Emily's Home: The Vision Continues

January 28, 2020
Human Interest

Excitement was evident on Becky’s face as she got out of her van at Emily’s new house. Construction has recently wrapped up, and it’s now safe to enter.

A spacious driveway and garage.
The walkway to the front door is perfect for wheelchairs and foot traffic alike.

It’s still early in the morning, and it’s rainy. Becky mentions she didn’t bring Emily along because she wanted the home to be more “hers” before she arrived.

“I want to put up some family photos, just to let her feel like, ‘these are my people’, to make her more comfortable,” Becky says.

Becky enters the home for the first time.

Coffee in hand, she strides across the wide driveway, up the pathway to the front door.

Upon entering the home, Becky is greeted by a cozy, open-concept design showcasing the living, dining, and kitchen areas. Dark, stylish cabinets hanging from the walls are filled with colorful dishes, new cookware, and cleaning products accompanied by sleek, modern, and accessible appliances.

Further into the house, French doors lead out onto the spacious deck, complete with a ramp leading to the yard. The space in front of the doors leaves room for a dining table. Lori Bahorich, InVision’s training and referral manager who has been working with Emily and Becky since the project began, envisions a fold-away table to increase versatility of the space while opening up more room for movement.

After rounding the first right bend, Becky is introduced to Emily’s bedroom and adjacent wet room. The bedroom has little more than an unassembled bed spring and a bedside table with a lamp, but the vision is there. Becky knows Emily will love her room, especially the outstanding closet space, definitely an enviable addition for anyone with lots of clothes.

The living area, just inside the front door, already furnished with a plushy couch and recliner.
The kitchen and dining areas. The wet room can be seen to the right, and the French doors lead out to a deck.
The deck.
The ramp off the deck leads to the yard down below.
Becky (right) and Lori (left) discuss the features in Emily's bedroom.
The wet room is quite spacious!

Past the French doors, there’s a hallway that has space for a washer and dryer with a door at the end leading to the two-car garage. The extra space in the garage will be helpful for Emily’s future DSPs as they help her get into and out of a vehicle.

The garage is still a little messy but coming along nicely!

Back in the living space, Lori gives a demonstration of the reclining chair which has been already purchased for Emily. It’s a motorized recliner that raises and lowers at the touch of a button, allowing Emily’s future DSPs to help get her in and out of the chair with ease. As Lori demonstrates the controls, Becky laughs.

“She’ll love that. We’ll probably have to hide the remote!”

On the other end of the home, it’s configured perfectly for guests and DSPs. With a second full bathroom included, there’s enough space for one or two more bedrooms.

The second bedroom.
While currently outfitted as an office, this room can also act as a third bedroom.
The second full bathroom.

Moving Forward

Emily’s home has been under construction since October 2019. Lots of progress has been made, but there’s still plenty more to do before it’s ready for Emily including further furnishing, staff recruitment, and licensing checks.

And with staffing issues affecting Emily’s current care, Becky feels even more eager to transition her into a consistent and more independent lifestyle. She’s already thinking about all the things she can bring to make it feel more like a home.

Emily’s home is both personalized for her needs and functions as a template for future homes InVision will build for the people we support. Working on this home has helped us uncover areas for improvement in those homes.

“We’ve learned some things regarding features,” said Lori, gesturing toward a light switch on the wall underneath the kitchen cabinets near the stove-top. “For example, we have this switch back here, but we aren’t sure that someone in a wheelchair could reach it.”

It’s mostly little things, but Lori is confident that future designs will be updated with these features in mind. Becky also offered areas for improvement, including redesigned cabinetry to allow more leg space underneath the stove-top for wheelchair-users who want to cook.

Overall, though, anticipation is high. Becky and her son, Jimmy, are looking forward to visiting Emily in her new home often while also enjoying a little more free time to pursue new activities. They’re even making plans to bring around the family dog.

“I’m really happy with all of this. I love it. I think Emily will be very excited, and I’m seeing a really good future for her,” Becky said.

InVision plans to have Emily moved into her new home by June 30, 2020.

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