Heroes in Our Midst-Week 3
In part three of my series I introduce you to Pedro a construction worker in his 30’s who fell from a scaffold while at work resulting in a spinal injury.
Pedro was totally confined to his home in a wheelchair until his teenage son arrived home from school to assist his father. His home was also largely inaccessible to him as a result of stairs and a bathroom filled with barriers.
As a result of a Workers Compensation settlement we were retained to provide design assistance and specialized product supply to accommodate his needs taking into account the principles of universal design with specific focus on barrier free access into and out of the home, dealing with the stairs and providing a handicap bathroom design for Pedro’s use.
Automatic door openers were installed on the front and rear doors. These automatic openers allowed him to pass through these doorways without any obstacles providing he used the automatic opener on each door. Although we offer both commercial and residential handicap door openers we decided that the residential automatic door opener was a better fit for his needs. Door openers automatic allow for an in-swing or out-swing door to be opened at the push of a remote button.
For the barriers created by his stairs we installed an exterior platform lift on the outside of his home as well as a stair chair lift inside which Pedro could use with the aid of his caregiver to transfer.
For his handicapped bathroom design we provided a handicapped bath tub rather than one of our walkin bathtubs as Pedro was not able to stand and step over a curb but was able to complete a lateral transfer from his wheelchair which our out-swing door handicapped bathtubs provide. Bathtubs for handicapped users need to consider an individual users ability to transfer. When a user is able to step over a low curb a walk in tub shower may also be an option. Walk in tub prices can range all over so it’s important to consider the options offered by each handicap bathtub company.
In addition to the handicapped bathtub provided we also included a shower for handicapped users in his new handicapped bathroom design. Handicap bathrooms can include both handicap bath tubs & handicapped shower enclosures which allow a good choice of bathing options assuming a user can utilize both. Walk in showers allow a user in a wheelchair unrestricted access to the handicapped shower as a result of a very low or even no curb entry. By including handicap bathtubs and handicapped showers in handicap bathroom designs a user with limited mobility really has several options that were not present prior to the availability of bathtubs for handicapped & showers for handicapped in handicapped bathroom designs.
As a result of all the improvements made to Pedro’s home he was able to safely take care of most of his needs either independently or with limited assistance from a family member or his caregiver. Most satisfying to him was his ability to now leave his own at will without having to rely on his young son which he had previously done for almost two years. Pedro’s life changed dramatically as a result of his accident but his positive attitude and drive was a fantastic example to all of us and he is as a result of his attitude one of the “heroes in our midst”.