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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And Welcome back to answers for elders radio. Everyone. We have a very, very special guest on our show today and most of our listeners probably know you quite well. Mr James Carry, who is part of our Salem media family has a program called on the house. James, welcome to answers for elders radio. Susanne, thank you for inviting me and what a pleasure to be with you today. We are so excited to have you because how much wisdom you can bring us. And you know, it’s the winter time and I am just getting to know you, which I’m so thrilled to do. And I have to tell you what so amazing is. I get on your site for the first time and the first thing I see on your website is national bath safety month. Is your bathroom safe? Thank you so much for, you know, bringing issue to this it’s so, so important, as we know that about seventy five percent of accidents at seniors have are in their bathroom in their own home. You know, Shu then, brother Morris and I have been remodeling contractors for nearly forty years and in addition to that, of course, we’re aging. Maybe thers. Morris was on the front end of the baby boom, born and forty six. I was on the back end, born in fifty eight. So we’re especially sensitive to the needs of aging baby boomers and the need for access and comfort and safety. And, of course, Suzanne, when we began our careers we were installing these large whirlpool tubs. Yeah, that, you know, we’re bathing experience, slippery. Yeah, yeah, I had to get out of and now here we are, twenty five or thirty years later, right, being called by often the same customer or or someone who has purchased home and saying, you know what, will you come out and remove this huge gaping hole in our bathroom, which is hard to get in and out of, which is unsafe and and can you do something that will give us a space that we may enjoy and that will be safe for us? And so we’re doing that now and it’s a wonderful thing to do because it allows people to be in their homes longer, it keeps them safe and it makes being at home comfortable. What could be better? Susanne. Well, and that’s the thing. It’s like being I always talked to families about you know, after somebody falls, it’s too late and in many cases it’s about being mindful of what you know, preventing accidents up front, and there’s a lot of listeners out there, even in their s. You know that that it’s not unreasonable to look at your bathroom and say, you know, I could do this better on there’s a lot of boomers today that are downsizing and going to going to live the rest of, you know, the next fifteen years. You know, moving, moving to that point and and really thinking about, you know, where you going to be fifteen years for now, well, if you’re my age, which is sixty two, that’s you know, that’s seventy seven years old. I’d better have a bathroom that has grab bars by then. I better have. So what better time to make sure that these things are handled now so that accidence can be prevented in the future. So let’s talk about great let’s talk about grab bars for a moment, sir, and and and let’s talk about the fact that a lot of homeowners don’t want a clinical look in their bathroom. They don’t want to feel like they’re in a hospital room. They want a lovely bathroom that’s accessible but safe. Right, manufactures have listened and they’ve come up with accessories, grab bars in particular, that will offer the safety and the comfort, but they don’t look institutional. They can be mounted in showers, they can be mounted over the tubs, they can be mounted adjacent to the commode and their lovely bath accessories. And of course the next question is, well, if I want to, if I want to grab this Bar, am I going to pull it off the wall or do I have to open the sheet rock and put wood backing? And Well, look, if you’re going to be remodeling and you’re going to have the dry wall off because you’re going to make other modifications, we like to install solid wood backing in our projects, but they’re if you’re not going to be doing that, at a minimum, you should try and anchor into studs and it’s the configuration of the bath accessory won’t allow you to do that. Then there is a super charged molly bolt called a wing it, and a wing is designed as an anchor, Suzanne, to hold up to two hundred and fifty pounds. My guys, we’ve been using these four years. They’re an excellent alternative. They’re affordable, they’re easy to install and they do the job. Here’s something else. Manufactures are looking beyond just grab bars and they’re saying, okay, we know that people have a toilet paper holder immediately adjacent to their common right and often they like to grab that toilet paper holder and they pull it right off the wall. Yeah, so they have created a solution and Susanne, that solution is a decorative toilet paper holder flash grab bar Combo that will allow someone to utilize that TP hold or grab bar for stability getting onto the commode and getting off the commode. So we see this and there’s even a beautiful grab bar which is round, that goes around the shower valve. You know, you have a single lever shower valve that you turn and and this pretty it almost is like, I like to describe it as the wheel on a boat or a vetter. It’s lovely and it goes around the valve. It anchors to the wall. It’s a decorative accessory, but it is a grab bar. So if someone doesn’t feel steady, they have that came on too, and no one would ever know that there’s a grab bar in the shower exactly. And that’s the beavity of where we are today and and of course, your I have to say, James, you’ve got a lot more faith and in the general public installing their own grab bars, because for me I always tell families, never do it yourself, always have a professional do it it. You know, it’s worth paying somebody that knows what they’re doing to come into your home place it in the appropriate place. You know, I’ve worked with a lot of occupational therapists and even having the grab bar in the right spot, understanding how a senior moves, what you know where the location, you know of the configuration of the bathroom is is there should be some sort of a consultation there and and certainly you know having, you know, a professional lay that out and put it in is worth a very small investment for your future. Man, you and I are on the same page there. I did not mean to imply by my comment was that it was easy to install. Now that I meant said a diwire might want to do it. I think you’re right. I think an accessible bathroom starts with an accessible design, and the excess design can be as simple as saying, you know what, that toilet is too low. It’s let’s let’s Yank that toilet and let’s put in a room, an American standard right height toilet that will make getting on and off the commode easier or an evenible. Go ahead. I was in an even with that professional. When you’re talking about the toilet, it’s even the door frame. If a senior is in a walker, to have the foresight thinking you know that could some day progress to that senior being in a wheelchair. And is the doorway wide enough? Those are the things that a professional can walk in and immediately somebody like you probably notice. Is that right off the bat. Does the average family member notice how wide the doorway is? I bet they don’t. They really don’t, and some try and cut it close and where they could, where you can do a thirty two inch door with a wheelchair, we recommend a thirty six inch opening. Exactly. Yes, that so that people have plenty of room because as everybody comes in different shapes and sizes and the accessory mobility items like walkers and wheelchairs for different shapes and sizes still white box yourself in and I think probably Susanne, one of the most exciting additions to the accessibility category for in home hygiene is the walk in bathing, the walk in beating facilities there are now and there are a couple. There are. There are a couple. One is a walk in bathtub which we’re installing for not so old people and older people. We’re doing one right now for a woman who is a registered nurse. She’s fifty four years old, she’s on her feet all day. She wants to use that tub for its therapeutic value. It’s inline heater, it’s forty four jets, it’s chromotherapy, all of that. But then mom is eighty five years old. MOM has not been in a bathtub for five years. This now is mom’s opportunity to enjoy the baby experience. So and I think it’s those, those accessories are equally valuable, Suzanne, to the caregiver, because getting someone who is elderly or challenged into a traditional tub can be a major undertaking and dangerous, not only for the person that you’re trying to bath but for the caregiver as well. Yes, well, I will. I will take a little exception to that and if we had more time, James, I would love to have you back so we could debate this issue. I am not I am not a fan of walking tubs and as much as you are saying, all the great things about it. I’m I am totally going to let that go. But you know what, I’d love to have you back soon and like when we talk about things, and maybe you and I should just have a little conversation about each other’s view points. I would love to do it and I hope that. I hope that the discussion will continue. We will. And you know what, James, carry is on the program on the House and here in Seattle you are heard on one thousand, five hundred and ninety. The answer is that correct. Saturday morning, six to nine am. There you go. Well, you know what, James, it has been such an honor having you on the show today and we look forward to having you back really soon. Suzanne, thank you so much. Same here
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.