Is your house helping you?

by Collette McColgan

There are some things worth avoiding when choosing your next home!

As a woman, now in her mid-20s (so much of that sentence feels so weird to write), I am now accustomed to moving house. I have essentially lived out of boxes and with half my stuff still in my bedroom at my parents’ house for the last six years of my life. I am used to not having the stuff I need when I need it.

To me, moving house is about more than whether there is a nice living area or not. Or at least, it should be, but I have a history of not always doing the best thing for my arthritis – in every possible aspect.

Looking around a prospective new home is no different. I’ve lived in some really mental places, most recently a basement with only stairs (without a handrail) in and out of it, and a serious damp problem. The trouble is – in the same way, I still want to wear nice shoes despite my funny feet – I still want to live in nice, quirky places.

I’ve managed to combine a nice home with accessibility in my new place (we were in and out of the Mould Palace pretty sharpish, I can tell you) and I feel pretty content. I do worry sometimes though – because I’m in my mid-20s and currently fixated on the rest of my life, rather than what is actually going on now – about later life when I might need to live in a proper house.

In my head, I’m going to be Mrs Mega Journo, editing a national paper – with a lovely house somewhere snazzy in London, and then another lovely house somewhere in Yorkshire (for the weekends, you know), both with at least four bedrooms for guests.

I know this is all a dream and unlikely to happen, but whenever I have this dream all I can think is ‘How am I going to clean a four-bedroomed house if I’m having a flare-up?’ and ‘What if things get so bad I can’t get upstairs to all of the lovely four bedrooms?’.

I don’t think I want to live in a bungalow. There should be some sort of system to deal with all of these ridiculous problems we arthritis warriors face, I reckon.

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