MS Dream House - What Would it Look Like?

Last updated: November 2014

We have been discussing a move into a smaller, more manageable size house, now that our children are adults.  Neither of us want to borrow trouble but we want to be realistic that my Multiple Sclerosis could take an ugly turn with little notice and our home is definitely not meant for anyone with an infirmity.

Tackling the stairs to go to bed is exhausting after a long day.  I often wake feeling like I am young again, only to have a reality check when I actually get up out of bed and stand.  Coming down the stairs to get my morning tea and wake up for the day, I always face the challenge of getting my knees to bend, my eyes to focus, and gravity to not pull me down the steps head first.

Then there is the case of our laundry, which is located in the basement.  This means those baskets of clothes have to travel TWO flights of stairs both directions – down and then up. It is not just a matter of convenience that we need a smaller, one story house – our safety probably will depend on it as well.

I’m not one to feel a deep sentimental attachment to a house, but we’re not particularly motivated to move, either.  We’ve been in this house for 22+ years and the house before this one had us there for 16 years.  We have been married for 40 years and if you do the math you can easily see we don’t feel the urge to go somewhere new.  Maybe that is because we know what a chore it can be to relocate household goods.  Honestly, I don’t know that I have the energy, but I must press on.

Looking for just the right house has been a challenge – we agree we want a ranch, or a rambler if you are from the part of the country that uses that name. From there we part ways.  Hubby wants a basement for its storm shelter use and I say there’s no way in my aging and MS, could I rush to the cellar before a tornado would hit.  I want to downsize but he can’t picture leaving anything behind, so we end up looking at homes with as much square footage  as our present one, but a ranch instead of a two story.  So much for having less house to take care of.

I want a house that is move-in ready.  There are to be no fixer-uppers in my future.  I made that mistake in this home and still live with the hopelessly outdated avocado green kitchen that was popular in the 1970’s.  He’s wanting a bargain in this market, and is willing to overlook a lot of flaws.

Finding a home with all the touches to make it accessible is proving to be more difficult that we could have imagined.  Think about the width of doorways and how much room you need in a wheelchair.  Bathtubs are out of the question, and stepping over the edge of one to get into a shower is the same no-go. Do we go with tall kitchen cabinets because both of us are taller or do we want a shorter kitchen in case I might end up in a wheelchair?  Is it rude during open houses to ask to sit on the toilet to see if it is the right height?  We’re faced with many questions but with MS as we know, we get used to not knowing what our future might hold.

We’re trying to come up with a list of must-haves in our next home, but I’m not particularly creative when thinking it through. What would you suggest we should put on our required list and what items would be nice but not mandatory?

Wishing you well,


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