A.I.P. ain’t just D.I.Y. – It’s NOT That SIMPLE

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First of all, I’d simply like to say that I’m flattered and honored that someone from the complete other side of the country has contacted us here at EtMM in the Seattle area with a question about Aging-in-Place.  I’m pleased to see that our message is spreading, and that we are “find-able” when folks are looking for resources and answers from professionals about how to succeed at this endeavor.

Here is a Facebook post question we received from John in Feasterville, Pennsylvania:

“I WANT TO REPLACE THE CARPETS ON THE 1ST FLOOR OF MY HOME,CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT TO USE INSTEAD OF CARPET? .  I WOULD LIKE TO AGE IN PLACE.”

Here was our response in an email to John:

“There are many variables to discuss to help you determine the right need for your home’s flooring and your plan to age in place.

Everything from your current age, age of house, current and “family history” of ailments or tendencies for future impairments, layout of the home, location of the master bedroom and bathroom, one or two story, size of space and budget for the project, mobility needs now and in the future, how many bedrooms/bathrooms and their adjacencies, all the current rooms that you are removing carpet in, how you use each of those rooms during the day, how many other people live there or come to the house daily, type of heating and if you personally run “hot or cold” body temperature-wise, etc. etc.

Blanket statements like “low pile carpeting” with a light weight pad, and “hardwoods or laminate wood floors”, or “minimize/omit all area rugs and throw rugs with tassle or thick edges” (trip hazards) can be a start point, but not the end all / be all solution for every situation by any means. I don’t even know your current age, so I’m not in a position to understand the situation yet well enough to make any of these recommendations.

Give me a call if you’d like to discuss it in more detail, I’m happy to talk it through with you and then type a summary of our conversation.  Thanks.”

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John DID call me today.  We had a wonderful conversation.  It lasted about 25 minutes, and I was able to learn much more about his situation and circumstances.  Beyond some of the basic questions above, I learned by him calling me to get my professional thoughts, that:

1) He and his wife were both 71 years old.

2) She’s had pancreatic issues over the last few years

3) She’s had 3 falls, been through rehabs, and has used a wheelchair at times during those phases but is walking again now.

4) She now has rods in her ankle, and pins in her wrist.

5) He’s been a GC (General Contractor) for 10 years, and was a carpenter for another 40 years.

6) He’s already brought the main bedroom and bathroom down to the main level, and created a roll-in shower for his wife in the future.

He even put blocking behind the tile walls for grab bars in the future, even though she’s not ready to accept them and feels it will “institutionalize” the look of her home (which I told him is not the case any more, with some great products and designs out now that don’t look like the rehab facility bathroom she likely is visualizing).  He’s planning to remodel the kitchen for better accessibility in the future as well.

I’m really impressed with John.  He’s a loving and passionate husband, who stated “I almost lost her once, and I don’t plan to do it again.  I want to make her as independent as possible at home.  I’ve watched your (my) videos and researched your website information and others as well.  I believe, as you do, that we can postpone the move into the CCRC phase of our lives with good home modification decisions now.”

WOW, that’s SO NICE TO HEAR!  I’m proud of John for caring enough about his future, and his wife to DIG IN.  To do the research, find the answers he needs (and he’s actually QUITE D.I.Y. “Do It Yourself” capable compared to most), ask professionals for guidance and advice when and where he needs it, and take action NOW while he’s still capable and empowered to do so.  What a blessing it was to speak to him, and to be able to provide our thoughts and advice on his options once we had enough information to “weigh in”.  Based on the many personal variables we discussed, I was able to lead him in a direction worth pursuing related to areas where hardwoods or laminates would work best for them both, and where a thin pad and low pile carpet might make more sense.  He was appreciative of my time and professional insights, and I was appreciative of his initiative and passion for pursuing a solution.

Thank you for the internet inquiry and reaching out to us here at EtMM John.  We look forward to hearing about your progress and your future remodeling projects for your wife and your family life to continue in your own home.  If we can be of any further assistance along the way, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We are all in this together, as people – as a NATION and WORLD.



See Also:

“Forever Home” on a Budget Starts with Common Sense

Selling ADAPTABLE for Future Aging-in-Place

A “Must Have” A.I.P. Checklist for your next Big Box Trip

Image Credits – 
TP Holder Grab Bar: http://www.feelgoodstore.com/cgi-bin/feelgood/esearch.html?keywords=074130&media=6GOOG33A&afsrc=1&cm_mmc=PaidSearch-_-GooglePLA-_-FreeShip-_-07413000000&gclid=CKTg97O_s7kCFaZaMgod_Q8AAQ
Elder Woman Fallen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20138731
Older Male Carpenter: http://www.gograph.com/stock-photo-images/grey-hair.html
 

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One thought on “A.I.P. ain’t just D.I.Y. – It’s NOT That SIMPLE
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