Mom-Proofing My House

It’s a rare treat when I get my mom to visit longer than a day because the norm when she leaves Delaware for New York is to be in the city. Makes sense. But I convinced her a week in the country sun would be fun and lo and behold, she accepted! Now let’s hope and pray we actually get some sun!!

Then my mind went into protect mode – making sure Mom is safe while she is here. What can she trip on? The patio! Yikes. I won’t be able to let her out there alone.

She’s going to stay in the master bedroom. It’s on the first floor and is private and away enough she can have total peace and quiet at night. We’ll go upstairs, except for Dawg whose bedroom puff I’ll move. Dawg can not go up or down the stairs and while my mother COULD, I’d never sleep a wink thinking she could fall down the stairs.

The biggest issue to address is the bathtub. It’s deep, very very deep, so deep I’m not sure why I bought that model and honestly, when I did pick it out, it didn’t look that deep. Anyway, it’s even close to being too deep for ME to climb in. My mom is 100% a tub person so I have to find a way she can bathe without getting IN the tub or getting soaked in the shower.

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So I bought a chair that I’ll place on the floor next to the tub and she can take a sponge bath. I don’t even want her to sit on the edge of the tub.

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I think this should work.

Then there are the area rugs. In the hallway leading to the MBR is a simple cotton rug with a grip kind of pad underneath it so it doesn’t move but I think maybe I should take the rug away altogether??

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Would it be better gone completely so that she doesn’t catch her foot on the edge walking from the bedroom to the bathroom?  Or would the wood floors be more of a slip hazard? I don’t know. I can tack down the corners better with some rug tape if you think keeping the rug is the better option.

Another view…

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The bed itself is fairly high off the ground and I am not sure my mom can climb into it at her 5′ height. Plus, there’s no rug by either side of the bed, only a small area rug in front of the bed, not for us, but for Dawg, because she hates all the hardwood floors on her aging body.

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I bought a little step, that has safety grip pads for no-slip, but I can’t decide if it too is MORE of a hazard, especially at night, not seeing it or stepping on it wrong. Lord, this is worrisome.

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Or maybe I put a fully gripped runner by the bed and this ON the rug??? I am conflicted.

Then there’s the den, where the rug pad has moved enough that it’s not completely under the rug in that room, such that the edge, the corner, walking from the bedroom through the hall into the kitchen, this corner is a hazard. My family knows to walk around it and I’ve folded it under so no one will slip if they forget, so I have to make a huge point of telling my mother it’s there. maybe I put a large traffic cone on it?? 🙂

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Any thoughts? Suggestions? She’s excited about being here seeing the lilac and maybe even a peony or two will bloom. She wants to sit out in the sun, and added that getting away is always fun. I’ll go down to Delaware to pick her up and bring her home too.

Yes folks, I AM the good daughter!

 

11 thoughts on “Mom-Proofing My House

  1. I’d be inclined to remove the bedroom hallway runner but I would put a non-slip rug under the step up to the bed. That’s the more critical place, getting in and out of a high bed.

    My mom only took baths too and at the end of her life, we bought one of those walk-in tubs. Dumbest purchase we ever made for her. It takes forever to fill and you sit there, undressed, freezing. Then you have to wait til the tub has emptied before getting OUT, once again, shivering and undressed. The chair should work nicely for a sponge bath.

    Have fun. I’m jealous your mom is still alive and well.

    1. I think I’m going to give my mother the options, let her decide what she feels the best and safest. She’s used to living in wall to wall carpeting and wood floors can be slippery

      Yes, we are very lucky to have mom at almost 99. Today would have been my dad’s 100th birthday and she said she misses him more as time goes by. He died at age 90.

  2. How about lights? Night lights in bed, hall, bath? Maybe a flashlight by the bed if she wants to explore at night?
    Have to take off my tinfoil hat and suggest an Amazon Echo. The range of things it can do just by voice command is impressive it could occupy her time while you’re out weeding or updating your blog?

    1. Night light in bathroom. Check. But good idea to add one near the bed.
      I do keep flashlight by bed as a matter of course, so I can shine a light on the intruder who’s about to slay me while Dawg and Mr. EOS snore away! (Kidding)
      I had to bail on the tech guy video at the 8 minute mark and even then you should give me an award for getting that far. The first three minutes all I kept saying to myself was GET TO THE POINT MAN! He’s a bit long winded with little to say.
      The kids were going to get me an Echo for Christmas and I balked. I think one of the reasons my mom has all her marbles at 99, other than a good gene pool, is she does everything for herself. She pays all her bills. She plays duplicate bridge and that takes enormous memory. She does all her grocery shopping and memorized everyone’s phone numbers and birthdays etc. If we live with a gizmo that does all that for us, what’s the pernt? Capisce?

      1. my convoluted thought was that, when you are staying in a strange place, getting info (what time is it?, what’s the weather going to be like?, can I turn on the radio? when is the Wilmington Blue Rocks next home game?) when you don’t have your own stuff around means bugging the host/hostess, so, the Echo offers some autonomy, turning on lights, etc.
        ✪ besides, when your mom’s not using it you can have it give you those fifteen minute reminders.

        1. Okay, I see where you are going. Funny you should mention the clock and what time it is. I have a foldable travel clock on my side of the bed that you can push the top tab and it lights. I know exactly where it is and can do a gymnastic ten point twist and lift to check the time. It will be impossible for my mother so I’m going to suggest we bring up HER side table clock. That’s one way she cAn feel more comfy and at home. I’ll grab her laptop so she can check her email.

          The Wilmington Blue Rocks are pretty decent. I’ve been to a game or two.

          Is it a bummer for the Kentucky Derby to be in the middle of a Saturday California time? I have family members in Walnut Creek this weekend for a memorial service. They are coming back on a red eye. That’s never fun.

        2. Since I don’t much follow the horses, hooch and hats bunch, the derby during midday here isn’t too problematic (if I was into the horse scene, I ‘d just tell Alexa to remind me when it was on!).
          That red eye going east is nasty.

  3. As a rehab nurse, I have a few suggestions. In Greenwich, the red cross used to have a loaner closet for convalescing folks. Does your town have something similar? Maybe contact the Council on Aging? There’s a bath bench that fits half-in, half-out of a tub. You sit down outside and slide across inside. Buy a shower handheld hose (Home Depot) that screws into the shower pipe. She can shower sitting down and never have to stand. Tape down the rug corners with duct tape-nothing to stub your shoe against. Remove the rug in the hall. There’s a reason you don’t see throw rugs in homes for the elderly. Buy/borrow a metal side rail that slips between the box spring and mattress for her to grab onto getting in and out of bed I think mattress stores sell them.. Is there any chance she could be disoriented at night in a strange bed and fall out of bed? Push one side of bed against the wall. Have some way she can call you- like a bell she could ring. You need a much larger step for getting into and out of bed . Could Mr Eos build one? Home Depot has 4 foot by 4 foot plywood sheets that could be nailed to an open 2×4 frame. Run white duct tape around the edge. Would your mom be offended by a bedside commode (safest of all at night)> Put a little pleasant scented liquid in it at bedtime. Be sure she has rubber-soled slippers at night if she’s going to navigate the halls.
    We lost my FIL at 97 1/2 in Feb. He was coming to sanibel the next week. Sharp as a tack. You’re very lucky. Bibi

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