Home Appeal #6
Last week we started looking at home designs for special needs, inspired by a recent episode of the popular television program Extreme Makeover-Home Edition. The designers were helping a family in Oregon with 3 young sons, two of whom were Autistic.
Not all of us have the good fortune or resources to build or be given a brand new home to meet our special needs. Yet, whether you have family members with a health issue or not, most of us have some kind of special need for our housing. Do you need a large yard for your pets or for entertaining? Do you need many bedrooms for a large family and/or frequent visitors? Do you need more than one “public” room for entertaining or to allow family members to have space from each other or freedom to do different things at the same time?
Something I see frequently in my practice is that parents living in the home, put their needs aside to accommodate children, yes, even their adult children that live elsewhere. Sometimes it’s setting up a game room with a large television and/or pool table hoping the children will visit more often. Sometimes it is setting up a home office less efficiently than they may need in order to make it grandchild-ready in a moment’s notice. When setting up their environment, I encourage my clients to be sure to factor in their own needs, the frequency with which they utilize that space, and also the frequency of their visiting family.
For example, if you have a home office and spend say 4-8 hours a day in it, every day, then you need that office set up as efficiently for you as possible. Especially if your family visits only a couple of times a week. Even if they visit daily for an hour, the primary use of that space is your office and for you to feel calm and relaxed in your space it needs to be set up with your needs as a primary consideration. You will benefit greatly by doing this. Your productivity will increase, your stress level will reduce and you will likely see an improvement in your physical well-being also. Finding another room for the grandchildren to converge on when they visit such as a guest room or the dining room that aren’t used as regularly. If a room needs to be dual-purpose, use decorative screens and furniture that has storage capacity to keep these spaces as tidy as possible and allowing you to keep the functions separate.
Setting up a room with features to encourage visits from family members is wonderful…if you have the space. If you don’t have the spare space, you will be happier by setting up your home to support your own needs. A happy parent is one that children want to visit. If you set up the space for your children and then they don’t visit, you may become resentful or even angry over time and they will want to visit even less. Remember, your home needs to meet your special needs first, then the needs of others.
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