Jul 31

We recently installed a Bruno Curved Stair Lift in Los Angeles for a client with 7 levels in their home. We contacted Bruno Independent Living Aids with the specifications and details about the home and they manufactured nine custom turns for us.

Bruno Curved Stair Lift

Bruno said it was one of the largest custom curved jobs they had manufactured. We know it was definitely the largest curved stairlift installation in Los Angeles we have performed. With seven levels in the home, some only several steps while others covering entire flights of stairs, one of the toughest parts of the job was providing accurate measurements.

Curved stairlifts allow people to remain independent in their own homes. Most people only have one flight of stairs to negotiate, sometimes outside, and many times they only need straight stair lifts to go up and down a single stairway.

Bruno Stair Lift

Curved stair lifts can be installed on circular stairways or with multiple levels and turns. Adding a single curve at the top or bottom of a straight staircase allows the chair to be moved around the corner and out of the way of the stairway. This keeps the stairway free for foot traffic when the stairlift isn’t in use.

For this installation, the stairlift had to cover a lot of area and many turns. Bruno does an excellent job of working with difficult situations and providing the customization to make it happen.

Bruno Stairlift with Custom Curves

Most of the time a stairlift is installed AFTER a disability warrants a need for a stairlift. The interesting part of this installation is that the client didn’t have a known disability. They are preparing their home now to age-in-place. They currently do a lot of traveling and will use the stairlift for moving luggage up and down the various flights of stairs. If there is a need in the future for a stairlift to move people up and down the stairs, everything will already be in place and they can remain in their own home.

You may not have a need for a stairlift yet, but for many people, the benefits of a stairlift allow them the remain independent in their own homes.

For more information about this custom curved stairlift in Los Angeles or how you can get started to age-in-place in your own home call us at (310) 215-3332.

Jul 27

The MIT AgeLab created the AGNES Age Suit (Age Gain Now Empathy System) that can be worn by a person so that they can “experience” what life would be like as a 74-year old person.

The Age Suit mimics what it is like to go shopping and cook in a kitchen with limited mobility, hearing and eyesight, much like what a senior in their 70s experiences on a daily basis.

The MIT AgeLab hopes to gain insight and an understanding of the aging experience to create new ideas and technologies to support the growing population of aging adults around the world.

What is included on AGNES?

– Earplugs to reduce hearing

– Yellow Goggles mimic aging eyes

- Neck Collar, Bungee Cords/Elastic Bands, Knee Braces, and Wrist Guards reduce mobility and flexibility

- Gloves reduce sensation in the hands and restrict hand movement

- Foam-padded Shoes inhibit Balance

Maybe AGNES should be included in Certified Aging-in-Place training for home builders. It would certainly give some perspective on what it is like to live in a home with daily mobility difficulties.

Jul 25

Wheelchair showers provide access for wheelchair users to roll in and out of the shower but many times there isn’t much room in the bathroom. A two-wall wheelchair shower solves this problem by providing a wider opening for getting in and out of the shower.

wheelchair shower with collapsible shower dam, weighted shower curtain and folding grab bar

As you can see in the photo, this bathroom has limited space and a three-wall shower would make it difficult to enter. By using a weighted shower curtain that acts as the third wall, the corner can be used as an entrance.

The shower uses a collapsible water retainer for the threshold. Collapsible shower dams, as they’re sometimes called, provide for a no-threshold entrance and keeps water inside the shower instead of spilling out onto the bathroom floor.

This shower has a horizontal grab bar on the far wall and a folding grab bar at the entrance. This folds up and out of the way when entering or exiting the shower and folds down when needed inside the shower.

A hand-held shower head is mounted on the wall within easy reach for wheelchair users.

wheelchair shower with collapsible shower dam and weighted shower curtain

The overhead photo shows how the water retainer and shower curtain work together. The curtain is weighted and bumps up against the shower dam to keep water inside the shower. By replacing the third wall with the shower curtain it makes this shower usable with a wheelchair. Without this combination the toilet would be in the way and wouldn’t allow the wheelchair to pass.

When space is limited in the bathroom but wheelchair access is needed, consider a two-wall wheelchair shower. It creates space that you didn’t know you had and provides the accessibility needed for independent living.

Jul 14

Who says seniors don’t have fun?

This video was shot at the Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids, Michigan by the Grand Valley State University Film & Video Production students, alumni, and professors.

The single-shot video features the song, “Feeling Good,” by Michael Bublé.

This video shatters the belief that living in a senior living facility can be boring. We all know days aren’t normally THIS fun, but tell that to this group of seniors and they might not agree.

Jul 11

When thinking about aging-in-place, it’s obvious that the bathroom is the first place in the home to examine followed by the kitchen. These rooms are extremely important because most of the accidents in the home happen there. But don’t forget to assess the bedroom.

An accessible bedroom is important because many accidents also happen there for a variety of reasons. When getting up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night to get out of bed, chances are good the lights are off and its difficult to see. Keep a touch light next to the bed that is easy to reach and find in the dark.

Speaking of walking in the dark, always have a clear pathway for walking around the bedroom. It’s easy to see area rugs and carpets during the day but at night they’re a tripping accident waiting to happen. Keep them out of the bedroom if at all possible.

Even for people with few mobility issues, getting out of bed from a sleep or rest can cause blood pressure spikes or dips and can be accompanied by dizziness. Always take a moment to sit up for a minute before standing.

There are plenty of ways to make a bedroom barrier-free. If you’re planning to live in your own home for years to come, here are 8 Aging-in-Place Products For the Bedroom:

Bed Cane Bed Rail

1. Bed Cane Bed Rail (above)
There are plenty of products that can be used near the bed to aid in standing or sitting. One of our favorites is a combination Bed Cane Bed Rail. It serves as a bed rail when sleeping to keep from falling out of bed. It also swivels out to act as a bed cane to help with standing.

Designer Hospital Bed Rails

2. Designer Hospital Bed Rails (above)
Designer Hospital Bed Rails serve the same purpose – to keep you in bed. People get used to staying in bed when they have a hospital visit and the beds are all equipped with bed rails. Most people don’t think about it but you can have the same protection at home.

Designer Hi-Low Hospital Bed

3. Designer Hi-Low Hospital Bed (above)
On the subject of hospital beds, we’ve been offering Designer Hi-Low Hospital Bed to our customers for years. They function just the same as what you use in an actual hospital but the quality is top notch. There’s a reason hospitals use this type of bed and it will serve you well at home too.

Bed Caddie Bed Pull-up Strap

4. Bed Caddie Bed Pull-up Strap (above)
If you don’t have a hospital bed or lifting mechanism but have trouble sitting up, the Bed Caddie Bed Pull-up Strap aids in sitting up in bed or even simply rolling over. Some even use it for light exercise. It’s very inexpensive, easy to install, and provides something to grab when trying to sit up in bed.

5. Super Pole – Floor to Ceiling Support Pole
The Super Pole can actually be used in any room in the home but we see it used in the bedroom more than any other room. It works great for getting in and out of bed but can be outfitted with a bedside tray or trapeze bar for added functionality. It won the Supplier’s Choice Award at Medtrade in Atlanta in 1996 and 1997.

Bedroom Overhead Ceiling Lift

6. Bedroom Overhead Ceiling Lift (above)
For those who need quite a bit of help getting out of bed, a Bedroom Overhead Ceiling Lift is a lifting mechanism that supports an entire person. While some use it to aid themselves, it can be used by a caregiver for moving a person in and out of bed completely. We’ve done installations that can lift a person out of bed and move them to a bathroom for bathing and then back to bed again. The entire system runs on an overhead ceiling track.

Pull Down Closet Rack

7. Pull Down Closet Rack (above)
Do you have trouble reaching clothes in the bedroom closet? A Pull Down Closet Rack brings the clothes down to your level for easy reach. When finished just move the clothes back up to their original position. This can be used for a closet in any room and is popular with people confined to wheelchairs.

8. Offset Door Hinges
This is an item that can be installed on any doorway in the home to widen it an extra two inches just by changing door hinges. Widening every doorway probably isn’t necessary but if a wheelchair or scooter is needed to move in and out of the bedroom, you will probably need to widen the doorway. It’s usually easy to see by checking the door or doorway for scrapes where the wheels or handrests fit through. Offset Door Hinges are a cheap and easy alternative to tearing out the doorway.

There are so many products available to making a bedroom safer and more acccessible. These are some of our favorites and many can be installed without expert help. Take a look around at your own bedroom or the bedroom of your parents to see where things could be improved.

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