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The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elders radio, courtesy of care partner sponsorship today and we have again Sean Demilio from with a little help. Sean, welcome back. Thank you for having me. We’re so excited because today’s show is all about, you know, the whole aging police process, and care partners has been gracious enough to kind of loan us you because you guys are such an amazing partner of theirs and I really want to thank them because they do amazing work with our seniors, but they are also very, very mindful of the fact that not everybody’s a fit for their community, and certainly you feel the big piece of that, because seniors want to live at home and and so you know, I talked to families. You know all the time family members I and say, well, mom and dad are still at home and they don’t want to budge, but I’m concernt and but, and you know I hear different things like that and I’ll say first thing I’ll ask him as tell me about the house. You know, where does Mama lives on one floor and they don’t even know where to begin to when we go start going through the bucket list of, you know, the laundry list of things that need to happen, you know, to make sure that the home supports their aging. So, Sean, I’m hoping you’ll you’ll humor me today and let’s have a conversation about that. I’m sure you go into families homes all the time and that’s one of the first things that you do when you do in an assessment, is what’s the environment like? And am I correct? Yeah, what’s the environment like? Is it safe? Are there throw rugs everywhere? Throw rugs are big hazards? Fall right, big fall hazard. Are there grab bars in the right places? MMM, and that means a grab bar that’s put in and installed by a professional into a stud in the wall. MMM. And so the right spot, in the right spot, right. And I I think working with an occupational therapist sometimes can be really helpful. So when somebody’s getting sent home from the hospital with an occupational therapy and they say, oh no, I don’t need it, I say yes, yes, you do. First of all, it’s covered by Medicare. MMM. And now, yeah, I’m health and they can come and give you really sound advice about what’s right for you, for your body size, your shape, the way you move, the way you were able to stand up sit down. Where does the grab bar need to go to make it the most safe for you? So let’s go around the house. Let’s talk about a room and realist since we started with the bathroom. Of course, the bathrooms the most important piece. Let’s talk about the bathroom. What are the things you look for in a bathroom? Is there a lip on the hour so that you’re know what is you know? Let Us let me ledge a little edge on the shower, another which you have to step over something to get into the shower. That’s a trip hazard. It’s a trip hazard. And now they’re starting to design showers where they’re just flat. You’re just walking flat into them, which is that’s wonderful. Wonderful removes one of the obstacles. Is there a grab bar? Is there a toilet seat riser? Does it have handles on it? People often from the toilet are trying to use the towel bar to pull themselves up correct toilet because it’s hard to get up. Is The toilet the right height? Do you need to raise it up a little with a seat. Those are just a few other things. Well, yeah, and I’m going to bring some other things. Number one is there emotion detector light. So if Marm or dad get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, that light will come on. Great huge one and those are so simple to put on, you know, in a nightlight or whatever, but I almost think really nightlight some can sometimes be too dull. It needs to be a little bit brighter right. The other thing that I am a huge proponent of is non stick tile. Yes, tie out when you get wet, if you get out of the and in, and sometimes if you have a bathmat and it’s not it’s not secure to the floor, that’s like a thrill rug right slippery tile. So you know, have somebody come in and even if it’s an inset inside the main floor area of a bathroom, make sure that that tile is non slip tile. Also in the Bay, if you’re walking into a shower, again, make sure that there’s no slip tile there. You know, I always get concerned a lot of bathmats out there’s somebody will buy the cheapest bath mat because they think that that’s going to be the good thing to do right, but they’re sometimes can be just as slippery as the regular shower can be. Right. So understand to invest in a really good quality if you’re going to use a bath mat that’s going to stay anchored. Yep, and that I think is an important thing. And then the final thing, which I think is huge, is you have to have a doorway that’s wide enough for a walker. Yes, so many older homes, if you’re looking for a senior loved one, you know, for a senior parent, they might live be living in an older house and at that doorway is only thirty inches wide. That’s not wide enough. And maybe mom and dad don’t need the Walker today, but they may need it in the future. Right, so having that frame widened to thirty three inches is huge. Those are things that I always look for. That’s a good bathroom. The other thing I might suggest as they have benches for the shower. Yes, shower be’s your chair. Rate Bench, though, that goes on the outside of the bathub and the inside of the bath them. Oh, I love and then it has a slide seat, so you sit down on this and then you can swing and you can swing and it slides over perfect, really good. Making sure that it also has the right handles. Yes, shower chair, and I’ll and handheld shower rather than the one that is up above. I think that’s important that you have that handheld shower and you know, I have one now and I love it. I do too. It’s so much better than just a shower head that comes over the top of you and and it really helps you. And my husband six foot five and so like standard shower heads for him or like below his head, right. So he uses it because obviously it helps him with his you know, with this height. So certainly a handheld shower head can do a lot of different things. In these are little simple fixes, right. And if you’re in your bed, I’m moving into the bedroom here for a second, but they have a thing called a Florida ceilings pole. It’s a right and oftentimes when you’re getting out of bed there’s nothing great to grab onto, right, and you can have one of those poles right next to your bed. That give you some balance, gives you something to grab on, sit up with and then stand up with and get your get your balance. So we’re going to talk about the bedroom and just a second, but I’m first going to reintroduce you to our listeners. Today we’re talking with Sean Demilia, with with a little help and Sean, you are a homecare organization that actually comes in and help seniors in an initial survey. Don’t you that help seniors in making those recommendations, don’t you right? When Mary, Mary’s our client assessment specialists, and when Mary goes out into a home, you know she’ll look at she’ll go through the house with them. They’ll walk through and talk about, you know, what is safe is. We might consider picking up that rug or moving that rugs right, not tripping over it. But she definitely lays her eyes on everything that’s see what’s safe and and and can make recommendations to home health. Again, I love the home health. If your doctor’s referring home health for you, home health will come out and do some of the occupational therapy and look at all those kind of things to make it safe for you, to prevent you from landing and rice little right. So let’s talk about the bedroom. Obviously the bedroom is where we get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom. Seniors are very well, you know, they don’t hold their bladder all night long. They maybe get get up to three times in a night, especially if medications are affecting that, because I know that can have something to do with that. Lighting is everything. I’ll motion detectors. I know that that’s a big deal. I mean, what would you say? Oh, I think lightings huge, because you get up your disoriented. Sometimes with the medication you get a little confused, little dizzy, little lightheaded. So it’s really good if you have some lighting and that you can sit up again. I like the pole or they have things that can slide under the mattress and they’re like a handle, a grab bar. Love that. So it gives you something to just balance yourself and I’m thinking there’s beds out there too on the market that have the railings and that are, I think, important. And there are some seniors that have restless that have restless sleep. And if it’s something you know, if you’re if your fall risk to fall out of bed, it’s very difficult to get back up right. That’s something you may want to look at is is you know, some sort of effective railing so you don’t fall out of it right, and the other pieces, if, if you have the capacity to know if you need if you had a mobile help button on, if you have the capacity to know to push it. HMM, some people don’t want to push it. I had a client who laid on the floor in the middle of the night for several hours until morning, till somebody came to and found her, because she didn’t want to push the button, because she didn’t want the sirens to come wake up the neighbors in the middle of my Gosh. So you have to have the capacity to know, I’m going to push this button if I need help, and you have to have somebody on the end other end of it that’s going to get absolutely absolutely and I think the other thing with the bedroom is clutter. Yes, you know, shakes her shoes. That’s what I was going to say. And if you wake up in the middle of the night, if you take in your shoes off, it’s really common for seniors to fall to slip. Also your slippers. Slippers can be slippery. Right, make sure that you wear slippers that aren’t going to be, you know, slippery against the rug or carpet or that’s tile in the bathroom. So you know, but pay attention to those things and I think those are important thing and wearing the right size of shoe bigly, big help when it comes to falls. There’s a program called Sale Essay Il. It’s a fall program, but one of the things they talked about is wearing the right size shoe, wearing a shoe that’s going to fit you, that’s not flopping around, that’s not a fairy flop, and our feet change and our feet change. Yes, so we got two minutes left and I want to touch on the kitchen. Kitchen’s huge number one. Obviously, hot water can be burn hazard. Yes, so that’s the first thing I always say is turned that hot water down heat or down to one hundred and twenty degrees. It doesn’t need to be any warmer than that. Right. The other thing is using cutting boards that are not the same color as the counter. Very good, be helpful. Using knives with handles that have different right colors so that you can see the difference on the counter. HMM, good, I think those are really helpful. MMM tools. Also, having a little seat by the kitchen somewhere where you can say I even have a I know I’m going to say my mom always of this little stool. It was a step stool. Had A little seat on and turned into a step stool, but so you can sit down and rest. Yeah, you need to sit down and rest and just overall, you know, we want to talk about reducing clutter. You know, if you newspapers are stacking up or whatever, find a way make sure that all walkways are clearer of clutter and and take away a lot of the Knick knacks and little things that could fall to be a potential fall risk. Right, I want to go say one more thing about the kitchen, which is there is a plug that can plug into the back of the stove so if the stove is left on, it will auto Mac her fact go off, and I think that’s a really good too. Very big tool, very and of course, you know under cabinets can be hard. You can always use baskets to pull things out and you still can utilize that so you’re not bending over. So there’s a million ways in which do it. So shnic, thank you so much for being on the show. To that, how do I sure you too, at two thousand and six, three, five, two, seven, three ninety nine. That’s with little hopes. Want to burn our weba addresses, www dot with a little helpcom awesome and thanks again to care partner. Thank you care on today. They’re the best. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living go to care partners livingcom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman 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 Newman found herself 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. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, 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.