Spitting in the Wind?

I love watching the shows on the Home and Garden TV (HGTV) network. My husband and I become armchair advisors to the folks either looking for first-time homes, upgrading their current home or just desiring to move upward in square footage. In the safety of our home, we constantly berate those who want absolutely high-end everything but have absolutely low-end budgets. Away back in the Dark Ages, we were amazed at our good fortune that our first house had four walls and a roof!

What I’ve noticed about these shows, after faithfully watching them all for several years, is that they rarely give airspace to folks with handicap issues. Of course, I realize we are a fraction of the population, and no one really wants to watch a show about people who struggle to maneuver around their homes, but I’ve only seen two shows, out of the hundreds I’ve watched, that have dealt with the issue. There might have been a few more I might have missed, but I’m betting they were on in the wee hours.

One show featured a woman (mid 30s) who was facing double ankle replacements. First of all, who even knew such a thing was possible? Obviously, she needed to get out of her two-floor home into something on one level. They found a fixer-upper and her husband promised to redo it before her upcoming surgery. He did and all was well.

The second show involved a woman (mid 30s) who had MS. Now, this show I thought I could relate to. Even though I am older, the idea of looking for a better-suited home resonated with me. I followed her search from house to house. Sometimes she used a cane to walk and other times she didn’t need it. All the homes had two-floor layouts. I kept shouting at her through the TV screen to find a one-level home. She didn’t listen and ultimately selected a two-floor home.

In the spirit of trying to either win a house online at HGTV  (not really feasible because their “Dream Home” was huge and multi-leveled), or find rehab advice to assist handicap folks adapt their homes (I again only found two references and they both dealt with bathroom layouts), I finally gave up and realized these television shows were for entertainment only. No reality checks there.

So, I will continue to talk back to the television screen in hopes that my sage advice will be heeded. It’s a vastly diverting occupation but one guaranteed to be totally ignored.



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