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Thank you for this thread and the insights and perspectives it contains. I was diagnosed 26 years ago and lived most of my life without letting any current symptoms or fears about the future affect my decisions. About 6-7 years ago, I began to experience lasting symptoms which made me assess my living arrangements and then my ability to work and drive. The doctors actually told me they believed I was at the secondary progressive state. As a result, I eventually had to move to a one storey home, I stopped working and driving. I'm only 45 years old now a year ago, I started to embody the OMS lifestyle and have continued to do so 110%.

My husband and I started looking to purchase a new house in the city where he started working 6 months ago. We have looked at 60 to 70 houses so far and have yet to find what we're looking for. There are so many criteria: 1) within 45 mins drive from his work, 2) within paratransit transportation accessibility for me (my only mode of transportation), 3) wider doors and hallways just in case it's needed later on, 4) everything on 1 floor, and 5) a nature-healing inducing backyard. Because it's taking so long to find the house for us, we are reassessing our criteria. The one which is causing the most difficulty is that of the nature-healing backyard criteria but I'm very reluctant to dismiss it because when I'm submerged in it, I literally feel being healed from within. It's amazing really. If I don't give that one up, I may have to give up the paratransit accessibility. I don't think I'll mind it as I love solitude and believe I'd be okay if I don't get out much. My husband thinks otherwise though and he thinks I would depend on him more than he's able to accommodate.

You all had some great input for iniscaltra so maybe you have some for me too. Please be honest and don't sugar-coat it for me. All responses are greatly appreciated. :?:
If it were my shoes I would not give up the out side space. I almost crave this for the freedom of head space I get from the liberating feel of air.
There may be other methods of transportation available, have you researched all avenues?
Realsitically does a home have to have wider doorways. What is the minimun width that possibly would accomodate a chair.
A lot of requirements now are based I expect on our oversizing populations.
Given we follow this eating programme it is unlikely we are going to be fat and in a chair thereby requiring a very wide doorway. What is the wheel base of a none large person accomodating chair.
A motorrised chair perhaps has different requirements, but I do not know if these are necessarily wider.
Just trying to think of the reality of what might be needed rather then actual declared sizes of what regulations say we need.
I would perhaps look for a layout that had practical flexibility. For example not a small narrow bathroom. I would look for a layout that had options for change/adaptations, if needed.
Plenty people live in adapted homes rather then purpose built disabled living. We can't plan where we might go as we don't know the path we are on till we stop treading it.
If you feel you may never move again then that might add more weight to having all boxes ticked now.
I hope you can find something soon that you are both happy with. Good luck.
Hello Recovering. I'm glad you posted this, because I was thinking of doing something similar. I appreciate the people who are taking the leaps of faith and taking a bit of a risk, but I also wanted to hear about OMS friends who were taking perhaps a more cautious approach.

You see, we live on acreage, and it was a dream of ours, but I would never have done this if I knew I was going to get MS. It really exhausts me now. So much to do and so little energy/inclination to do it!

I strongly believe that all homes should be designed to be friendly towards disablement, because even old age creates a level of disability that can be accommodated with a little forethought. Our home isn't a concrete slab on ground, but all the floorcoverings are at the same level throughout the house, with wide hallways/doorways, so with a ramp to the front and back doors, it could accommodate a wheelchair without any trouble.

However, you can't get round the fact that it is in a rural area, away from shops, public transport and distant from health facilities and other amenities. So that is why I sounded a note of caution in my post to Iniscaltra. I think about moving somewhere less romantic but more 'practical' all the time, and I think what you are doing now is very wise for your circumstances.

I think it is very exciting that you are moving to a new place that is going to make your life easier and happier, and give you a new lease on life.

Would it help if you made up a checklist, with a weighting system, so you can really see what is most important to you? If the nice back yard is more important than the access to public transport, give it a higher numerical weight. This will help you compare all the different homes.

This may be your last move in a long while so if there is no rush to buy, you can afford to be choosy and take your time. Keep looking!

No home is perfect, but if you get 80% or more of what you want, you are doing well. What is it about the backyard that you are particularly looking for, and why are these homes falling short of your expectations?

My dream now is a little walled garden, with a courtyard!

Good luck, and please tell us more!
I appreciated the replies I received from my post. They helped me figure out what to do next so thank you. I thought I'd update you on what we've decided to do...

We have decided not to settle for any house on the market right now and furthermore, we believe we won't find anything in the resale market which will fit our narrow criteria. We've been looking for 7-8 months, approximately 70 houses, and have found nothing. We are now looking into building an open-concept bungalow, with no carpet, wider doorways, large onsuite with walk-in shower, lots of accessible nature, without close neighbors but close enough to a city so I can take a cab to get to where I need to, etc. Actually, I will be looking into altering our car so I can drive it with my hands but if not, I can do without.

We decided to keep in mind what the future "could" hold since moving is so stressful and an extremely tiring process and we don't want to set ourselves up for going through it again until much later. I am definitely not thinking I will get any worst, because through the OMS lifestyle I know I am halting the progression, but nonetheless we think it's a good idea to consider it.

It's pretty exciting to be able to get exactly what my husband and I want and need. We already have a property, with an old house, we are currently renting out, which will work really well. We would demolish that house and build our new house near the back of the property which backs onto woods and trails. We know this too can be stressful, but we think we're ready (went through such a process before) and can manage the situation without getting stressed. In the meantime, we are also still looking for resale houses in case "the one" comes up.

All the best!
Dear recovering,

you have made such a great decision, it sounds wonderful. You will love being in
a house you planned and I am so glad you will have that little bit of country
as well. Building can be stressful if you let it so relax and remember anything can
be changed.
Good luck
Exellent well done!
Dx 1992 OMS 25-2-09
Sounds amazing, I expect it might not be without some ups and downs but you say you have done this before so that is a fantastic position of knowledge to be in before you even start.
Good luck with the new build. It sounds like the best of all worlds...
Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful replies. It's truly a gift to have such a forum to ask question, share our thoughts, decisions, struggles and successes. My husband is meeting with a builder this week as well as with bylaw people to start the process. I'll continue to share with you as things progress since you all seemed to take interest in this. :)

If anyone has any suggestions, thoughts, questions, comments, anything really, for me as it relates to building the "perfect" house, for anyone with MS at the various stages of life, I'd love to hear them. For example, I was at a BBQ and someone mentioned that window height was something I should consider. He said a friend of theirs, who used a wheelchair, had the windows built at a lower height then normal so they could better see outside. I thought that was so important and such a helpful hint to keep in mind when building. Does anyone else have any others?
That's a nifty tip about the windows.
The showering area, to be flat so that you can walk into it (or chair) to shower. Not a full blown wet room but half the room able to get wet so multiple means of getting under the shower can be accomodated.
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