Stay at Home Solutions blogs on topics such as aging in place, universal design, adaptive equipment, home modifications, accessibility, durable medical equipment, legislation, and caregiving.
New Year Resolution 2019 for Your Home
Happy New Year, my friends! Here at Stay at Home Solutions, we really enjoyed celebrating the holidays, but we’re even happier to get back on track with our purpose to serve the Kansas City area and beyond.
Our mission is to help people figure out what changes they need to live at home safely and independently as long as they choose.
What do I mean by making changes in the home? They could be as simple as putting an automatic sensor night light next to the bed or placing the most used dishes closer to your reach. Some changes in the home may be more extensive like installing a barrier free shower or making one entryway stepless.
Believe it or not, many people don’t have the choice of living in their own home.
Falls and injuries in the home are often the culprit to why someone needs to move out of their private abode.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of well meaning friends and family members make the unwanted decision to move their loved one into a senior living community or a nursing home. It’s hard for every party involved in this situation. No one wants to have their loved one move into an institution.
Let me help you prevent this scenario in your life! There are many preventable actions you can take today to avoid having someone else decide when you move out of your house. Make it your resolve to call us to help you navigate what actions to take!
I’ll tell you what actions Esther took to help her live in her home safely. When I saw Esther, she explained that she barely took showers because she was scared to death of falling while getting in and out of her shower.
I didn’t blame Esther at all. Looking at the shower I wondered how she managed to get in at all! The shower required her to step up eight inches and had a small, slippery built in seat.
Now, I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you if you’ve never had problems moving around. But it’s a BIG deal to a lot of older adults.
During my evaluation, I noticed Esther was weak and needed quite a bit of help from her caregiver to get in and out of the shower. The chronic pain in her back and legs made it more difficult to shower without falling at a moment’s notice.
Esther lives in a senior living community. The director of the community explained that the shower Esther had was newly installed. It was their version of a “walk in shower”. Naturally if Esther wanted a new shower, she could pay for it out of pocket.
Sidenote: Why don’t these communities consult with occupational therapists? We can help them save so much time and money by not installing these step up showers!
Not to my surprise, Esther was not interested in installing a barrier free shower with money from her own pocket. “What am I going to do? Not shower at all?”
During my assessment, I measured the dimensions of the shower and noted that a shower chair with a backrest and armrests could easily fit inside. The shower chair would provide firm seating for Esther instead of the slippery built in seat. I recommended she install a couple of grab bars: one outside the shower and one inside next to the shower chair.
Sadly, the bathroom did not allow enough space for us to make changes to the step up inside the shower. Esther said she would just deal with it, “Maybe it will strengthen my legs.”
Esther already had a long handled shower head to aim water wherever she needed while sitting down. Sitting down while showering saves energy and prevents falls. It also gives caregivers peace of mind to not worry about catching a slippery body!
When the contractor came to install the grab bars, I worked with him on the best placement based off of Esther’s height and reach.
I love customizing changes at home to the client’s exact needs!
Once the project was completed and everything was installed, Esther took her first shower. She gushed about it over the phone to me, “I love it so much! I feel much safer!”
On my next visit to Esther’s home, she was late to answer the door. I felt concerned at first thinking Esther had an accident and was injured. Much to my relief, Esther came to the door and told me, “I felt so good taking a shower this morning that I asked my caregiver to let me sit in there longer.”
I can’t describe how amazing it feels to help someone feel safer doing what so many of us take for granted. Every day, we bebop along getting dressed in the morning, making coffee, driving to work, vacuuming, etc. We don’t think about what it might look like when we get older or if we were to have an injury.
Now, Esther takes more showers during the week because she feels safe and comfortable. Her caregiver doesn’t worry about her falling as much while getting in and out of the shower. My work helped two people and gave peace of mind to Esther’s sons.
This anecdote is just a small slice of what I do for people in my community. It’s amazing to tell people what I do for a living: I empower people to live in their home safely. This is my purpose on this planet.
I’m challenging you to make a resolution at the top of 2019 right now. Your resolution is to take one action step towards helping you live at home for a lifetime. That action step could be many things: call me, look at my blog for ideas, watch my videos, or learn about financial resources for home modifications by clicking HERE.
Just learning about your options for making changes at home can be tremendously helpful in the future when you need it. Why wait? Do it before you need it!