Search Results for 'bathroom'

Liz Taylor takes comments

One of the best reads ever on aging deliberately is Liz Taylor–
Her series has been mentioned previously –

I just discovered that the columns published at Kitsap Sun Stories: Liz Taylor: Aging Deliberately allow comments (registration required) and have an RSS feed . This is so much more convenient and useful than the Seattle Times venue. I’m not sure which is the primary home for Liz’s work, however, and Kitsap may not carry all her columns. At the Seattle Times I have to subscribe by E-mail to their health series (once a week e-mail, all health stories which are interesting) to get notice of her columns. Otherwise I have a Google News Alert for Liz Taylor+ aging, which sometimes brings in notice of National Velvet. [the colors behind some items below mean nothing except straightening out the code remains to be done.]

Liz Taylor began her career as a federal consumer-fraud investigator and was appointed by Elizabeth Dole in 1976 to direct a nationwide investigation of the nursing-home industry. She’s worked in the aging field ever since.

In the 1980s, Liz became one of the first geriatric care managers in the Pacific Northwest, working with thousands of families and older adults to find high-quality services. In 2000, she founded Aging Deliberately, a business that teaches people how to prepare for their aging so they’ll have more control over what happens to them. In 2005, she served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. She’s won the American Geriatrics Society’s 2007 Aging Awareness Media Award and the Washington Association of Homes and Services for the Aging’s Excellence in Media Award. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/growingolder/

It’s relatively easy to age successfully if you’re wealthy. Money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly allows you to buy the things that make life more comfortable at any age. 1/26/2008 11:00 PM
In my last column, I wrote about a growing problem: what to do when an older person who has dementia hasn’t named anyone she trusts to make decisions for her. This week I’ll tackle a tougher issue: what to do when the person she names does a poor job. 11/17/2007 11:00 PM
My e-mail has had a repeated theme recently: An older person with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, isn’t paying bills, preparing meals, bathing, and other important tasks — but refuses to allow anyone to help.
11/3/2007 09:00 PM |
There’s a certain uniformity to finding a physician under Medicare these days. Rich or poor, if you’re 65 or older, you’re likely to have similar slim pickings (more so if you’re poor and on Medicare and Medicaid). 10/20/2007 11:00 PM |
Most of us want to live a long time, but nobody wants to grow old. The irony is, most of us will — live a long time and grow old. It’s easy to do — all it takes is letting the days roll by. As long as you’re healthy, getting old is a piece of cake.
10/6/2007 11:00 PM |
It’s easy as pie to age well when you’re healthy. The friction comes when you become frail. Sometimes it’s self-inflicted, the product of isolation, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and falls — all common problems for people who age in their homes but don’t plan it correctly. 9/22/2007 11:00 PM |
A woman in her late 70s, a good friend, is pondering her options. Her home is two stories (or three, including the basement), with many stairs to her bedroom, bathroom and the washing machine. 9/8/2007 11:00 PM
Dad is 87, fun and funny, with moderate dementia. He lived “on the edge” in his own home for years while we kids worried sick. 7/28/2007 11:00 PM
When I was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, cars were sort of round and later sort of square. My dad wore a hat to work and took the bus.
7/14/2007 11:00 PM
I’m 75 and have lived in an assisted-living facility for a year.
7/8/2007 02:00 AM
Older people are not simply younger people with wrinkles our bodies change dramatically as we age, both inside and out; some parts wear out before others, sometimes several at once.
6/17/2007 02:00 AM
Whether you live at home, in a retirement community, or in a yurt on top of a mountain, as you age, you want to do it consciously.
6/3/2007 02:00 AM

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Senior Center Self-Assessment

The Joint Committee on Senior Centers is comprised of members of the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers, the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. They have a number of other resources, Learn about items of Special Interest

The following checklist has been designed to help you think about your Center from the “first impression” perspective. These are some of the things you could be looking at in your Center to prepare to make a positive, lasting impression on those who come to your Center.

If you are answering “no” to questions, you may want to look at modifying or improving that item. For best results, have a person who is unfamiliar with the Center complete the survey. Problems that we see on a daily basis can sometimes become “invisible” to our eyes.

This checklist can help prepare your Center to be in the best position possible for welcoming the new seniors who respond to the Senior Center Marketing Initiative of June 2002. Prepared by the Joint Committee on Senior Centers, February 2002.

The checklist is available as a pdf file here,

Compare this checklist with the one for the Bethel senior center, When you visit the senior center https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/06/when-you-visit-the-senior-center/ and try it out, Grabbing public toilets https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2006/10/24/grabbing-public-toilets/ or Visit Bethel Alaska’s Eddie Hoffman Senior Center

1 OUTSIDE AREAS

1. Is there clear signage identifying the location of the Center from the road?
2. Is a sign posted next to or above the entrance door to the Center so participants can easily find it upon approach to the Center?
3. Is the building exterior free from peeling paint or other repairs?
4. Is the parking lot free from debris and weeds?
5. Is the walkway and parking lot adequately lighted?
6. Are the shrubs, outside plants and lawn well maintained?
7. Are outside walkways free of hazardous objects, including debris, weeds and uneven or broken steps?
8. Is outdoor furniture clean and in good shape?
9. Is there easy access for individuals with disabilities?
10. Are rails leading to the doors secure and well maintained?
11. Are curbs painted to signify distinction of levels?
12. Is the outside of the Center attractive and inviting?

2 INSIDE AREAS

1. Is there adequate lighting in rooms, corridors, elevators and stairways?
2. Are guests acknowledged promptly when they enter your Center?
3. Would the atmosphere be characterized as pleasant?
4. Is there a pleasant smell when entering the Center?
5. Is the Center clean enough to meet your personal standards?
6. Is the area inside clutter free, not only on the floor, but also in the space surrounding it?
7. Is the furniture attractive and easy to get in and out of?
8. Is the furniture arranged to promote interaction and conversation?
9. Are magazines, books or other materials for activities neatly stacked and out of the path of travel?
10. Are curtains and window treatments clean and in good condition?
11. Is there an easy to find and easy to read bulletin board with activities, meal schedules and other current information?
12. Is the activity board or other written materials hanging at a readable level for elderly persons of different heights?
13. Are certificates and licenses posted, if required?
14. Is the lighting adequate for older persons?
15. Is the dining area attractive and inviting?
16. Are participants able to sit where they want during meal times without being assigned?
17. Is the kitchen clean and inviting?
18. Is the meal contribution policy, sign-in sheet, and contribution box easy to locate?
19. Does the noise level allow for conversations and quiet activities?

3 SAFETY

1. Are changes in floor levels or coverings distinct enough to prevent tripping?
2. Are carpets free from wear and frayed ends?
3. Are small rugs and runners slip-resistant and non-moving?
4. Are lamp, extension and telephone cords placed out of the flow of traffic?
5. Are chairs sturdy and not easily tipped?
6. Are there handrails in hallways and grab bars in bathrooms?
7. Are written emergency evacuation plans with center floor plans posted throughout the Center?
8. Is a fire extinguisher easy to find and do participants know how to use one?
9. Are emergency numbers posted near the phone?
10. Are smoke detectors properly located and in working condition?
11. Are hallways, passageways between rooms, and other heavy traffic areas equally well lit?
12. Are exits and passageways free from clutter?
13. In the kitchen area, are towels, curtains, and other things that might catch fire located away from the range?
14. Are all extension cords and appliance cords located away from the sink or range areas?
15. Are emergency exits clearly marked?
16. Is emergency lighting functional and adequate?

4 PROGRAM AND SERVICES

1. Are the Center hours and days of operation posted for participants?
2. Can Center hours be changed or altered if requested?
3. Is access to computers and the internet available?
4. Does the Center offer a wide variety of activities for different interests?
5. Are fitness activities offered regularly?
6. Are participants involved with planning activities?
7. Are costs for activities known to individuals?
8. Are other community groups or non-profits involved with Center activities?
9. Are you conducting marketing/advertising activities in your local area?
10. Are you making use of internet technology for advertising?
11. Are newsletters listing activities and menus given or sent to participants on a regular basis?
12. Is there a posted calendar of activities or a newsletter available for people who enter the Center?
13. Are new participants given an orientation to the Center?
14. Is there a welcoming committee made up of current participants to help make newcomers feel comfortable?


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Grabbing public toilets

The comment left here

pointed out that generic grab bars in public toilets were not best suited to individuals at home.

Here are examples from our publicly funded senior center. Click on the pictures below to see a larger version. Try the frailty simulation with either toilet [When you visit the senior center –
https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/06/ when-you-visit-the-senior-center/]

Place one hand behind your back and stand on one foot. Now, sit down. Then, stand up.

I think each wall tile is 4 inches square (on a side, a.k.a., 4 by 4 inches).

This bathroom is as it appears after (and before) the $280,772 Alaska state community development block grant for senior center improvements. [Bethel Senior Center Building Grants
https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2005/08/17/senior-center-building-grants/]

This first photo is of our “handicapped” toilet (one of two women’s toilets in the Bethel senior center ground floor.) There are 2 bars, to an elder’s right and back (as seated). Click on each photo to see a larger view.

EHSC “Handicapped” toilet

Here’s the only other woman’s toilet on the first floor. For both, note the grab bars, the extra stall width, the floor to seat height. We fortunately have a variety of older body-types (and abilities) so having just the one standard inflexible set of fixtures levels the playing field and provides equal opportunity aches, pains, strains, ligament tears, fragility fractures.

EHSC Second women’s toilet, 2006

How well did you do on the tests?


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How to start — Karen G in Vancouver

Actually aging to live in a real world.

Karen G left this comment at

which I think is worth moving up for more attention. I had always considered Vancouver to be an ideal place in which to grow older because of the public transportation, the flowers, even climate, nice citizens, culturally diverse, good accessible healthcare, etc.

Her question is complex and most of the best advice will need to be suited to her and her aunt’s individual situation. But her question is relevant to all of us. Karen’s first step was so important, empathy or putting herself in her aunt’s place. Now I hope we can come up with other ideas.

I am looking after my aunt whom is coming up to 90 years old Christmas Day. I am hoping that someone out there has some ideas, she is a double amputee, failing eyesight and hearing, etc. I have purchased a wheelchair accessible van so I can at least get her out of the house for a few hours, but the van keeps breaking down. I don’t have alot of money, so I am trying to find things for her to do, so she isn’t sitting in her wheelchair all day and night. The story is a lot deeper problems though. I guess I am pleading for some ideas. If there is anyone out there that would like to talk to me more about this problem I would love to hear from you. You don’t realize how hard it is for the elderly when they have to rely on you even to take them to the bathroom, until you have to take care of them day and night. I really hope some responds to this. I live in Vancouver Canada. Thank you in advance.

Karen.

  • Off the top of my head, because it is past my bedtime, consider contacting the university. There may be students (or even entire programs) who could try their ideas for improving transportation or modifying wheelchairs. Maybe they have a program similar to UMass-Amherst where they can match graduate students needing housing with people needing assistance. (I’m thinking you could use the assistance with house or vehicle modifications or even with outings. ) There may even be a wheelchair users group at the university or city.
    vuee
  • Bath falls common among older adults, but can be prevented

    This isn’t new news but the use of videotape for actual “ethology” (observation of behavior) is a good idea. It is most worthwhile to remind everyone that ordinary bathroom fixtures are not suitable for those needing assistance and are not appropriate for older people; frequently not even appropriate for anyone, tall or short, lithe or lazy. See the Bethel Senior Center for what should be banned in public facilities (When you visit the senior center). Emphasis added.

    Public release date: 13-Sep-2006,

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-09/uomh-bfc091306.php

    Installation of proper equipment essential

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower can be a perilous journey for older adults, even when they have bathrooms already equipped with safety features, according to research by the University of Michigan Health System.

    Researchers videotaped people ages 60 and older who demonstrated (while fully clothed) how they normally climbed in and out of the shower or tub. One-third of the 89 participants in the study had difficulty, such as plopping onto a tub seat or hitting the side of the tub or the shower threshold with their legs.

    “We found that there are a lot of independently bathing older adults who have trouble or are unsafe getting into and out of the tub or shower stall,” says lead author Susan L. Murphy, ScD, OTR, an occupational therapist and research assistant professor with the University of Michigan Medical School’s Division of Geriatric Medicine, part of the Department of Internal Medicine. The study appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    “For older adults, losing the ability to bathe is associated with having falls, fracturing bones, and even being admitted to a nursing home. It is important that we take steps to help to prevent bathing disability before it occurs,” Murphy says.

    One of the major problem areas the researchers found involved sliding glass doors in showers. Three-quarters of participants who used shower stalls with sliding glass doors tried to utilize the door for stability or balance.

    “This is extremely unsafe because shower doors were not designed to support a person’s weight,” Murphy says. “This problem could be easily remedied by educating older adults not to use the door as a support or possibly replacing it with a shower curtain, which was used only rarely by older adults in this study.”

    Participants in the study were residents of two congregate housing facilities and had no cognitive impairment. They were videotaped as they demonstrated how they used their environment while getting into and out of the shower or tub – that is, whether they used grab-bars, towel bars, shower curtains, glass doors, tub seats, and other parts of the tub to assist themselves.

    The videotapes were also evaluated for the participants’ fluidity of movement and whether they had difficulty negotiating the environment. While the majority of people using both tubs and shower stalls used safe environmental features such as grab bars, many used unsafe features in addition to the safe ones. Nineteen percent of participants using a tub were evaluated as using unsafe features, and more than 70 percent of those with shower stalls used unsafe features, such as the glass door, towel bar or a tub seat. One participant had a plastic lawn chair as a tub seat, a particularly dangerous device given curved shape of the tub floor.

    Some safety problems researchers observed can be fixed easily such as the installation of a shower curtain in place of a door, and proper instruction about built-in bathroom safety features (such as grab bars designed for weight-bearing) for new residents of senior housing facilities. A focus on better designs of bathrooms in senior housing facilities was also suggested by the researchers.

    “We think the results from this study demonstrate the need for healthcare professionals to become involved in helping to prevent bathing disability, instead of just treating people in the hospital after they have had a fall in the bathroom,” she says. “While bathrooms in senior housing facilities are designed to be safe, we have found that older adults often do not know the difference between a grab bar and a towel bar. They also have unsafe strategies of getting into and out of their shower or tub. Occupational therapists often see older adults for bathing problems and would be ideal to intervene with older adults before they start to lose the ability to bathe.”

    ###

    In addition to Murphy, the authors on the paper were Neil B. Alexander, M.D., professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System; Linda V. Nyquist, Ph.D., senior research associate-social sciences, Institute of Gerontology; and Debra M. Strasburg, M.S., P.T., research physical therapist, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System.

    The research was supported in part by grants from the AARP Andrus Foundation, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research & Development, and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Claude Pepper Older Adults Independence Center. Murphy is a recipient of a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, and Alexander is a recipient of a K24 Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research from NIA.

    Citation: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Aug. 2006, “Bath Transfers in Older Adult Congregate Housing Residents: Assessing the Person-Environment Interaction.”

    Contact: Katie Gazella, kgazella AT umich DOT edu
    734-764-2220
    University of Michigan Health System


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