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About to embark on the renovations

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    About to embark on the renovations


    3 months ago my father lost the use of his legs...T9. He will finish acute rehab in 3 weeks and we are finalizing the home renovation plans.

    Our issues were that the house is built on a small hill with the driveway entering into the basement and two floors above. My parents REFUSE to move...this is their home...they love it. soo......

    We are going to pave both the front yard in a circular driveway...smalll just enough arc for a van to turn....and then fill in and continue the driveway to the back of the house for two entrances depending which enable him to enter on the first floor via ramps and no elevator.

    Secondly....the downstairs living room which nobody ever uses....will be converted into a master bedroom with a new accessible bathroom. Doorways will be widened and tables adjusted etc trhoughout downstairs.

    Many of you have been through this before? May I ask if you have any helpful hints or suggestions that could make this easier on us based upon your experience? Any suggestions are helpful.

    Lastly....on a personal mom and dad like to sleep in the same bed (45 years married) he will need a special bed, Medicare will not cover a king or a queen. The bedding companies are quoting $15,000 for a bed which gives him the accessibility and lets her sleep with him.....this seems a little ourtageous as I believe a single bed will be provided by medicare for free? Any suggestions?

    Thanking you in advance!

    You already have a contractor who will get all of this done in less than 3 weeks???

    Why does he need a special bed? He should be able to sleep in a regular queen or king sized bed, including doing transfers at his level. You may want to consider a pressure reducing mattress, but most people at his level don't need a hospital or adjustable bed except for convenience.

    You can get an dual California king adjustable bed (no high/low, but elevating legs and head) for a lot less than $15,000. My parents bought this one, and my mother is quadriplegic (not paraplegic) due to MS and is 86 years old. Just be sure to get a base that can be used with a mobile lift if he ever needs one (we have ceiling track lifts).

    If they don't have room for a king, the same company makes a dual queen (which is not as easy to find):

    Is your dad a military veteran? Has he pursued his VA rehab and SCI care benefits if so??

    Medicare will provide a rental hospital bed frame...a crappy one, and it is not "free". There is a 20% co-payment monthly.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      Welcome to CareCure ncytraveler1.

      Will your father be able to get into the other living areas in the house? If he can only get in and out of the converted downstairs, will all the social activities in the home take place in his living area? I would feel an additional sense of loss if I felt "stuck" in my living area and visitors were in the "rest" of the house without me. Not saying this will be the case for your parents.

      IF your family thinks this might become an issue, there are elevators and stair lifts that it might make sense to look at now, while walls are open and such.

      It's been my experience that building projects tend to cost more and take longer than projected. Have you finalized your contract? If not, you might want to add a penalty clause for time over runs.

      As to the mattress, KLD is the expert. I would consider her advice.
      My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

      Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

      "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

      Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.


        Welcome! I have learned so much from everyone here. They have tons of info for us sci newbies!

        Adding on to the driveway sounds like a great way to give him access to the 1st floor and cheap!

        The bed sounds crazy expensive - I think they are taking you for a ride ....

        Good luck bringing him home and getting him adjusted to everything.
        Inc C4 since Oct 07

        "Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing" - Optimus Prime


          love to see pictures of the new renovations when they are through. welcome to cc


            My husband and I purchased a king dual adjustable Sleep Number. With the queen adjustable bed we would have had only a few choices, head up, feet up or flat. We were concerned if my husband wanted the head up, but I didn't - too bad, one of us would loose out. With the king size, we each have the freedom to adjust our own side as we see fit. The down side to this is the bed is a king, but it is really 2 extra long twin beds put together. This is still ok, but finding sheets is another issue. Bed Bath & Beyond carry these sheets, but only in July/August when kids are heading to college. Also, don't get hooked on 1000 thread count sheets. More like 200 - 350 count and they don't fit all that great. However, Sleep Number carry their own line at 400 count, but fit great. This bed also allows us to adjust our own firmness and both sides have massage.


              I am just about to embark on converting a home to be accessible....I have been given a 10 month time frame for completion...(at the same time I will be responsible for mortgage payments and utilities etc. on both). Wow, your damn lucky getting this done in three weeks!

              My wife and I share a Queen size Tempur-pedic, we bought it at Sleep Country Canada for $2200. I am sure you can get that same bed in the USA for about $1800. It is a fantastic bed, I do not ever know when she gets in or she does not know when I transfer out....It amazingly keeps it's shape and has been the only bed since my SCI that I can get a good, restful sleep...the best thing is, you can try one from Sleep Country for 90 days and if you don't like can send it back (so they say anyway). $15,000 sounds like someone is taking advantage of your situation.
              Last edited by Para-trooper; 24 Jun 2009, 5:14 PM.