Stay at Home Solutions
Maintain Your Independence

Blog, News, & Resources

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.

Posts in empty nesters
Do It Before You Need It!

How old are you? Never mind! Doesn’t matter! Want to live in your home for a lifetime regardless of your age or ability? I DARE you to start making changes to your home today! Either watch this short video or keep reading down below!

Check out AARP’s HomeFit Guide by clicking here. It gives suggestions room by room to improve the safety of your home. The guide ranges in simple do-it-yourself tips to more complex ones that you may want to leave to a professional. My most favorite part of the HomeFit Guide is the recommendation for an occupational therapist to come to your house (That's me. Don't wait! Click here!).

AARP HomeFit Guide

AARP HomeFit Guide

The Lifetime Home by USC Leonard Davis

The Lifetime Home by USC Leonard Davis

Next take a look at The Lifetime Home by USC Leonard Davis. This website is for anyone, including professionals! Show it to Joe or Josephine, the handy person, for them to understand the work you want them to do. It tackles common problems in each room of the house and provides solutions in an easy to understand manner.

Lastly, give me a call. If you live in the KC Metro area, you have no excuse not to contact me. I am here to empower you! Allow me to come over (I am very courteous and tidy), do a quick evaluation, and give you tips to transform your home into a home for a lifetime.

That is a MUCH better option than moving into a facility.

I don’t care how nice the facility is. It’s still a facility. Let your home maintain your freedom, not dictate what you can and can’t do!

Make this a family affair by sharing this blog with your family members! I tell people, “Hey, I’m in my thirties and making changes in my home. Why aren’t you doing it?” Do it before you need it!

Guess What? More Social Media!

I created an Instagram account, @stayathomesolutions, to share interesting information on home modifications, aging in place, adaptive equipment, smart home technology, durable medical equipment, and universal design. These topics will enhance independence for you or for people you may know in a fun way! I am a big proponent of enjoying your life no matter your ability or experience.

Social media allows me to better explain my ideas and thoughts. What social media platforms do you like to use? Are you mainly a Facebook user? Pinterest? Tell me in the comments below!

Please click on the links below to take a look at my other social media:

Pinterest

Facebook

YouTube

As always, please message or call me if you would like for me to delve into a specific topic or product!

3 Ways to Future-Proof Your Bathroom

Because we spend so much time in the bathroom, it is worthwhile to consider investing in a bathroom to serve your needs for a long time. Pinterest and other design resources are encouraging people to think about creating a spa-like atmosphere for the bathroom. We all like the idea of relaxing in a luxurious bathroom now and in the distant future. From an occupational therapist perspective, you can marry the functional demands of a bathroom with aesthetics to create a bathroom that performs for any age or ability.

Photo: Pexels

Photo: Pexels

1) The first step when planning a future-proof bathroom is to contemplate: who is going to use the bathroom? How many family members will be using the bathroom daily? Consider the ages of family members, their height, weight, and their abilities. What is the daily routine? What tasks will be completed in the bathroom?

Here is an example of what that may look like. Jim and Pam are planning on redesigning their bathroom. The couple works full time and enjoy staying active outdoors. They are thinking about retiring in five years to visit their son across the country more often. Jim and Pam want a double sink in the bathroom to avoid waiting while getting ready for work. Jim has a history of back injuries which he attributes to his 6'4 height and bending over to kiss Pam who is 5'3. They also want the bathroom to accommodate visits from their grandchildren, ages one and three, and their closest friend who uses a cane to walk.

Photo: Pexels

Photo: Pexels

2) Consult with an occupational therapist.

Photo: Cole Lindbergh

Photo: Cole Lindbergh

There are many factors when designing a future-proof bathroom that include ergonomics, function, and anthropometrics. You do not want to risk squandering money or a low quality outcome. Occupational therapists consider how the environment affects a person's ability to perform tasks and how a person's needs will differ from the next person. Occupational therapists collaborate with other professionals, such as contractors, builders, architects, and interior designers to list a few, to create the bathroom that will fit your needs for the long term. You will find guaranteed satisfaction with the result of the bathroom remodel if you include an occupational therapist.

 

3) Consider bathroom ideas that work for all ages.

Make the bathroom bigger. Oftentimes, the bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house. You will be happier if an external wall can move to dedicate more space to the bathroom.

Photo: Pexels

Photo: Pexels

 

Lever-style handles on the sink and shower faucets will make turning water on/off, adjusting water temperature, and changing water pressure easier for people of all abilities.

Install a 3 in 1 shower head with a handheld shower head on a sliding rail for options for someone to stand or sit on a shower bench or chair.

Think about creating a wet room that includes the bathtub and shower with a waterproofed floor with a drain. A shower spray could reach water throughout the wet room and floor for cleaning purposes. You can separate the bathroom into a wet room and dry room to allow people to use the sink. This also saves money from waterproofing the entire bathroom! Read more about wet rooms by clicking here from Houzz. Or click on the picture below to go to HGTV's article on wet rooms.

Photo: HGTV

Photo: HGTV

Accommodate the toilet height and bathroom counter height for the user. In our example above, Jim and Pam may benefit from a double sink that allows flexibility in height to accommodate Jim's 6'4 stature and Pam's 5'3 frame. The couple would benefit from a comfort height toilet to make it safer for Jim and Pam when standing up after toileting.

Lastly, install nonslip surfaces in all areas of the bathroom: floor, shower pan, and bathtub. You can choose materials with nonslip properties or use products like Slip Doctors anti slip coating to prevent falls in the bathroom. Read more about Slip Doctors in my article from September 2017.

Social Media Alert!
stay_at_home_solutions_maria

Stay at Home Solutions has two big announcements! The first is our brand new Pinterest account: Stay at Home Solutions. Pinterest allows users to save images or "pins" on boards where you can organize your ideas and make them easy to find. Stay at Home Solutions has boards for different rooms inside and outside the home and a board on universal design. Feel free to look at our pins and save them on your boards in order to give you ideas to age in place!

The second newsworthy item is we are going to broadcast on Facebook Live at noon every Friday with tips on how to age in place! Check out our first Facebook Live video by clicking on this link! Forgive us for posting the video in portrait instead of landscape.The Facebook Live videos are also posted on Youtube in landscape. Please like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos on aging in place and home modifications!

Please feel free to give tips or suggestions on how you would like to interact with us on social media.

 

 

What Happened?

On December 20th, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 which will create a deficit of $1.5 trillion in the next ten years. Unfortunately, legislators will cut spending from social welfare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, which will hurt older adults and people with disabilities. These cuts will drastically affect these populations in reducing affordability and accessibility of health care services.

Organizations, such as AARP, wrote a letter to congress to share their concerns and disapproval. AARP mentioned although the medical expense deduction is still intact the new tax legislation lowered it from 10% to 7.5%. Almost three-quarters of tax filers who claim the medical expense deduction are over the age of 50 and have at least one chronic condition.

On a personal note when I work in rehabilitation facilities, patients balk at the $157.50 co-payment they need to pay on day 21 of their stay. The co-payment amount will increase to $167.50 daily co-payment in 2018. Patients end up discharging home too soon resulting in medical complications or injury. With the great possibility Medicare will undergo spending cuts, this co-payment could possibly rise even higher. I am not convinced members of congress considered the potential harm this legislation will cause to older adults and their families.

The Rub: Remodel or Move?

As people face empty nests and near retirement age, they start to consider if they should live in their current home or move. Read about what this couple decided to do in this New York Times article. Consider your own options for the future to maintain a healthy, independent life.