QUESTIONS and ANSWERS - ACCESSIBILITY
The house has been designed with accessibility in mind. The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute has offeredadviceon accessibility issues.
We plan to install ramped access from the driveway to the porch - likely at the back door so that we can easily access it from the garage. Toronto Rehab recommended that the porch be at the same level as the interior floor, but the interior is slightly higher than the porch to avoid the possibilty of snow melting and leaking under the door. As soon as one of us needs a wheelchair we can add small (2") ramps to improve accessibility.
The elevator is awesome! We made great use of it during the move-in process. For the most part, we all plan to use the stairs as much as possible as long as we're able simply for the exercise. But it is great having an alternative when doing a lot of trips or carrying a heavy load.
It is equiped with a telephone for emergency situations. It also has battery backup to bring the car down to the next level in the case of a power outage. It is big enough for a wheel chair and attendant if that becomes necessary.
One of our first "improvements" after moving in is the addition of handrails on the exterior steps. Winter weather made this real priority. Safety first!
As we're choosing towe racks for our bathrooms, we're all thinking about using something more substantial that can actually take our weight if we slip and need to grab at a railing. An occupational therapist is offering advice on type an placement.
The day may come when we need additional handrails somewhere in the house, but we'll cross that bride when we come to it.
As the Toronto Rehab people pointed out - at some point one or more of us will need a wheelchair or scooter. This is a three story house. If we want to continue to have access to all levels, an elevator was a necessity. Surprisingly, it didn't add all that much to the cost of the house.