A Bathroom Accessibility Remodel

My 3/23/11 article, You Can’t be too Careful, introduced steps I took getting ready for Grandma to move in. This article follows up with details about changes that were needed for bathroom accessiblity.  The objective of these two articles is to encourage you to prepare BEFORE there’s a need when it’s cheaper.

Remodeling a bathroom for a disabled grandmaDecisions

There are lots of choices to make when remodeling a home. We wanted to make things easier for Grandma but without degrading the value of the home, and hopefully increasing its value if possible.

Changing the master bath would not have fit in with our future plans, so we only considered the other two bathrooms. They were virtually mirrored twins, with standard tub, commode, counter and sink configurations. We weighed several options, including going with a special handicap shower set up, or using a general contractor and our own design ideas.

We chose a local contractor that specialized in baths and kitchens and went with a simplified plan that would make the bathroom accessible without making it permanently “handicapped.” For better or worse, we made the design decisions ourselves.

I hoped the remodel would be complete in a couple of weeks. Yeah, right! There was much more to remodeling than I considered.

Is the door to the bath wide enough? Is there room to make it wider?  How can we make the sink accessible for someone in a wheel chair? Do we want a handicap accessible shower floor, like the ones you see in some hotel rooms? How high should the toilet be? How much room does Grandma’s bathroom stuff take up? Can she access everything? Will she need to?

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Recent Discovery, Blood Testing at Home

Mark SegrestBy Mark Segrest

Now PT/INR Self Testing can be prescribed by your doctor so you can control doing the test yourself.

Why would I want to make a big deal out of the statement above? It took us seven Months to discover this information.

Since Grandma moved in with us she has been taking Coumadin for Blood Thinning. During her stay at her Original Skilled Nursing Facility she developed blood clots in her leg and lungs. Since she is still using a wheel chair most of the time, she does not get enough exercise in her legs and will probably stay on the Coumadin indefinitely.  When she started taking the Coumadin her Cardiologist set her up with the office clinic personnel to monitor her INR or international Normalized Ratio on a weekly basis. In the nursing home they would do a blood draw and lab results were sent to the Coumadin Clinic, as results were reviewed some weekly changes were made to her daily dose of Coumadin.

When she moved home we had to start making trips to the Clinic or a lab for testing. The nurse at the clinic used a blood drop monitor much like ones used for blood sugar testing, just larger and requiring a bit more blood on the strips for testing. Appointments were set up for weekly testing we tried to arrange the trips around other Doctor visits since most of her doctors are in the same facility but some weeks it was just for the one blood test.
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You Can’t be too Careful

Mark SegrestBy Mark Segrest

Wayne Caswell and I have teamed up to create a site for discovering and sharing information about today’s Home Health and Aging issues. Wayne will provide technically refined analysis, and I’ll present perspectives from my own family experience.  My Goal here is to share my experience and start discussions on subjects that help other families. So please feel free to comment on any of my posts. I feel we all need all the help we can get.

I will address family issues of having an older relative to care for. My number one suggestion is to PLAN AHEAD, since being ready for the arrival of Grandma will make life much easier for all.

My story includes four phases and some suggestions that could improved the experience.
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