Monday, July 17, 2017

5 Tips for Making a Small Home Wheelchair Accessible on a Budget

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ConquerInco #CollectiveBias

When you are a caregiver, life can change in an instant.  You can be moving a long, following your routine, and something happen that changes everything.  That is what happened in our family last January.  My mother-in-law fell, broke her hip, and that was all she wrote.  She went from being totally mobile to having to use a walker/wheel chair.  I'm not going to lie to you, when I was looking at all the equipment she was utilizing during rehabilitation I was little overwhelmed.  How could we afford all of this?  Then there was the issue of our home.  We live in a little 1,100 square foot A-Frame house.  Can we even get a wheel chair through the door?  

That is when I was relieved to discover the Family Caregiving section at my local Sam's Club.  They truly are a one stop shop, and carried so many of the items we needed, at reasonable prices.  Because of that we were able to make the changes that we need in our home on budget.  That is why I am partnering with Sam's Club today to share my 5 Tips for Making a Small Home Wheelchair Accessible on a Budget.  I'm super excited about this post so...

Let's Get Started!

Tip #1 Walk Through Your Home, THEN Shop!

Dora's wheelchair is 26 inches in width.  I walked through my home and measured to make sure we could accommodate that.  Needless to say total reconstruction of our home was not in the budget, but I was pleased to find out that my 1940's built home would accommodate the wheelchair.  I also looked in the other rooms to see what we actually NEEDED.  What do I NEED to make this space work for her?  That was a big help.  I feel like we can get overwhelmed with what is out there that we buy items that aren't practical, and we can't use.  Next I went to my local Sam's Club to #ConquerInco this mountain before me on a budget!

Tip #2 Bedroom:

Previously Dora had a large, queen-sized bed in her room that provided just enough space for her to walk around her bed while using the walls and dresser to balance herself.  Obviously this wasn't going to work with a wheelchair, so we had to down-size her bed.  Because of her condition, we really needed a hospital bed.  It was important for it to be low to the ground.  My biggest advice for big ticket items is just to put out there what you are looking for.  On facebook, I made mention of my need and we were able to trade her queen-sized bed (which was brand new) for an older hospital bed. We sill needed to buy a mattress, but was able to find one at Sam'S Club for a great price.  Then we pushed all of her furniture to the walls.  One to create an open space in the middle of her room for the wheelchair, and two to provide safety for her while sleeping.

We were also gifted a bed-side toilet to put in her room.  This may not be glamorous, but trust me when I say that it is a lifesaver in the middle of the night.  And since this is as much of an adjustment for her as it is for us we bought her the Member's Mark Total Protection Adult Briefs for Men & Women, Medium (60 ct.) 

With their adjustable side panels and for a more secure fit and breathable material that keeps her skin cool, dry, and comfortable the Member's Mark Total Protection Adjustable Briefs for Men and Women have really helped Dora adjust to this new season in her life, as well as gives me peace of mind as her caregiver.  We also purchased the Member's Mark Underpads for Men and Woman to place under her fitted sheet.  

The last thing we did is place a baby monitor with a video camera in her room.  This way I am able to keep an eye on her in the evenings and make sure she is okay and not trying to get up without me.  It is also helpful in the mornings.  I am able to going about my morning routine and still keep an eye on her.  This was another item that I received for free by simply putting out on Facebook that I was in the market for one.  

Tip #3 The Main Living Space:

For our main living space I simply pulled up all the rugs and made sure there were clear paths for her to maneuver throughout the house.  I know this may seem like a such small step, but believe me when I say it make a world of difference.  

Tip #4 The Bathroom: 

This was the room I was most stressed about.  I have a small, narrow, bathroom and as I said earlier, a renovation was NOT in the budget, but I was thrilled to find a few things on the Sam's Club website that not only made this doable, but easy!

Firstly we purchased a raised seat for the toilet.  It also has handles on either side to help her get up and down.  It also helps me while assisting her.  Again, this is where the Member’s Mark Total Protection products came in handy.  Dora doesn't have to feel insecure about her needs during this time and that makes me happy.  

The shower was the one thing I was really concerned about, but then I found this Tub Transfer Bench and I am being honest when I say showering Dora now is easier than it was before the fall.  It has been a godsend. 

Tip #5 Relax:

If you, as a caregiver, are feeling overwhelmed about this new season in life comment stop and remind yourself that you can do it.  I know when Dora came home after rehabilitation I was terrified, but, just like with everything else, we have fallen into our routine and this was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be.  

So if you are transitioning into the wheelchair phase of caregiving, don't panic.  Head on over to Sam's Club for all your home medical needs as well as the Member's Mark Total Protection Adult Briefs for Men & Women to give you peace of mind on a budget.  

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and happy Living, 
~The Kitchen Wife


  1. Mandee, this is a most informative and awesome post. And I know you had this experience with your mother in law. Very good info here.