Old-Age Proofing the House

Posted by on Nov 27, 2013 in Blog, Design Inspiration | 0 comments

Old-Age Proofing the House

Old-Age Proofing the House

We would like to thank Ms Mel Chin, for the article below.  

My 87-year old mother-in-law broke her coccyx, the tailbone, a year ago but has gained enough mobility to be able to walk. However, she needs a wheelchair to get around as she is unable to walk for long without pain. Luckily, she is still able to move slowly around the house with the help of a quad cane, a walking stick with a base with four legs. When she came to live with us, we knew we had to old-age proof our apartment so that she could be as independent as possible. Below is a list of things we needed:

1. Grab-Bars

We found some good but cheap grab-bars from the furniture hub in Cheras (Vivo Home Shopping Mall. They are very sturdy with matted surface that provides a good grip. We installed one along the wall to the bathroom and another near the toilet seat.

small-grab-bar-bathroom    grab bar 1

2. Heavy-Duty Bathroom Anti-Slip Mats

When I say ‘heavy-duty’, they are literally very heavy. So, instead of snapping all 12 pieces into one, I put together 2 pieces of 6 units each. This makes them light enough to be lifted when I have to clean the toilet floor.

3. Bidet Hose

A hose that is easy to use for washing after using the toilet. As my mother-in-law has dexterity problems, we used a basket, attached to the wall with suckers, to hold the nozzle instead of the nozzle holder.   Alternatively,  you can opt for the electronic bidet seats, which can be attached to an existing WC (check out Binawarehouse for more details).

bidet 2       bidet seats

4. Commode

I use a piece of shoe-string to put a toilet roll on the left side. At night, I’d put a mug of acidic water (if you have a water filter that gives alkaline and acidic water) into the commode. The acid kills the bacteria, and the urine doesn’t smell in the morning. A hand towel is tied to the right arm-rest and a small plastic pail sits on a stool on the right for my mother-in-law to wash and dry her hand.

commode

5. Tap Sensor

As my mother-in-law is hard of hearing and forgetful, she often leaves the tap at the sink running after using it. We ordered a tap-sensor from Amazon. It uses 2 AAA batteries and the connector fits any type of tap. It costs USD45 before shipping charges. The distance for activation can easily be adjusted with a button. It looks a bit bulky on the tap but works very well.

sensor package    sensor tap at work

6. Recorder with Ear-Phones

All old folks with hearing problems will complain that their hearing aid picks up all the noise, and they have difficulty hearing conversations. My brother-in-law came up with an excellent solution of using a recorder with ear-phones. We put the recorder on pause and talk to my mother-in-law using the recorder and she could hear us very well.

recorder

7. Soap Dispenser

We bought a single soap dispenser and attached it to the wall. This makes it easy for my mother-in-law to get the soap without having to get up from the stool.

soap dispenser

3. Sturdy Plastic Stool

This is for the morning and evening washing and bathing.

stool 2

The best way to see if things work is to try it out yourself. Small things can make a big difference to an old folk who has mobility and dexterity problems.

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