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Easy Things to Make--To Make Things Easy: Simple Do-It-Yourself Home Modifications for Older People and Others with Physical Limitations

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2001

    Quality of Life Enhancing Improvements for At-Home Joy!

    This book clearly deserves more than five stars for the very high benefit to cost ratio involved in the suggested solutions. Most disabled or elderly people would prefer to be in their own home. At home care is expensive, and most people do not have long-term care insurance. (Although, if you can afford it, this is a good investment at around age 65.) Most people bought or rented their homes to raise a family in, or to live as a fully-functioning adult. As soon as one becomes more frail, or even slightly disabled, these homes present many frustrations and challenges. Before moving out or hiring help, I suggest that you avail yourself of the many helpful suggestions in this book. They are cost-effective and relatively easy adjustments that are well worth the effort and investment involved. I strongly recommend that all physically disabled and elderly people have a copy. The children and grandchildren of these people should also read this book, because they can help make the modifications. In addition, caregivers should become familiar with these ideas so they can help improve the home environments for those they serve. The book focuses on the needs of those in wheelchairs, people with trouble gripping (from arthritis or a weakness), those are unsteady on their feet (from dizziness, weakness, or complications), individuals with the use of only one hand, and people who are not as mobile as they once were. Research has shown that people in these circumstances can replace the need for more care by making household modifications. For those who need care, these modifications can reduce the level of care required and improve safety. The time to make these changes yourself is before you need them, especially for grab bars and lowered sinks. Looking at this book about the time your AARP card is starting to get a little worn around the edges should give you plenty of time to prepare. The author wrote this book from her own experiences as an advocate for the disabled and helping her elderly parents live at home. Many suggestions came from people who thought up the solutions themselves. The book's stated purpose is 'to get you thinking about your own situation and get your creative ideas going.' The book is not a comprehensive solution for every need, but it certainly shares many wonderful ideas . . . at least some of which will be helpful to anyone. There are six chapters, plus a list of resources you can draw upon. These chapters include: Bathroom & Washing Up Bedroom & Getting Dressed Kitchen & Meal Time Living Room & Leisure Activities Housekeeping & Getting Around Outdoor Activities & Home Security Let me describe the last chapter in more detail to give you a flavor for all that is in this wonderful book. Space limitations prevent me from providing more detail. This chapter includes adjustments for patios and porches, ramps, a salt shaker for ice melting, pulley-based hanging plant baskets and bird feeders, combined planter boxes and benches, raised flower beds, smaller gardening tools, ways to garden with one hand, container gardening tools, making your own seed tape, household security, making keys easier to use. Like all of the sections, it also contains notes for caregivers. Here are some of my favorite ideas in the entire book: customizing a walker so you can do tasks with it more easily; lowering the 'hot' water temperature so you cannot burn yourself; using dining smocks from old shirts instead of bibs; a playing card holder; one-handed broom; salt shaker for ice melting (I plan to make one of those for myself since I recently had surgery and cannot lift very much); hot pad using the microwave; build-up handles for gripping; drying yourself with a terry cloth bath robe instead of a bath tower; light-switch extensions; pulley-based bird feeders; and long handles for reaching. I also think this book c

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