Amber's Home

Every Little Girls Dream...a princess bed, a bubble tub and a way to use them safely...

Making sure Amber has the same opportunities as her sisters is a priority for her parents despite the unique challenges she faces. This includes participating in school and extra curricular activities...but most especially at home where family unity and togetherness is paramount.

Amber is a sweet and happy 7 year old girl who is a true miracle and blessing to her family. She enjoys spending her time with her 2 older sisters and her many, many friends. Amber was born with a condition that affected her brain. Because of this, she requires 24 hour care and uses a wheelchair for mobility.

Living in a split level house, key areas of the home were separated by stairs which Amber could not navigate. So, each time the family entered the home or moved from room to room, they had to carry Amber up or down the stairs ...AND someone had to lug the wheelchair behind them. It was exhausting to say the least.

Lifting and carrying Amber as a baby and toddler was easy, but as Amber continued to grow it became difficult for caregivers…especially for her mother who recently sustained a back injury. Family togetherness was becoming encumbered and the ease of caregiving much more difficult.

Her parents knew that their home wasn’t “working”, but were unsure of what to do to address these difficulties and barriers within the home. They really wanted her to be able to move more freely and safely throughout the entire home …and still provide a cute, fun, little girl atmosphere. They turned to Accessibility Design for help.

Improving the quality of life for the whole family…

After encountering restrictions to increasing the footprint (size) of the home, Accessibility Design proposed a new design and space plan that enhanced the home’s beauty and added access solutions without adding additional square feet. Knowing that creative space planning is the foundation of all great home access projects, Accessibility Design used their expertise and skills to guide the family toward a solution that allowed flexibility for the future and thus met both the current and future needs of Amber and her family.

Features that eliminated carrying and lifting Amber were emphasized. These not only included installing an elevator and ceiling mounted lift system, but also included raising the height of Amber's bed and providing a raised changing/dressing table. Her mother is no longer worried about further injury to her back as challenges associated with lifting have been removed.

While the roll-in shower is used for day-to-day bathing, a thermo air tub was installed for a special benefit. Previously considered a luxury, the therapeutic features of this tub relaxes Amber's tight muscles and improves her flexibility and range of motion.

And for the first time ever…Amber is also able to sit at the bathroom sink, stretch out her arms, and place her hands in the water. …not to mention catch her look in the mirror!

By working together, Amber's family and Accessibility Design were able to create a dynamic and user friendly design that included access features which dramatically and positively changed the lives of Amber and her family...and Amber has a bedroom that is every little girl's dream.

Accessibility Design's solution included:

  • An elevator to connect the garage to the upper and lower levels of the home
  • A new entry area large enough for Amber's wheelchair to move around
  • Ceiling mounted lift system for transfers in the bathroom (shower, tub and toilet) and bedroom (bed and changing table)
  • Accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower, therapeutic air tub, and accessible vanity
  • Accessible bedroom with a changing table and direct access to the bathroom
  • Raised bed for ease in caring for Amber without having to bend over, thus reducing caregiver back strain
  • Wider doors to be able to access her sisters' bedrooms
  • Hard floor surfaces increased Amber's ease in maneuvering with her wheelchair and to eliminated allergens that were having a negative impact on her respiratory system
  • A gate at the upper level stairway to prevent Amber from accidentally falling down the stairway
  • A modified threshold to provide access to the deck

The modifications were integrated so wonderfully that the beauty is what people remember and togetherness is what we enjoy.
Now Amber is able to move throughout our house as easily as her sisters!  There are no restrictions to where she can go...and the ceiling mounted lift system is doing all the lifting for us.  The therapy tub is one of our favorite features as it is making a remarkable difference relaxing Amber's tight muscles and improving her range of motion!

- Pam, Amber's mother

Minneapolis, MN 55426 USA 952.925.0301

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