Thanksgiving House’s SEED project for 2009 is to renovate a number of areas in Skip’s house to give him access to some amenities that have been missing from his life since his bicycle accident and resulting paralysis over a year ago. Skip lives in a two-story house and for the past year, he has only had access to the living room and kitchen. The dining area of the kitchen was converted into his bedroom and houses his hospital bed, his wheelchairs, a table with his computer, and some shelving to hold his clothes and medicines.
Recently the VA installed a staircase seated-lift that Skip can use to access the upstairs of his house. Thanksgiving House will remodel one of the upstairs bathrooms to customize it to meet Skip’s needs. In addition, Thanksgiving House will modify Skip’s closet, add ramps, replace the family’s washer and dryer with front loading units, and modify some of the kitchen cabinets and counters to meet ADA requirements. All of these changes are designed to enable Skip to take a more active role in his activities of daily living (ADLs).
During the planning phase of this project, Thanksgiving House discovered that there is a serious mold problem throughout Skip’s house. Since Skip receives chemotherapy treatments for his stage 4 lymphoma, his immune system is less able to handle the risks associated with the bad air quality in his house. So, in addition to the planned modifications to improve Skip’s access to some basic amenities, SEED has also undertaken to resolve the air quality problem in the house. Consistent with Thanksgiving House’s SEED mission, wherever appropriate, modifications will be accomplished using sustainable building practices and “green” materials.
Here are some of the problems we will undertake to solve for this project:
Skip needs a wheelchair accessibly shower, so we will be removing this bathtub and moving the toilet to allow us to create a tiled, roll-in shower stall.
The kitchen counter tops and the sink are all too high for Skip to reach from his wheelchair. We will lower one section of the kitchen “island” to provide an area where he can eat. We will also replace the kitchen faucet fixture with one that extends further forward and has the control at the tip rather than at the base.
This deck has extensive dry rot damage and cannot be walked on safely. We will be removing the deck and, through a generous donation from Omegaturf, the deck will be replaced with artificial turf to provide Skip with an area where he can play ball with his grandkids.