Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What home improvement would make life easier?

Here's Max in the walk-in shower at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale we were just at. For two days after we got there, Max wouldn't venture in there. He shrieked-cried when Dave finally dragged him in.

And then, it was love. The shower had a rainfall shower head and a hand-held hose. And you know what? If you spray a hand-held hose against the glass door, it looks just like a car wash. Yessssirreee.

Yet another vacation breakthrough! And the awesomeness didn't stop there. Max rinsed his own hair (a first). He reached that hose high above his head—holy gross-motor feat! Raising his arms like that isn't something Max's muscles usually want to do.

If we were able to get a walk-in shower in our bathroom (I think we'd have to get rid of our master bedroom to fit it but whatever), it would give Max more independence. Also: we'd save so much money on going through car washes to entertain Max.

I do believe Max would very much appreciate any one of these styles:

Source: oliveaux.blogspot.com via Dina on Pinterest

Source: houzz.com via Nancy on Pinterest 

Oh, and while we were redoing the bathroom, we might as well toss in one just for me (so what if we'd have to give up the kids bedrooms):  

Source: bhg.com via Pascale on Pinterest

I also fantasize about a home gym for Max that would have one of those cool swings physical therapists use and some balance beams and other equipment and oh, yes, a sauna. Purely for therapeutic purposes, of course.  

So, what sort of home upgrade would make life easier on you and your family?  

Did I mention I wouldn't mind a kitchen upgrade, either?   

FYI, don't ever start scouring Pinterest for good-looking bathrooms because you will waste away entire evenings. Trust me on that one.   


  1. I'd love a single family home with a fenced yard. Right now we live in a third story 900 sq ft condo and it is definitely NOT ideal for our family.

  2. I am totally with Sunday - we live in a 2 bed/1 bath condo. I would love a single family ranch (I don't think I can keep up with two floors) with a fenced in yard.

    I would also love an eat in kitchen - something that is Food Network worthy.

    As for a bathroom upgrade? YES PLEASE! I'd love 3. One for me. One for the husband and one for Norrin. He'd love that walk in shower. Judging from the bathroom pics - they are big enough to double as a bedroom.

  3. First off, we need to get the piles and floorboards level, then all of the internal and external cracks repaired and painted - over 10300 earthquakes in 19 months will do that to a house.
    New kitchen - our current one is hardly big enough for one person, sometimes all four of us try to fit in there, and it's still the original one from when the house was built in the early 70s.
    New bathroom, and add wardrobes to all of the bedrooms.
    Level off the step down into the dining room - not so good for a kid with CP.
    Change the door that goes from the dining room out onto the deck into a wide opening slider - currently Isaac's walker doesn't fit out the door and the other door opens to steep steps.
    You did ask!

  4. A hot tub. Sitting in a hot tub is the only time I've ever seen my boys be perfectly still. It freaked me out, actually, but it was amazing!

  5. My favorites are the third one down and the last one. Drool worthy!

    I think that's awesome that Max was able to lift the sprayer over his head! The good stuff just keeps on comin'. Wonder what's next!

  6. I'd probably go simple... a couple of wider doors so that our door frames didn't look like they'd been attacked by a WeedEater!



  7. Kitchen Redo for sure. One that can fit more than one person comfortably while cooking and prepping. Next up a hot tub. :-)

  8. I love the bathrooms you posted and yes I want to redo our bathroom because Joey can barely stand without his brace but LOVES showers. All I really want are the bars for showers. I just can't figure out how to make it work without taking up the whole bathtub area. Should I install a shorter one now and once he gets too tall for that install a taller one later or install one that slants so the bar could 'grow' with him or just install a shorter one and a taller one at the same time and use the one that is appropriate for his height.

  9. at this point, I'd be happy with a sink I could roll Jackson's chair under so he can wash his hands!!! But those showers look great. We could take him in chair and all and clean off his chair at the same time!!! :-)

  10. Ellen, our master bathroom isn't huge-- 10'x8', and we've got a walk-in shower for Connor in a space about the size of a bathtub. Of course we sacrificed the bathtub to do it, so there is that. We opted to make the whole room waterproof, so we don't have to worry about clearance for the shower door. It's worked beautifully for us!

    If you can't figure out a way to stick a walk-in shower in, replacing your current shower head with one that has a detachable head is super easy and there are some attractive, really affordable options out there.

    We bought a swing for Connor from Ikea and ran it through a ceiling joust. Instant therapy swing!

    If I could change anything in our house, it would be to relocate the vent system so that we were able to mount a ceiling track lifting system in our house. That way when Connor starts getting really heavy it would be easy to move him around, and when I got lazy I could just hitch a ride. Awesome!

    Oh, and I'd make our garage level with the rest of the house instead of having stairs. It's the only part of the house that it's tough to get Connor in and out of now.

  11. I have a walk-in shower.:) Does anybody know where you can get a shower chair? I keep looking for one but they all have a commode with them. I just wanted the chair:) No pressure, but if you know of anything, please comment or email angel_jg4@hotmail.com Those bathrooms look amazing!! I like that he could pretend it was a car wash!

  12. Oh!Awesome! My facorite is the all white (the last one). You know, I am always fascinated with bathrooms. I want a big, beautiful bathrooms just like that. :-)

  13. http://www.adaptivemall.com/moshch.html Some shower chairs

    I was just thinking about a complete add on today. My daughters have to share a room, and it is a tight squeeze. I would love to add on a huge bedroom with roll in shower, plus an adapted bathtub w/ grab bars, as well as an adapted toilet and sink. We found out our youngest most likely also has the same condition as my oldest so it would be awesome to have all the accessability for someone in a wheelchair, as well as someone who can walk with assistance.

  14. RAMPS - ours our like death traps in the rain. Followed by a new SOFA BED for Chelsea's room for me to sleep on - and then new air con units. OK let's be honest the whole house needs a make over but the list of things above that is long and more important so a new hospital bed for Chelsea would be first (electric fully adjustable, air cushion undulating mattress to avoid pressure sores- not many on pintrest so far but I'll keep looking/. Love that Max had fun in the hotel - totally joyful post

  15. Seriously.... we have a simple swing in our Tiny house that my four year old Special guy uses multiple times a day...everyday. It hangs in the doorway between two rooms. Actuallly it is a yoga prop... looks like a swing...very cushiony and he hangs his arms over it and gos!!!! So much body awareness is gained by that thing. SO that is the home improvement I reccomend, plus it's cheaper than a bathroom.......and I could use a new kitchen too!!!! PS the swing makes everyone's life easier because Jaime is SELF ENTERTAINING on it...which counts for MUCHO!!!!!

  16. I'd love to lower some counters in the house and make the switches and door handles reachable for my daughter with dwarfism! Helping her be independent cheaply is not easy. I'd also love a fenced in yard for their safety as well as the ability to let the dog run outside!

  17. I would love an indoor swimming pool for my daughter Laura.She has Down Syndrome and LOVES swimming It really helps her motor skills

  18. I'd love a dishwasher that wasn't ME! Hee hee!!! Oh well, paper plates makes the chore go a bit faster!

  19. we are getting ready to work on my sons bathroom. our 11 year old Son has CP and is in a wheelchair. We built our home specially for him but we are finding out that as he grows bigger, things that we thought were going to to be great are causes for re design? He needs a bigger shower ( he can not sit up on his own and his shower is much to small he bangs his forearms and kicks the walls. SO we just got a quote to take out the roll out shower stall and put in water proof flooring that will essentially make his entire bathroom a roll out shower with the floor pitched to the drain and a water tight seal under the tile... We also need a Hoyer lift as my son is now 70 lbs (not weight baring) so he is getting way to heavy for me to move alone. I am New to your blog and I have often thought wouldn't it be nice if there was a blog for children and families with special needs members. Thank you!!!


Thanks for sharing!

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