Category Archives: Barrier-free Shower

When Should Someone Make the Decision to Install Home Modification Products?

Too often this decision is made under duress when one is in a crisis situation, perhaps after a
fall, and either in the hospital or rehab after having surgery. Many of of our clients fall into this category. And although we can often accommodate someone’s needs with relatively short notice, this is certainly not the ideal way to make this decision. Shown below I have listed several examples of “pre-crisis” time frames of when to consider home
modification:

  1. When a “senior” has determined that they want to “age in place” and perhaps are
    having specific challenges, i.e., stepping over a tub, navigating a stairway, or difficulty
    getting their walker through the bathroom door.
  2. When someone with a chronic disease recognizes that they no longer can safely get into
    or out of the tub or shower, or navigate the steps going into their home.
  3. Those who have had minor or major surgery, and realize that their home needs to be
    made safer before they return home.
  4. Those who are currently in rehab after suffering a life threatening injury, and realize
    that for their home to be accessible and “user friendly”, will need to have extensive
    home modification.

These are just a few examples of more “practical” circumstances to consider home
modifications, before a crisis occurs.

Our “ideas” and our home assessments are FREE. Just call 770-939-0747, or email us at
info@homefreemods.com, and a home modification expert will respond to you usually within
24 hours.

 

10 Bathroom Safety Tips for Older Adults

Safety in the bathroom is critical when it comes to the prevention of falls for older adults. The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the home. According to statistics provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 80 percent of senior falls that occur in the home happen in the bathroom.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shares that a staggering 1.6 million seniors seek emergency assistance due to falls each year. The cause of a fall could be lack of balance, an obstacle on the floor that causes tripping, or slippery surfaces.

Injuries due to bathroom falls range from mild injuries to serious injuries. These types of accidents can be avoided by taking steps toward preventing falls. By implementing safety precautions, you can greatly reduce the chances of injury due to slips, trips, and falls.

Preventing Falls and Injuries with these Quick Tips

Here are a few bathroom safety tips for seniors to help avoid injury:

Tip #1 – Install Grab Bars: By installing grab bars in your tub or shower, older adults have something to grasp when entering and exiting the bathtub or shower. This can reduce the chances of a slip and/or fall during bathing. Grab bars can also be installed near the toilet to aid with leverage and balance.

Tip #2 – Nonslip Strips: In addition to the installation of grab bars, an affordable way to increase and improve bathroom safety is by putting nonslip strips in the bottom of the tub or shower. You could also consider a non-slip bathmat or non-slip tiles. You can find non-slip strips in many different home and department stores. Not only are these safe, but they can also make a fun and decorative addition to the bathroom.

Tip #3 – Avoid Throw Rugs: Eliminate throw rugs in the bathroom to avoid trips and falls, or consider installing rugs with grips on the bottom. However, to be extra safe, remove bathroom rugs all together as they are a tripping hazard.

Tip #4 – Lighting: Make sure the bathroom has ample lighting is key for preventing falls or other injuries. By keeping the room well lit, it’s easier to see if there’s anything on the floor that could become a hazard. Lighting is particularly important for seniors with vision problems or balance issues.

Tip #5 – Bath Seating: Bath seating in a shower or tub is a great bathroom safety tactic – and they can be easy to install. For extra safety, consider adding bath seating as well as a grab-bar, making it easy to enjoy a shower without the fear of falling. Bath seating is available in various styles to meet the needs of all seniors.

Tip #6 – Hand-Held Shower Handle: Consider investing in a hand-held shower handle in addition to bath seating for a shower that’s stress-free and safe. Shower handles improve bathroom safety, and also come with various settings for optimum relaxation and enjoyment in the shower or tub.

Tip #7 – Toilet Seat Riser: Toilet seat risers are great for toilets with low seating. By raising the seat with a toilet seat riser, you may prevent falling when using the restroom. These make wonderful additions to grab bars near the toilet area.

Tip #8 – Keep the Floor Clear: Make sure that the floor is kept clear and free of any debris or clothing that could become a hazard or cause a fall.

Tip #9 – Keep the Floor Dry: Keeping the floor dry in the bathroom is one of the simplest and most important things that you can do to maintain bathroom safety for older adults. If the floors are wet or damp, this becomes a hazard that could create a very dangerous situation.

Tip #10 – Don’t Rush: What’s the hurry? When we rush in life, we put ourselves at greater risk for falls or injury. Take your time in the bathroom.

If you don’t own your home or apartment, always refer to your tenant guide or landlord before installing equipment in your bathroom.

Anneliese Peterson wrote this blog. She is with Walker Methodist is a faith-based, non-profit senior living organization that’s been serving older adults since 1945.

For more information about living life to the fullest and transitioning to life as an older adult, visit our website at www.homefreemods.com . We can help to make your bathroom safer. For a FREE bathroom evaluation, call us at 770-939-0747, or email us at info@homefreemods.com .

 

Is there a company or organization that can inspect my 85-year-old mother-in-law’s home and advise us about how it can be made safer, especially the bathroom?

While almost all of us want to stay in our homes for as long as we can, it’s important to consider home safety when making that decision. Fortunately, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in conjunction with AARP, has developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) training designation for remodelers and contractors. These specialists have been trained in design modifications that can make homes safe for a lifetime. They can do a room-by-room assessment of the home and make recommendations for modifications. To find a CAPS certified contractor near you, go to NAHB’s website.

This article was written for the AARP magazine by Elinor Ginzler, a member of the AARP Caregiving Advisory Panel, and is senior director of the Center for Supportive Services at the Jewish Council for the Aging. She is also coauthor of Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide.

Dennis Lippy and Rick Thaxton with HomeFree Home Modification both have the  CAPS designation, and would be delighted to assist you in answering any questions you may have in making your home more safe, and giving you a greater degree of independence. As we like to say “our ideas are FREE”, as we will come out to your home and provide a NO COST home assessment, to help you determine if your home is “safe for a lifetime”. You can reach us at 770-939-0747, or info@homefreemods.com

Cost Versus Value for Home Modification

It’s an age old question as to what something costs versus the value it adds to our life to have that product or service. This is also true when considering home modification. When making improvements to your home that make it safer, allowing you to remain living there, and at the same time, giving you additional independence, in each and every situation, the value far exceeds the cost.

For example

The cost of having two grab bars installed into a tub/shower is approximately $290 (depending on the length & style chosen).

The value? Well, when considering that the grab bars could prevent you from falling upon entering/exiting the tub/shower, and possibly breaking an arm, leg, or GOD forbid a hip, what value would you place on this? Statistics show that 1/3 of seniors fall in a calendar year, requiring a hospital stay, and often times, rehabilitation. With this fact in mind, has the value of the grab bars just gone up like a gazillion times?

This is just one example. Although most seniors need grab bars, many need other things like ramps, wider doorways, or a walk-in shower, to make their home safer and more user friendly.

Whatever your home modification needs are we can provide them. We have been doing just that for over ten years, and would be happy to give you a FREE home assessment. You can reach us by calling 770-939-0747, or emailing us at info@homefreemods.com . We look forward to serving you.

Better Living by NewsTalk1160

Safety & Independence Benefits in the Home, Offered by Home Modification

I was recently a guest on the radio show, “Better Living” on News Talk 1160, which airs at 10:00 AM on Sunday mornings. Hosted by Lin Tatum of Homestead Hospice, we discussed “the safety & independence benefits in the home, offered by home modification.”

If you have any questions regarding home modification or if you would like to benefit from our “free ideas,” contact us at 770-939-0747, or email info@homefreemods.com.

The Beauty of “Aging in Place”

Whether it be your bathroom, kitchen, or entry and emergency exit areas, HomeFree Home Modification can create an environment of safety & greater independence for you. In most cases, just subtle changes can make your home more “user friendly”, and offer you a higher quality of life, while aging in place.

At this point, most of us know that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in our home, at least for being susceptible for a fall. There are a lot of things going on in the bathroom; movement, soap, water, steam, all just waiting to create the “perfect” fall. Sometimes, just putting grab bars in can create the stability we need to get us into & out of the tub/shower with confidence, and lessen our chances of a fall. But ideally, taking out the tub, or the threshold of the shower, can create a “barrier free” environment where no “step overs” are needed, and no encumbrances to create a fall. As we age, having the ability to remain at home is a # one priority for most of us. Surveys taken across the country indicate that approximately 85 – 90% of us would like to “age in place” by remaining at home. There is more opportunity to do that now than ever before by having your home “tailor” made to suit your needs through home modification.

Call us at 770-939-0747, or email us at info@homefreemods.com , and we will come out to your home and provide a NO COST home evaluation to determine what steps can be taken to create a safer environment and more independence for you.

Making Dangerous Bathrooms Safe

Four Tips for Designing an Accessible Bathroom

More than 230,000 people are sent to the ER each year because of an injury sustained while bathing, showering, or using the bathroom facilities. This month, we’re sharing 5 bathroom features that can help reduce the dangers in the bathroom.

  1. Install grab bars. Installing grab bars in easy-to-reach places provides support and balance for entering and exiting the shower or tub. Also consider adding grab bars near the toilets for additional support and safety.
  2. Add shower seats. A shower seat can provide stability and a place to rest for those who have difficulty standing for long periods of time. Builders or homeowners should select a shower with a folding seat installed or purchase a bench seat to add to an existing shower.
  3. Add an adjustable (and hand-held) shower head. This allows the person to direct the water where it’s most needed without having to contort their body into awkward positions.
  4. Fix slippery surfaces. Having a non-slip mat (or decals) on the floor of the shower or tub — as well as a non-slip rug on the floor — provides additional stability and can reduce slipping. A non-slip rug in front of the toilet and by the sink area can also help prevent slipping.
  5. Install taller toilets. Over time, residents may experience increased difficulty lowering themselves onto a low toilet seat and returning to a standing position. A raised toilet (typically 3 to 4 inches) can reduce the amount of squatting and the distance that has to be covered to sit on the toilet.

Universal design doesn’t have to mean that a bathroom takes on an institutional feel. Bestbath offers many unique products — including our Designer Series line of bathing solutions — that will make any bathroom look amazing. For more design ideas, follow our Design Ideas blog and like us on Facebook.

(This article was taken from the November Best Bath Newsletter at www.bestbath.com)