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Thread: Idependent Living Community

  1. #1

    Idependent Living Community

    My wife and I recently visited an independent living community called Evergreen Grove ( in Otter lake, Mi. It's located about 15 miles north of Flint, Mi near an extremely quiet small village with a beautiful lake right on the main drag. We ran into the builder and he spent almost 4 hours with us and we toured 3 of the duplex units. Two of the three units we toured had overhead track lifts to assist in transfers, each unit had large roll-in showers. All the doorways were wide and grades throughout the premises were mild. The duplexes are situated in a rural setting about 1/2 mile from town, a 6' high fence surrounds the premises. All the duplex units are rental, not for purchase and sorry we cannot provide rental costs. We do know that monthly rental charges for hookup to the backup generator and for track lifts are high but I suspect these may be subsidized by Medicare or similar benefits. The phone for the mgr. is 810-656-6307. The units are built more for quads than paras we noted immediately that the kitchens are not fully accessible for complete independence w cooking, etc. My wife and I are paras and we came away believing that if we moved in we would be the least disabled residents w the exception of a veteran amputee w some other health issues.

    The builder was motivated to get started w the community because his best friend had MS which progressed over 20 some years. When he decided to build the complex this friend was living in his pole barn which he had renovated as a residence. This guy was to be the 1st resident but passed away weeks short of his unit being ready for occupancy.

    The complex is about 60% finished, most of the sites for duplexes are artranged in a circle, when complete there will be a PT building staffed by a home health care outfit which also provides the personal care staff for most of the residents. The builder asserts that there are never situations where pc aides are no shows due to redundant staff. The home health agency also provides power chair repairs through some arrangement w a DME.

    There is a concrete pathway that circles the back of all the units and the builder has set up a firepit where residents and familes can sit out evenings to enjoy a fire. He even has firewood stacked near the pit. Within a 1/2 mile from the duplexes there is a 10 mile paved rails to trails walk/ride trail extending from Colubiaville to Millington. The builder is also active in local politics and community organizations and has purchased w community support a barrier free pontoon boat, he hopes to have an accessible dock completed on Otter Lake this spring, access to the boat will be free and exclusively for disabled persons and families by reservation.

    According to the builder, he has residents moving there from far and wide. One resident came straight from Craig Hospital from discharge planning. If interested check out the website which has photos of a number of the units. We were impressed w the quality of construction and the setting. I do think the builder and his family have a strong commitment to provciding really nice quality of life for disabled people and families.

  2. #2
    If you need a rental I guess it's better than average. But I'm not keen on the garage and drive arrangements. None of the garages pictured look like they would have space for a side lift or ramp and they have 7' high doors (no hightop vans). The single unit garages aren't even attached. Attached is important in MI where you have to deal with snow and ice. Looks like they are planning mostly units with outdoor parking. Even if they hand shovel the snow around all the vehicles are they going to scrape the ice from your windows?

    I see things inside too. Double hung windows - not the best choice for disabled. Bathrooms are obviously better, but still not the amount of space I'd like to see for hoyer lifts and around the toilet for caregiver BP. Are the showers big enough for caregiver also? My wife would hit her knees on the slanted panel under the sinks.

    Kitchens wouldn't cut it either as you noted.

  3. #3
    The roll in showers were huge, plenty of room for a helper. I think most residents will rely on outside parking as the newer units we saw didn't even have garages. The kitchens were not designed for an independent, disabled cook for sure.

  4. #4
    Plenty of major mistakes....the garages are way to small wide wise for vans with should be total acc. dryer on top of the hell can we use that..
    Whoever started this was not to smart imo.
    Looks like they were made for people who need caregivers....not for people taking care of themselves.

  5. #5
    The units were designed for people more disabled than my wife and I. I am a 67 year old para and my wife a post polio para. As I explained in my posting that if we moved there we would be the least disabled people in the community. Among the benefits of living here would be that you would never be without your pca because the home health agency which largely staffs the community has built in redundancy. There is also a DME that can provide power chair repairs quickly and they are going to have a small PT building right on premises. When the builder 1st got the idea for the place he was building units that would serve people like his best friend who had far advanced MS and could not live independently without supports. Some of the people living here have AB family members providing some care and part time pca assistance from the health care agency. Others get all their needed help from the home care agency.

  6. #6
    Really since he was doing it....would not have cost that much more to make it right is all am getting older and taking care of my place is getting harder all the time.
    What really hurts I helped build most my home after I got hurt and hate to leave it.
    In 2009 I had a steel roof put on....the shingles are such poor quality now my last ones only lasted 10 years....before that I got 27 years.
    A lot of people going to steel here...hail damages the shingles and ins. co. here wont cover it if its over 3 years old...if hail damages your roof you can see it with steel right away...rather then 2 or 3 years later it takes to show up on shingle then its to late by then.

  7. #7
    What nice place. So you can't fit a van in the garage. Thats trivial. There isn't enough housing like this in the whole country. You may be correct about your needs and living there. But for a quad it's a godsend.
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.
    Bob Seger

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    What is it with hiding the bathroom sink plumbing to where you do need to be a double leg amputtee to use it? At Fairfield Inn motels we have to ask or do it ourselves take off 4 petcock bolts to take that front off. Cruise ships do the same. We looked at a high end 'disabled' condo in an otherwise regular building and it had a nice long vanity with a nice long knee killer. Ditto with a microwave up in the air. Somethings are ok but even thinking of my Dad who has walking/standing endurance problems he'd prefer a vanity type bathroom sink so he could have a chair or stool for shaving. Same with the stove. He currently has a great padded to step stool for any long items he cooks like breakfast.
    And this is Michigan. They need a tornado shelter area like a basement with a pan lift down the steps which is why I'd want the generator. Oh, why have a track lift without the choice of a tub bath also? He needs a fulltime chair user around not just a fulltime caregiver for making things truly accessible. Unless the development plans on making its money from government rental payments and caregiving fees from Medicaid/Medicare or long term care insurance.
    We went with a condo in a universal design building and did a redo of the master bath before moving in and added a track ceiling lift. In maybe a year or two we'll start on the kitchen that we both need changed as the spouse keeps walking his head into the over the stove exhaust cover. At least I can do laudry again and much of the kitchen I can get around and even get into the pantry. We have 2 spaces adjacent to each other in the underground parking that is also our plan for tornados. We also prefer owning to renting.
    But it is nice to see someone at least thinking in the right direction.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Coastal Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton View Post
    What is it with hiding the bathroom sink plumbing to where you do need to be a double leg amputtee to use it? At Fairfield Inn motels we have to ask or do it ourselves take off 4 petcock bolts to take that front off. Cruise ships do the same. We looked at a high end 'disabled' condo in an otherwise regular building and it had a nice long vanity with a nice long knee killer.
    By ADA building code guide lines pipes are wrapped or covered to avoid hot water pipes causing burns and sharp protrusions.

    "4.24.6 Exposed Pipes and Surfaces. Hot water and drain pipes exposed under sinks shall be insulated or otherwise configured so as to protect against contact. There shall be no sharp or abrasive surfaces under sinks."

    At the same time ADDAG calls for clearance underneath to provide wheelchair access to the sink.

    "4.24.3 Knee Clearance. Knee clearance that is at least 27 in (685 mm) high, 30 in (760 mm) wide, and 19 in (485 mm) deep shall be provided underneath sinks."

    Ultimately in your own home or in a rental with landlord's permission you can configure to meet your own needs.

    I agree this is an interesting community and good to see developers offering options in this market.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    This community looks very interesting...there should be more around.

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