by Damian Haywood on 04 March 2015
##House Adaptations The extension, or “Matias Mansion” as we like to call it, has finally been completed. It has been a long hard slog of four years, but it has been well worth it. We were very fortunate in Oxford, the council provides an interest free loan in addition to the £25,000 disabled grant available nationwide. This meant that we were able to get exactly what was required without losing valuable space.
Matias is ten years old and very physically disabled. He can’t walk and just about manages to sit up-right. Because we knew caring for Matias at home was going to be difficult in the long-term we set out our journey of altering the house to his needs. I have to admit I was a little sceptical about the potential benefits versus the cost of the whole project.
But now it is up and running I admit I was wrong.
Having the space and equipment is life changing. Due to space restrictions we had to build a two storey extension and fit a through-floor lift. We were concerned that any lift for wheelchairs would look a little cage like! Thankfully at the first project meeting our OT brought us some brochures and our fears were alleviated. Lifts these days are very modern and not at all intrusive. Matias has always loved lifts, it is his favourite part of any department store visit.
So to have one of his own, that he uses several times a day, well you can imagine! The lift has the added benefit of keeping other children entertained when friends come to visit, that and Matias’s hoists and electric bed. Our house has become a proper little amusement park.
Thankfully Matias doesn’t mind sharing.
In addition to the lift, Matias now has a full sized room where we can easily manage his wheelchair. No more banging of elbows went we are getting him ready for school and running late, I can imagine many of us of been there! He also has his own wet-room and shower chair. Which again is a joy. My back starting to work again, after eight years of lifting the lump out of the bath. Matias loves the shower, he sits there with a grin and you tell “luxury” he is thinking.
Anyway, if you are thinking of extending, I would definitely recommend that you do. It may be hard work dealing with the bureaucracy, especially the finances, but it is well worth it in the end.