Lynn and Lois were in the early stages of their retirement when Lynn was diagnosed with a neuromuscular degenerative disease. Although Lynn was still able to walk on "good days," he found his strength and endurance were waning, and he needed to use a wheelchair more and more.
The Wogens' one-level house provided some basic features of home access. But Lynn and Lois quickly realized getting the wheelchair in and out of the home was not an easy task. Plus, it didn't fit into their bedroom or bathroom.
Lois and Lynn knew Lynn's mobility would continue to decrease. But Lynn wanted to preserve his independence for as long as possible. Lois wanted to be able to safely assist him when necessary. They turned to Accessibility Design for help.
Accessibility Design proposed modifications that enhanced the home's beauty and added access solutions without adding additional square feet. Creative space planning is the foundation of all great home access projects, so the Accessibility Design team guided Lois and Lynn toward a flexible, functional solution: removing two hallway walls (between the kitchen and third bedroom/den/office) and widening a portion of the hall.
After the work was done, the Wogens had better visibility throughout their home, as well as the necessary turning space for wheelchair use. In the hallway, office, and bedroom, new hard floor surfaces made it easier for Lynn to propel and navigate the wheelchair. The new design afforded Lynn and Lois additional storage in the bathroom and bedroom, plus more ergonomic use of their office space.
With his disease, Lynn's independence and stamina are unpredictible. Therefore, it was important to ensure the home modifications could adapt easily to Lynn's changing needs. For example, the size and style of the shower, as well as the placement of grab bars, can accommodate Lynn on both a "good day" (walking) or a “not-so-good day” (use of a rolling shower chair).
By working together, Lynn and Lois—along with Accessibility Design—were able to create a dynamic and user-friendly design. The new access features dramatically and positively changed the Wogens' outlook on Lynn's medical issues. Lynn said he also felt comforted that the modifications would help his wife age in place down the road. As a bonus, the end result was an updated look that will benefit resale value in the future.
"The access team and contractor provided careful planning and attention to detail allowing for flexibility in accommodating the use of a power wheelchair as well as various lifts...and our house still feels like a home!"