Small World

Although I’m not a medical professional, working as support staff to a group of nurse case managers offers some valuable knowledge and connections for everyday life. I’ve learned so much about accessibility options for people with all sorts of physical challenges. There is a whole world of items I’d never heard of before – grab bars and reachers and ramps and handicap accessible vans and shower benches and lift chairs and orthotic shoes.

The list goes on and on.

Ten years ago when I started this job, I didn’t realize how important this knowledge could be to me personally. But with aging parents (and neighbors and relatives) it has become evident that I may have to use this information in a very practical way.

We’ve been looking at some ways to modify my mother’s house to make it safer and easier for her to maintain her independence with activities of daily living (see how easy that medical jargon creeps into my writing?) And although my husband chuckled when I asked him to check out a company called Mr. Grab Bar, he was soon engrossed in perusing a vast array of support bars and handles that could be attached to walls in every room of the house.

There are also several construction companies in our area who specialize in home modifications – everything from simple ramp installations to entirely refiguring kitchens and bathrooms with lower cabinets and roll under sinks for wheelchair users. Thanks to the experiences of several of our clients at work, I know which ones to contact and which ones to avoid!

The wide world intersects with our smaller world in so many different ways.

It’s always nice when it works to your advantage.





3 thoughts on “Small World

  1. Two of the best items we purchased for Mom were the bath bench and the grab rail that clamps to the side of the tub. Without that, she wouldn’t have been able to get in and out – and since she lived in an apartment, real modification wasn’t possible.

    But I must say, that handle that screwed on to the tub was marvelous. It had to be tightened now and then – but now and then was about every six months. I’d check it every once in a while to be sure it was holding firm, and it always did.

    • Those are the kinds of little things that can make a big difference. My mom is just now learning to accept that she needs them in order to be safe – a big step for her, but a necessary one if she’s to stay independent.

  2. Boy, I remember that one. And now I’m getting of an age where I’ll need it myself sometime! I still have dad’s bath chair, and I saved the walker because “you never know.” I’m just glad I live in a ranch house!

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