Beth, an active, 89 year old woman lives alone in her one level townhome. She has lived alone for many years and has a good support network of family and friends from church. She is relatively healthy but deals with asthma necessitating the need for an oxygen unit. Beth is John’s cousin and they talk weekly. John has mentioned their search for a home to age in place and Beth has mentioned she has no intention of moving or spending her retirement on a pricey remodel. She likes her townhome and, except for a few inconvenient nuisances, she is pretty content. Beth wears a monitor around her neck so she can receive help if something happens so this gives her some piece of mind.
Beth has been mulling around the need to make her bathroom a little safer and, after talking with John, she is convinced she needs to do it now. She consulted the AARP office and they sent her several pamphlets with information that included one titled: No-Cost/Low-Cost Home Improvements for a More Comfortable, Safer, and Easy-to-Live-In Home.
After reading several articles and talking to her cousin John, she decided on a course of action. Her first course of action was to have her handyman Jeb install lever-style knobs on the door and she had him change her faucet to one that had lever style handles too. She also had the handyman install a hand-held shower head that was adjustable.
When she told John what she had done, John mentioned her floor. She knew it tended to be a little slippery when she climbs out of the shower but she is not willing to invest in a new floor. John thought she could probably get one of those walk off carpets if she insisted on keeping her floor. Later, while talking to her nephew, Davy, he mentioned getting her one of those walk-off carpets from one of those warehouse stores or from a janitorial service. She agreed to that and her sweet nephew brought her one home. It was dark colored but it was a good contrast to the white of the shower. She could see it even without her glasses.
She asked Davy if he would pick up some grab bars for her too. She heard Lowes carried grab bars. Davy wanted to know how many and what size and Beth showed him the pamphlet from AARP. They decided on three: one for getting out of the shower, one for inside the shower and then the other for near the toilet. She also asked him to pick up a shower seat for the shower. He could stop by Walmart or Walgreens for that, she stated. Jeb installed them with WingIts he picked up at Home Depot.
Beth knew she already had the right height toilet because it was 17 or 18 inches tall but she wanted one of those seats that had the bars attached. She sent Davy for that to the drugstore that carried medical assistive devices.
Beth knew she had problems seeing in the mirror to put her lipstick on and she wanted some brighter lights. She asked her handyman Jeb to put the brightest bulbs in the lights that they were allowed to have. Jeb mentioned they should be frosted so they didn’t create such a glare for her and she tipped him extra.
She decided it was time to change the handles on the vanity so she bought some really pretty D-shaped ones. They made such a difference. Beth’s last step was to have Jeb install a full-length mirror so she could see herself before she went to church.
Stay tuned as we follow Beth as she makes her home safer and more comfortable without the major remodels or moving that some of her friends and relatives are having to do.