Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Multiple Sclerosis home improvements for accessiblity

Sitting down to write an article for with all its modern cyber features and connections, I can never forget the pre-Internet dawn when I discovered I was not alone!

Less I digress, God bless technology but MS caregiving is, was, and always will be about ‘hands on’. Social Media will never pick anyone off the floor and that IMHO is the ghost in the machine.

As the spouse or family member without MS you must be the balance between supporting a hope driven life with MS and pragmatically anticipating and preparing for change.

by Patrick Leer—June 3rd, 2013

A little back story not in the article … We bought our original home in College Park, MD. Built in 1904 and restored in 1968 it began life as a farm house surrounded by farm land in the early 20th Century.

The sellers seemed  almost a mirror image … yet while we shopped the asking price plummeted. … the Dad had come down with a "disabling pulmonary condition" from his asphalt business and shackled with the 20%+ mortgage rates of the Carter era they were bleeding out and overwhelmed by the advent of disabling disease into their family of three.

Patti, then a buyer for Stanford Paper, pounced and fueled with the 8% mortgage of the Regan era ‘signed sealed and delivered’ our first home.. 

…Within just a couple years a DX of Multiple Sclerosis entered our lives increasingly making our home unsafe for Patti. I was surprised to find this old picture of Patti ‘standing’ in front of the house on the brick steps.

Patti’s refusal to ever let the house appear to have an accessible entrance unquestionably complicated adapting. Excuse me patting myself on the back but I built a 400 ft long boardwalk from our driveway wrapping around the house and ending in what appears to be an oversized deck, yet is basically a 'disguised from street view' wheelchair accessibility ramp ... soon our daughter and her friends were skateboarding, roller blading and bicycling along with Patti's scooter from door to street.
As these clips from real estate flyer demonstrate our house became accessibility marketable over the time we lived there. Bought by a landlord investor he quickly sub-divided it  into three 'accessible apartments.'

Never underestimate the role of extended family. Patti was, is, and will always be Harold Decker’s 'little girl' and when Dad is a tile contractor well each visit brought the loving touch of power tools to keep pace with physical progression.
Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it funny how we don't want our accessibility items to be seen? I'm the same way, but I have nowhere near what you describe!


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