Helping Mom & Dad Stay in the Home They Love
Preparing the Home for Senior living | David Bobby, August 2016
When many of our homes were built in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s little thought was given to designing a home that would be friendly to the occupants as they aged or became less mobile or struggled with their health. Most homes were not designed for senior living. How was it expected that people would age in their homes? Who knew that there should be limited steps and doorways should be minimally 36” wide to allow for step walkers and wheelchairs. Well, now we know.
The Most Dangerous Room in the House
The most dangerous place in the home is in the smallest room – the bathroom. Many elderly people have not been able to bathe properly in their own home for years. They struggle to negotiate the high step required to get into their tub. A greater risk is actually getting out of the tub, more than getting in. The lowest tub step over is 15” but we have often found some tub step overs to be 17” to 20” high. This is where seniors have the falls – trying to getting in and out of the tub – even with installed safety bars.
After my dad passed away, my mother lived alone. She grew feeble in her later years and finally had a fall and fractured her hip. We had to move her bed and dressers and clothes to the main floor and we basically closed off the upstairs as she no longer could use it.
Mom never regain the same mobility after the hip fracture and we still had a problem with her being able to stay in the home that she loved. She still needed to use and have access to the basement.
The laundry was in the basement and she preferred to use the shower in the basement that was barrier-free. The solution was simple enough once we got her to agree to it. And that was installing a stair lift on the basement steps. Once that was installed she could go up and down the stairs to the basement safely and seated. She loved that stair lift.
I remember her having her laundry basket sitting on her lap and actuating the up/down button on the left armrest. Once she was safely down she could get around just fine in the basement with use of her cane.
That stair lift allowed her to stay at home, in her home and age in place until she passed away on Mother’s Day 2015.
Early on Darian and I saw the value of becoming CAPS certified (Certified Aging in Place Specialists). We attended a week of day-long classes and were required to pass daily tests to become properly certified. This is a relatively new designation offered by and through the NAHB – National Association of Home Builders.
When Jacuzzi approached us to be their representative for all of Michigan for the Jacuzzi Walk in Tub they were especially happy that we were already CAPS certified – which they required from their authorized dealer network.
The aging of the Baby Boomer generation, who are turning age 65 at the rate of 10,000 every day, is a growing segment of our population. The CAPS certification will help their adult children select qualified home remodeling specialists. Many people, as they see their senior years approaching, are choosing to make certain modifications to their homes. They want to stay in their homes and not have to go into assisted living or nursing homes.
Jacuzzi Walk – In Tub
The Jacuzzi brand Walk in Tub is truly the Cadillac of the industry. With a pedigree that goes back to the 1930’s, Jacuzzi holds hundreds of patents relating to the therapeutic hydrotherapy water jets. These Walk in Tubs add life to your years –and years to your life. Depending on the time of day and the features chosen, the tub can invigorate you for your day or quieten and settle your body for a sound and restorative sleep. Every tub we install is tested before leaving our warehouse to give our customers the extra confidence that their tub will work perfectly.
Jacuzzi Walk-In Shower
As the years have passed at Atlas, we have grown our “Aging in Place” product line, including the unique, state of the art Jacuzzi Walk- In- Shower. This unit features Jacuzzi jets that can operate without the need to be submerged in water. Now people can shower and direct the gentle but powerful Jacuzzi water jets on their lower back, shoulder or neck areas to experience the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy.
Easy Climber Stair Lift
Many people are fearful of negotiating the stairs in their own homes. They are often unsteady or have to go up and down the steps – on their bum – one step at a time! We have found that our customers see the stair lift as a “need” product more than a “want” product. People have to have access to their upstairs or basement and need the stair lift to do it. People don’t want to leave the home that they love and are willing to make some modifications so they can stay in their home. That is where the stair lifts come in. People can access their upstairs or the basement with ease and safety for the first time in a long time.
With the stair lift, people can extend independence in their own home: Imagine how nice it is to ascend and descend the stairs again – except this time – while safely seated.
If you’d like to learn about options for yourself or someone you love, contact us at the number below. Our sales representatives are trained to provide the information you need to make the best decision for the right product.
Our mission is to provide an exceptional home improvement experience, exceeding expectations with each customer contact so they know our people and company are different – that we will listen and genuinely care about helping them.