In which I admit that my commitment to accessibility is not without limits.
There’s a limit to how far I’m prepared to plan ahead. Making my home safe, shareable and secure is as far as I’m willing to go at this stage.
One day I may need a walker or a wheelchair. That’s on the cards for someone who lives to 99. Does that mean I’m planning to make my home wheelchair accessible? No way. Not possible.
Hills, stairs and storeys
It so happens that the apartment I love is on a hill, up some stairs, and two storeys high. Worse, it’s an art deco building with walls made of nine-inch thick reinforced concrete. Any attempt to widen the doorways would be ill-advised for engineering and aesthetic reasons.
There’s a paradox here. In my professional life, accessibility looms large. My company audits websites for accessibility and trains writers to make their digital content accessible to everyone, including readers with disabilities of any sort—for example of vision, hearing, mobility or other physical problems. But when I need a wheelchair-accessible home, I’ll have to move.
This place is unfixable
Sometimes I stare out the window and visualise lifts. Or drone-delivery to my rooftop deck. Or beam-me-up-Scotty teleportation. They’re all equally improbable ways of conveying an old lady upstairs, given the type of building I live in.
All the more reason to get cracking on all the other boot camp challenges. As the apartment has its intransigent challenges, I’ll need to be in top form.
When it’s time to move, I’ll move. That’ll be at least 10 if not 20 years hence—and I sincerely hope, never.