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323 West Glenlord Road Saint Joseph, MI 49085 Phone: 269-927-8635 Fax: 269-925-4167
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Our Newsletter

3 Tips for Looking After Your Aging Parents

As the years go on and time passes by, you may notice your parents not adjusting well or you may be concerned with their health and safety. Here are three important tips to look for when you're around your parents as they age. 


1.     1.  Look for clues - Greeting your parents at the door is heart-warming. Be sure not to add to any unwanted stress by quizzing them about their state of mind as soon as you arrive. Instead, subtly look for clues: Is the house not in its usual orderly state? Are the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator bare? Check to see if their medication is in order as well. If expired pill bottles are mixed with the new ones, it may be a sign that they need additional help identifying their proper intake. Don’t forget that the most important way to learn is to listen. Ask your parents about their hobbies and other daily activities that can help you understand more about their day-to-day life.

2.     2.  Stick to the routine - The smallest steps to reducing stress can help your loved ones cope with the hustle and bustle surrounding them. Avoid large crowds at the mall.  Stick to a regular routine and sleep schedule. A consistent routine can have a huge impact on the mental and physical health of your loved one.

3.     3.  Make adjustments - Now that you know the signs, you can help make adjustments. These can be as simple as helping them organize their medication, or getting to know their friends and neighbors. By doing so, you can be confident that they have a structured support system and you have a secondary contact after you return home. Above all, don’t forget you are not alone. If you feel like the situation needs professional assistance, look into Geriatric Assessment services through your local hospital, or speak with your parents’ doctor for a referral.


We want you to be prepared to enjoy all stages of life with all your family and loved ones. In addition to these helpful tips, make sure you also browse through our home medical equipment These useful devices can help lessen the burden of stress on your loved ones. 

What Grab Bar is Right For You?

What do you think if the most dangerous room in your house? It’s not the garage, with all its chemicals and heavy machines. Despite the flames and sharp objects, it’s not the kitchen either. The most dangerous place in your house is – brace yourself – the bathroom.

The emergency room receives over 235,000 visitors each year who have succumbed to bathroom-related injuries, thanks to prime slipping conditions created by showers, sinks, and leaky toilets. Older populations and those with mobility difficulties are most susceptible to these types of injuries, but shower safety can be attained with the help of a simple grab bar. When installed properly, a grab bar provides balance, leverage, and peace of mind for both user and loved ones alike. But what angle should it take? Below you can take a look at the major pro and cons for horizontal, vertical, and diagonal options:


Horizontal Grab Bar Installation

            The Pros

  • Enables users to safely rotate between facing and standing against the shower jet
  • Sturdy leverage when pulling self into standing position from the floor
  • Makes transferring into or out of a wheelchair a stable move when installed just above shower tub’s rim
  • Assists shower bench users who need to stand when installed at waist level

    The Cons

  • Limited to a fixed height; not as a conducive to multi-member users of different heights
  • Contorts wrists into uncomfortable angles, especially for arthritic users
  • Not as easy as other angled options to pull self from sitting to standing


Vertical Grab Bar Installation

  • The Pros

  • Gentle on arthritic hands & allows easier grip
  • Securely assists standing transfers that require stepping over the side of a tub or high lip
  • Caters to limited balance and helps rather than support the weight of a user

            The Cons

  • Doesn’t offer as much leverage to push up as it does to pull up
  • Provides less horizontal wall coverage, limiting the safety distance when traveling from one end of the shower to the other


Diagonal Grab Bar Installation

          The Pros

  • If multiple members of a family benefit from the use of a grab bar, a diagonal option can accommodate a range of heights
  • Hands and wrists can grab the bar in a more natural and functional body positions, reducing the stress on muscles and joints
  • Great for chair or bench users, as it allows a smooth transition between sitting and standing

          The Cons

  • Works best when facing only one direction (angle makes it difficult to stand and rotate between front and back)
  • Risk of hand slipping when trying to raise self from seated to standing position


Which bar suits you best? Give us a call today to make your bathroom safer and to keep you out of danger. 

5 Tips for Healthy Aging

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, when it comes to your age and achieving new health milestones, nothing could be further from the truth! There’s a lot you can do to improve your heath and functionality well into your 60’s and beyond.Take a look at these tips: 

1)      Do Daily Stretches

Even five minutes a day can help. Stretching increases flexibility, relieving discomfort from arthritis and other chronic conditions. Doing this daily can also help strengthen your muscles and sense of balance, which may mean a lower risk of a fall.


2)      Workout

You don’t need to do anything strenuous. Simply taking a walk around the block can be beneficial for your health. Many seniors find that as they start exercising, they expand what kinds of movements they’re able to do. Strengthening your muscles also has the added potential benefit of lowering your blood pressure and weight! 


3)      Preventative maintenance

Things such as yearly checkups, flu shots and getting screened for cancer are key to keeping your health up. It’s also important to keep your eye on high blood pressure or the early stages of diabetes.


4)      Stay Connected

This can get harder as we age, but maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family members has been proven to extend people’s lifetime. Making an effort to stay connected to your loved ones helps you be proactive in your own health.


5)      Maintain a Positive Outlook

If you see the glass as half full… then it really is! A nine-year study found that seniors who described themselves as optimistic had a 55 percent lower risk of dying during that time period than those who described themselves as pessimists. Having a positive outlook on life can impact your physical health as well for the better.


By following these steps, you’ll hopefully be able to boost your personal wellness throughout your Golden Years. Call us today to find out how we can help you along as you age and keep you feeling young! 

Home Accessibility Checklist

Home is where the heart is, but if you’re a wheelchair user, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that most American homes are not built with wheelchair users in mind. That’s why we've put together this list of the most common home modifications that need to be done to make wheelchair users happy and comfortable:

Wheelchair Accessible Features Inside the House

  • General
    • Doorways need to be at least 32 inches wide.
    • Hallways need to be at least 36 inches wide.
    • It is best to go with tile or hardwood rather than carpet.
    • Outlets need to be at least 15 inches above the floor.
    • Thermostats and light switches should be no higher than 48 inches off of the ground.
    • Lower doorknobs for easy access.
    • Front loading washer and dryer.
  • Bedroom
    • Multi-level drawers and shelves for clothes
    • Mattress height the same height as the seat cushion of the wheelchair.
  • Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms
    • All bathtubs/showers should be replaced with walk-in showers.
    • Walk-in showers need to have a seat and hand-held shower head.
    • A taller toilet.
    • Grab bars in the walk-in shower and near the toilet.
    • Cabinets should not be placed under the sink so there is room for a wheelchair to slide underneath the sink.
    • Adequate space between the walk-in shower, toilet and sink.
  • Kitchen
    • Multi-level counter tops.
    • Side-by-side fridge in order to have easy access to the fridge and freezer.
    • A raised dishwasher.
    • Place the microwave on top of a counter.
    • Have front controls on the stove.
    • No cabinets under the sink so a wheelchair can slide underneath the sink.
    • Adequate space between the fridge, oven, sink, counters and kitchen table.


Wheelchair Accessible Features Outside the house

  • Sidewalks with mobility ramps to doorways.
  • Ramps should include handrails and curbs to prevent accidents.
  • Paved paths throughout yard for easy mobility.
  • Raised garden beds for gardening.
  • Vertical platform lifts for easy porch accessibility


With all of these great tips you are now able to build a new home or remodel the one you have to give you the accessibility you need in your wheelchair or scooter.  We want you to feel comfortable and be happy in your home. Contact us for help today!