• Ailsa

What's New?

Hey hey! How are you all? I know that I have been quiet on my blog since December, but I am still here... I promise! I just wanted to give you a little update on what's been going on... As you may have noticed, I have closed the survey that I had to get market research on the accessible housing crises, and this is because I was offered a flat in January! Yes, I'm finally moving out!

After years of waiting for a property on council and housing association lists, I got a phone call to say that there was a two-bedroom ground floor flat available. On 11 January, I received a phone call telling me that there was this flat that might be suitable for me. Long story short, they don't normally let people view the properties in person at the moment, and when I saw the viewing video, I thought that the flat looked quite small, especially the hallway leading to the flat itself. So, I couldn't fully accept the offer there and then because we didn't know if I would be able to get in through the front door of the flat in my electric wheelchair. We said that I would need to visit to be sure that my wheelchair would fit around, so the housing association organised a date for me to visit the flat with an OT. When I visited, on Friday, 29 February, I was greeted by the local Neighbourhood Officer, and my mum, dad, the OT went in. Once inside, the Neighbourhood Officer left us to have a look around.

The OT, my mum, dad and I looked in each room and figured out where I would need adaptions; we decided on installing a ceiling track hoist in the living room to enable me to keep sitting on the floor. I'm also going to have a ceiling-track hoist in my bedroom. The OT also suggested that I have a profiling bed to make it easier for my carers to help me as it will go up and down, and sit me up. At first, I was a bit sceptical about having a profiling bed because I have slept in one when I went to the Whizz-Kidz camps and it was so uncomfortable the second time as it felt as though the head end was up slightly, but they said that it was all the way down. However, when I spoke to my mum and another friend, they said that profile beds should go all the way down, so I think the bed was broken or set specifically like that for a person. I'll just have to wait and see, won't I?

I'm also going to have a wetroom installed to enable me to have a shower in my shower chair. I already have a wetroom and shower chair in my mum and dad's house, but my current shower chair won't fit over the wash/dry toilet, and it's getting a bit old and rusty, and bits are starting to fall off it, so I'm getting a new one of them as well.

Eventually, my flat will likely be a smart home to enable me to live as independently as possible. For now, I'm just going to have electric door openers, but I'm hoping to have electric window openers, light controls, electric curtain tracks and anything else that will help me be more independent when I'm settled. I'm hoping that these will all run on infrared signals so that I can control them using my environmental control systems.

I have chosen paint for the walls and wallpaper for feature walls. I've chosen what carpets I would like in each room... That was fun. I had colour and paint books laid out on the floor. I chose the paint in March, and carpets a few weeks ago. I knew vaguely what type of carpets I wanted anyway, but now I know the exact ones.

Anyway, as far as I understood, the housing association agreed that the adaption work to install the wetroom and hoists, and widening of my bedroom door would start when I signed my Tenancy Agreement. To begin with, my tenancy start date was 30 April, but the work wasn't going to start then. So, I was advised not to sign the Tenancy Agreement until they knew what was going on and when the work would start. For some reason, the housing association thought that I would be living in the flat whilst the work was being done, so I had to explain that I can't live there until the work was complete. Then there was the work can't be started until I was the tenant... After many emails back and forth, and after many days of me being stressed and my mum taking the brunt of it all (she really does deserve a meddle!), on Monday, I got an email saying that my new tenancy start date is going to be 24/05, and the work will start on that date! So, it looks like everything is finally coming together!

After we have the carpets and furniture in, I can move in! Once I'm settled in, I'm thinking about making a video to show people. I may do before and after shots as well, but I don't know yet.

My mum and dad's living room and dining room are packed with all my bits and bobs ready for moving in... Thank you to everyone who has given me things for my flat, I really appreciate it!

Nest of tables, an airer, an ironing board and wooden unit on left. On the right are boxes stacked on top of each other. There is a small bin right at the top of the pile.

In other news, I've had both of my Covid 19 vaccines, so I'm now fully vaccinated! Like a lot of other people, I'm so relieved that I've had them. I was way down on the priority list and ever since the first lockdown, my anxiety and mental health has been up and down like a yo-yo. I was surprised to be given the choice as to which one I had. I chose to have the Pfizer vaccine because I've heard more about that one than the others, and more people seem to be getting more side-effects from the Oxford one. Although, let's remember that this is still a new virus, and you could still catch it even if you've had the jab, so keep social distancing, keep washing your hands, and if you can, wear a mask!

A bit of bad(ish) news is that due to the govement's "roadmap", and the uncertainty surrounding it, Olly Murs has decided to postpone his tour dates in June to next year. I was disappointed with this because I had been really looking forward to it, but at least I'm still going next year! I've also got Sarah Millican to look forward to!

NHS workers, keyworkers, you're all amazing! Your work doesn't get unnoticed, and each and every one of you are life-savers! I'm with you every step of the way!


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