The lack of holiday accommodation for disabled people in Torbay
Torbay is one of the most popular and well-known holiday resort in the whole of the United Kingdom. Thousands and thousands of people visit the area every year and many of them are returning visitors. However, there does not appear to be a single holiday rental accommodation home that is fully accessible and equipped for a wheelchair bound person.
Brixham Cottages are a well-known company who have several holiday homes in the Torbay area on their books. Unfortunately, the ones I am aware of can not be classed as being suitable for disabled wheelchair users. They have one property on the books which they state is wheelchair accessible. I've been to this property on a few occasions and I would probably give it about 3/10 as a holiday home suitable for wheelchair users. A suitable holiday home that is being marketed suitable for wheelchair users should have the following merits.
The house should be on the level to the road so that a wheelchair user doesn't have to struggle to try to wheel up a steep hill to get to the house.
It's imperative that the house is completely accessible to both manual and power wheelchairs. This means that the disabled person should be able to enter and exit the property without anyone having to tilt or lift the wheelchair. Therefore the front door should be wide and on the level without any steps. If modifying the front door is difficult then there should be another door on the house that allows easy access.
Once inside the property the wheelchair user should have full and easy access to the lounge, at least one bedroom and the toilet and shower/sink area.
In an ideal world, holiday home owners would do what my parents did when they bought a French gite and modified it so it was fully accessible to wheelchair users. They modified it so that I could spend as much time as I want on holiday there and feel just as comfortable as I do in my own home. The first floor of the gite was completely accessible in all areas including the lounge and kitchen. They put in a wet floor in the bathroom and supplied a shower chair to enable wheelchair users to shower in comfort. The bedroom was large and had beds which could be made slightly higher or lower with the aid of special raisers that are attached to each leg. They also supplied a portable hoist for those wheelchair users who cannot transfer themselves.
I appreciate that the extensive adaptions my parents made cost a lot of money, money which a lot of people haven't got. But if you are going to market a house for disabled users then it's got to meet a certain requirement which will give them a good degree of comfort while staying there. Simply adapting a front door so somebody in a wheelchair can gain access is not anywhere good enough for you to be able to market a holiday home as suitable for wheelchair users.
I think it's a real shame that there are no suitable holiday homes in the Torbay area. If I had the money then I would buy a bungalow and adapt it so it was as accessible and comfortable as my own bungalow. I'm absolutely confident that there's a lot of money to be made from disabled holidaymakers who require specialised holiday accommodation in the Torbay area.