isn’t good because I’ve turned into a hoarder of sentimental things plus things that are ‘handy’. So it is a challenge for space. Which was also frustrating.
So, the bathroom was done and it made things easier, I could wheel into the toilet and the wet room easier.
Well, the kitchen is a bit of a nightmare for me.
I struggle to wash the dishes in my sink, we don’t have a dishwasher, and I probably never will as my kitchen is tiny. The main problem is that it hurts my hips. I have to sit on the very front of my wheelchair and turn to the side. It isn’t ideal. Especially long term
I also struggle with the oven. The hob is too high for me to see what I’m cooking properly and the oven itself is too low for me to get food out. My core isn’t great, and I don’t always have the strength to pull myself upright with a hot dish in my hands. I would normally use my hands or elbows to help me up.
I’ve been getting on ok using a microwave, slow cooker and now an air-fryer, but I need a proper oven.
I want to learn how to cook properly. I had some dishes I could cook pre autistic burnout but I struggle with them now, my PA is there to help me with this stuff, but I need an oven I can use
I was due to have the kitchen installed in March, it was December when I had Magnet kitchens and the OT out to look at how to make it accessible. I wasn’t here when the original plans were made and apparently the council said no to the most accessible plan, which left me with a plan which reduces my storage, which I already struggle with in my small kitchen. I wasn’t happy about this, but was told it was my only option.
So I paid the £900 for the induction hob and the oven and was waiting for the go ahead- cue Covid – 19… there goes the kitchen being fitted!
Several months later, and it is being looked at again – I posted about the conflict autism vs physical need with the kitchen in my last post.
2 days ago I had the surveyor for the contractor come out and look at the kitchen and the plans – he isn’t happy with the plan at the moment. He believes the plan that was dismissed is the best kitchen for me and he isn’t happy with the fact I am not happy. He was confused as to where I was supposed to store everything. Which was my argument before!
With both of us not happy, he refuses to sign it off, and he needs me to talk to my OT to get them to agree that the current plan doesn’t met my needs and that the other plan would.
Typically she is on holiday. Not back until next Monday, but I’ve waited so long, doesn’t matter if it takes a little longer to get what I need. As this will be a bit of a fight, but I’m ready for it!