Reduced Mobility

It wasn’t until I started on the project to build my mum a house that I began to use the phrase reduced mobility. I couldn’t find the word to explain to architects, builder, plumbers’ merchant, that my mum isn’t a wheelchair user or unable to look after herself, but that some things are more difficult for her and some movements are painful. As a carer I was also having to consider her personal safety, from potential trip hazards to answering the door to callers. And I still wanted her house to be her home…and to look stylish.

Building regulations have a section part M and its brilliant guide when building a house or adapting for wheelchair users, children and parents with children for example nappy changing facilities. The regulations cover physical and sensory disabilities and inclusive design and once you have started building or adapting to part M you will find that in the detail of the planning permission you will start to involve highways officers to look at traffic caused by visits from doctors and emergency vehicles.  This really scared me that I had taken too much on I found myself struggling to find guidance for building a house for my mum’s needs, to retain her independence and be more comfortable than when she lived with us, waiting for her house to be built.

Reduced mobility was the term that I used when talking to supplier and the things that I had to think about when designing her house were muscle strength, stamina, manual dexterity, balance, pain, eyesight, hearing and keeping independent, safe and happy. Oh and the budget.

4 Comments

  • Reply Elizabeth August 25, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I have mobility issues since a spinal cord injury that happened in June of 2000. I know exactly what you mean about hearing, muscle strength, stamina, dexterity, balance, and pain. It’s amazing how a “normal” house can be so difficult for someone with those issues.
    Your mum is certainly fortunate to have you to consider her needs and build her a home she can actually live in and enjoy!
    Good luck!

    • Reply Build Mum a House August 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Thank you so much for getting in touch and for your lovely feedback. I’m learning so much about all these issues and it really helps to hear from you. I hope you will follow my posts and add your opinion and experiences so that we can get the message out there- thoughtful good design that’s what we all need x

  • Reply Sarah @ First Night Design March 30, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I wish you had a ‘like’ button. I congratulate you on building a house for your mum. She must be so proud of you. I have no children to build for me but I have now bought the house of my dreams (18th-century brick & flint) and perfecting it for my use. I still need help for certain things but your searching might help my time constraints!

    • Reply Build Mum a House March 30, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you Sarah your comment means so much to me. I hope that you find some ideas on my blog or just start to look at products and ways of doing things from a different perspective – making your life easier. If there is anything you would like me to cover on my blog drop me a comment and I will hunt something out!

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