Staying in your own home is desirable, and comforting as the years go by. With today's larger senior population, aging in place has taken on a new meaning - a more sensible alternative to relocating to an assisted living facility when all you might need is a little extra support to remain independent. That is where we come in! PlumbingSupply.com® offers many products to assist you with daily living, providing those extra little options to make your home safer and more comfortable for independent living, while easing the mind of your loved ones because they know you have a safe environment to live in. Just take a look at all of the helpful products offered, and let us be your source for the tools you need to remain safe and comfortable in your own home.
As we age, we notice a certain amount of physical decline. Whether this change is pronounced or barely noticeable varies from person to person, but eventually all of us need a little help in our daily tasks. For an independent individual, even the mildest changes in physical ability can be extremely frustrating. And then, when researching options for at home care aids to help around the house, most of what's out there seems like it's designed for hospitals and nursing homes. While this does mean those products meet ADA requirements and will support a grown adult's weight, they do have a tendency to look a bit institutional. If this isn't your cup of tea, let's look at a few things that will help support your independence without making your home look like a hospital. After all, a home is more than four walls and plumbing; it's a place where you're comfortable. We're here to help you maintain your comfortable home, but provide the assisted living products you need to continue living independently.
Grab bars are one of the easiest additions to make to a home that make a huge difference. Having a steady hand hold when getting in and out of the shower can be a lifesaver...literally! Most of the accidents in the home are in the bathroom, where the combination of water and smooth surfaces can make for some tricky conditions. So if, like many seniors, you're finding yourself taking a little longer to get in and out of the bath, or reaching for a towel bar to steady yourself, a grab bar is an inexpensive way to help prevent falls and expensive hospital bills. Towel bars are literally designed to hold towels, not people, and they will not provide enough support if grabbed at in a fall. In fact, they can actually injure you when they release from the wall. Fortunately, the solution is easy: simply replace your towel bars with sturdy grab bars. You can also add a grab bar right next to your shower or anywhere else you reach to steady yourself. We offer both simple stainless steel styles as well as some lovely decorative styles. Both will be sturdier than a standard towel bar and will provide a strong place to steady yourself, so it's simply a matter of selecting according to your mobility needs and personal preferences.
One product we've noticed making a huge difference in keeping seniors in their own homes is the Healthcraft SuperPole. It's like a grab bar because it provides a stable hand hold, but unlike wall mounted grab bars, it can be installed just about anywhere. At its most basic, it's a pole that fits between the floor and ceiling. Naturally, it's extremely sturdy, but with a design that does not damage your floor or ceiling. We've had elderly customers install these most commonly next to their beds to make it a bit easier to get up on their own, but there are several options to help the SuperPole fit in with what you need for independent living. The SuperPole is modular, which allows you to add support devices to it if your need for assistance increases.
Is arthritis making handles difficult? Lose the old compression-style handles and forget grasping, twisting, and cranking down those faucets and making your hands hurt. Switch out for sparkling new faucets with easy-to-move lever handles for your sink and shower and notice the difference right away! Even better? Most new lavatory faucets use ceramic quarter-turn cartridges, which means you don't have to worry about replacing washers every year or two on those old compression-style faucets. Another option is to do away with handles all-together with one of the many types of hands-free, sensor operated faucets. Don't want to change out the entire faucet? You'll need to know who made your current faucet and probably the model number too, but there's often replacement handles available, and they're simple to switch out. Most of the time you can just unscrew the old handles and screw the new ones back on!
Another issue we encounter as we get older is finding out our knees don't work as well as they used to. Or they try to do the weatherman's job and tell us when a storm is coming! Either way, those low toilets that are great for kids just don't cut it after a while and could really use an upgrade. If you love your toilet, but are having a hard time with those knees, we offer a couple of options for toilet seats to make your commode feel more stable and give you a couple of inches in height, as well as things to make getting up easier.
If your bathroom is designed in a way to make you feel like a contortionist when you try to grab the toilet paper, we have some very elegant options for you. Free-standing toilet paper holders can be placed wherever is most convenient for you, and are designed to be just as steady as a wall mounted holder while you're removing the tissue. If you just want to trade in your flimsy wall-mounted toilet tissue holder, we have options for that as well. In fact, we've seen small grab bars used as toilet paper holders. Talk about sturdy!
Sometimes it's just a little more complicated than that, though. If your home has multiple levels, a quick trip to the powder room may not be as easy as it once was, but a massive renovation just isn't in the cards. Have you considered adding a pump-assisted toilet? We offer toilets with macerating pumps allowing a powder room to be added virtually anywhere in your home. This can drop the price of a remodel drastically, making it easier for you to have a ground floor bathroom exactly where you need it most.
And what about the shower? Baths are great when you're small, but most of us switch to showers at some point. Yet most homes still have that old bath-and-shower combo. If you're tired of stepping over the tub edge, or if it's become a game of Twister to manuever into the tub/shower, might we suggest a change? A curbless shower can make a molehill out of a mountain.
Curbless showers, sometimes known as roll-in showers, can take the place of your old tub/shower simply by replacing the tub portion with a shower pan of the right size and tiling or adding an appropriate fiberglass surround according to your preference. With no curb, there's nothing to trip over, nothing to step over, nothing to make getting into the shower more difficult. Instead of grappling with tub edges, grab bars, shower doors or curtains, you now simply stroll (or roll) into your new shower and enjoy!
Speaking of showers, you can add a hand held shower to your existing setup for almost nothing, but reap the benefits in spades. With multiple functions, and a variety of ways to switch between them, you are sure to find just the right addition to your bathing routine. They're even great for Fido and rinsing the shower after a scrub! And if you use a shower chair, hand held showers are much better for rinsing off than that old plastic cup.
Naturally, we offer all sorts of shower seats, from wall mounted folding models without legs, to sturdy designs with arms, to shower chairs that can be put in the closet when not in use. Terrific for shaving, relaxing under a warm spray, and, of course, sitting while you scrub!
Okay, so we've gone over the bathroom. What about the kitchen? Well, there's stuff we can do there, too!
When you think of kitchens and plumbing, probably the first thing to come to mind is the kitchen sink. When you look at your kitchen sink, what do you see? A hassle to use, or a pleasure? If it's the former, perhaps your faucet could use an update. We offer lever handle faucets that will make turning the faucet on and off so much easier.
As for the sink itself, we offer a variety of rear-centered drain sinks, sinks with shallower bowls, sinks with one huge bowl, apron front sinks to let you get closer to the sink... and combination of those same features - a huge, apron-front, shallower sink with a rear centered drain! Super easy to use, looks great, cleans in a snap!
Now let's look at the stove... not much here as far as plumbing goes, so there's not a lot we can do... or is there? How often do you fill a pan with water for pasta, soup, or rice? Do you go back and forth from the sink with one heavy, water-filled pan, or do you fill the pan with cup after cup of water to avoid carrying a large weight? Either way, a pot filler faucet might make your life easier. Pot fillers install right next to the stove and provide a faucet for filling pans right where you're cooking. They are either mounted to the wall or on the counter and are articulated, so they fold up out of the way when not in use. If you've never used one, you're in for a treat! It seems like a luxury item, but truly, it saves time, saves strain on your back, and will make a big difference in your day to day life. And after all, aren't you due a little luxury in your golden years?
Getting older is part of life, and it inevitably takes a toll on the body. But when you've paid off your home, have good friends in the neighborhood, enjoy various hobbies and are active in the community, it's certainly not time for the retirement home or the spare room at the children's house. At the same time, when the stairs begin to seem challenging or when medication makes you dizzy in the morning, it will take a little adjusting to retain your independence while keeping yourself safe. We're here to help you be aware of your options for keeping the home easy for you to live in so you can go on living your life to the fullest. We encourage you to look around, see what would make things a little easier, and go for it all at once or a little at a time. It's your life, your choice, and your home.
As always, we encourage you to research all your options and seek out resources to help you make the best choice for your particular situation. Here are a few pages to get you started:
www.passagescenter.org - Passages, Based in Chico, CA
www.aging.ca.gov - California Department of Aging
www.usa.gov/Topics/Seniors.shtml - Senior Citizens' Resources - USA.gov