A Tidbit About Occupational Therapy

Since April is Occupational Therapy month we thought we would share the important role OT plays in ensuring quality of life and safety in home safety for disabled individuals and those desiring to age in place; in their own homes.

A brief history of Occupational Therapy...OT as a health profession got its start in the early 1910's, with it being officially recognized as a medical profession in 1920. By definition occupational therapy is the use of assessments and treatment to develop, recover and maintain the daily living and work skills of individuals with physical, mental and cognitive deficits. The focus of much of an OT's work is on identifying and eliminating environmental barriers to independence to and participation in daily activities.

No Place Like Home Remodeling's on staff occupational therapist's role is to address all aspects of aging and quality of life for the older adult and disabled. With a focus on function, our OT strives to keep the client independent and safe, reducing healthcare costs associated with hospitalizations and institutional care. During a home assessment we will assess and identify needs associated with safe accessibility of multiple areas of the home to include entrance/exit of the dwelling, and all rooms our client uses to include outdoor spaces. Function and safety, to include optimal lighting, will be assessed in these living spaces- all with emphasis on quality of life throughout the client's lifespan.

We proudly serve the Roanoke, Salem and surrounding areas. No Place Like Home is not just another remodeling company, we have a mission and passion to provide a service, to assist individuals in spending their life time where they are comfortable, where they thrive...in their home!

Bathroom safety/remodel made economical

We want to highlight a product that makes bathroom, specifically bathtub, safety an option, even on a budget. While we can all agree that the bathroom is often the most dangerous room in a home, at times, a full bathroom remodel is cost prohibitive. With the Safeway Safety Step, not only is the cost a fraction of completely replacing an existing standard tub into a walk-in tub, but it can be installed- job complete in 2-4 hours.

Our Occupational Therapist, during a home assessment, would determine if the Safety Step is an appropriate option for you or your loved one. We will typically pair this with 1-2 specifically placed grab bars to create a customized bathtub to meet the safety needs of each client.

To learn even more about our services provided and this particular product, please visit our website.

Home Assessment...An Inside Look

What does a home assessment look like? What are the most important features to address? These are the top questions asked of us recently. The answer is three-fold; first, we must address safety- developing an accessible entrance/exit of the home; second, we ensure the client is able to meet basic hygiene needs- the bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the home (research indicates 80% of falls in the home occur in the bathroom); finally, ease of mobility in the home and basic comfort and desires.

 A recent ramp plan to enable a wheelchair bound client to return home to be with her family.

A recent ramp plan to enable a wheelchair bound client to return home to be with her family.

When our Occupational Therapist and CAPS certified remodeling expert meet the client at their home, we will first address the means of entrance and exit of their home. We will develop an aesthetically-pleasing ramp that will fit the style of the house, or simply add handrails to existing stairs to improve safety; decreasing the risk of falls.

The next area we will focus on is bathroom accessibility. Can the client maneuver through their home to access their bathroom? If wheelchair bound, does the width of the hall and width of the bathroom door allow for the necessary turning radius for the client to access the bathroom. Once inside, we will ensure the client can safely enter and exit the bathtub or shower. Are grab bars needed to add stability and safety with the transfer in/out and/or would a simple remodel or shower seat/bench improve accessibility and safety? How about the toilet? Is it the appropriate height to allow for safe transfer and would grab bars add the needed safety to decrease risk for falls and increase independence? Finally, is the sink accessible? If wheelchair bound, we will suggest a pedestal sink or cabinetry that allows room for the wheelchair to pull under and adequate sink access for the client. We also will ensure lighting is appropriate and glare-free based on client need.

Mobility throughout the home is extremely important and pose potential hazards. We will recommend removal of small throw rugs as they highly increase risk of trips and falls. Raised thresholds are also a trip hazard and an easy fix. Thick carpeting can pose mobility problems for both walking and wheelchair bound clients. Kitchen accessibility is highly individualized based on client need, ability, and the level of independence required given their situation. Whatever the need, we will come up with a plan to optimize independence and safety. Adequate, low-glare lighting throughout the home is essential for safety.

In summary, each home assessment is unique and individualized to each client to meet their needs and what is important to them. Our specialized remodeling team's goal is to maximize the client's safety, independence and overall quality of life through a specific plan developed with the client.


CAPS... What is it and why hire us?

Statistics indicate that every day, about 10,000 seniors turn 65 years old across America.  In general, people are just living longer today ever before.  For those who have or will develop a disability or handicap, regardless of age, many critical decisions and life choices must be made as these conditions progress... with one of the most important decisions being made about their home.  Seldom are peoples' homes designed for them to comfortably live and stay there throughout their lifetime.  Consequently, renovations and modifications are typically necessary in critical areas throughout the home, both inside and outside.  The key to creating a usable, comfortable living space out of any home relates to the concept of Universal Design, also called Lifespan Design. 

By definition, Universal Design is simply the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for future adaptation or specialized design.  There are Seven Principals for Universal Design to be considered:

  1. Equitable Use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
  2. Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of preferences and abilities.
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use: Easy to understand design, regardless of skills or abilities.
  4. Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively.
  5. Tolerance of Error: The design minimizes hazards and adverse results of accidents.
  6. Low Physical Effort: Design is efficient, comfortable, and minimizes fatigue.  
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of user's body size or mobility.   

Ok, so now you may be wondering what does all or any of this have to do with CAPS, and oh yeah, what is it??  Well, quite simply, CAPS has everything to do with all of the above.  CAPS stands for Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.  CAPS is a protected designation awarded to qualified individuals through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  This designation program teaches and reinforces the technical, business management, and customer service skills that are essential to for providing quality solutions for clients. 

We, here at No Place Like Home Remodeling, strive to achieve excellence in all phases of the remodeling or home modification process for seniors and the handicapped in the Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding areas, to comfortably age-in-place.  As CAPS professionals, we have the answers to your questions.  Our training has taught us the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically-pleasing and barrier-free living environments.  If you have been thinking about making your home more user-friendly and accessible, why wait?  It's never too soon to plan for creating a more comfortable and worry-free home to suit your needs in the years to come.  Don't delay; contact us today!   

Falls: Common causes and prevention

Falls are the leading cause of accident-related emergency room visits and the primary reason for accidental deaths in the senior population. Statistics indicate that one-third of community dwelling individuals over the age of 65 fall every year. Twenty to thirty percent of these falls will result in moderate to severe injury, to include lacerations, hip fractures, and head trauma. These injuries can make it difficult to get around and continue to live independently.

It is important to understand some common causes that can lead to the potential for falls. The top 5 causes are: 1) General decline in health: an acute illness or gradual physical decline due to decreased activity. Deficits related to vision, hearing, memory, and balance all play a role in increasing fall risk. Regular healthcare checkups are very important. 2) Medications: keep a full list of medications (to include over the counter) to be reviewed by your healthcare provider. Many medications have side effects of impaired balance and stability. 3) Post-Hospital return: the senior population has an increased risk for falls during a weakened state. This is particularly true following a surgery or significant medical event. 4) Living environment: small rugs, cluttered spaces, poor lighting, and stairs are just a few items that increase risk of falls in the home. According to the CDC, over 200,000 falls annually occur in the bathroom, making this potentially the most treacherous room in the house. 5) Fear of falling: the fear of falling again once a fall has occurred is significant with the senior population. This leads to psychological limitations resulting in limiting daily activities, thus loss of physical function.

Preventing falls is crucial in maintaining the quality of life and independence of seniors in their home. Prevention includes: 1) Regularly scheduled medical appointments to review all medications, assess vision, hearing, and overall medical status. 2) Following any hospitalization, ensure proper assistance and care is available and provided during recovery period. This often includes post-hospital rehab services. 3) Stay active; keep moving. With physician approval, participate in gentle exercise, to include walking, water exercise, and tai-chi. 4) Assess environmental hazards, which include renovations or remodeling of living space. Provide adequate glare-free lighting, open and clutter-free walking space, and remove small rugs. Adaptations to the bathroom may be necessary, and may include: a walk-in shower/tub, grab bars, and raised/handicapped-height toilet.

Why No Place Like Home Remodeling??

No Place Like Home Remodeling was birthed from two careers of knowledge and expertise with a vision and desire to make a difference in the lives of the senior and disabled population in the Roanoke, VA and surrounding areas. Our goal and mission is to assist in maintaining each client's quality of life and optimizing safety through individualized renovations and adaptations, enabling them to remain in their home. After all...there's NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

Jen, the on-staff licensed Occupational Therapist, has spent the largest part of her 20 year career in the post-acute rehab setting. She has completed countless home assessments followed by the conversations with patients and families regarding necessary adaptations or renovations prior to planning a safe discharge home. With limited community resources with the expertise and skills necessary to turn to, often patients were left with difficult decisions regarding their future. 

Trent has 22 years experience with his family's home remodeling business. He is an Army Reserve veteran with over 17 years and serves as an engineer in vertical construction. As we initially began discussing the grand need I (Jen) experienced in the healthcare setting much too frequently, and the skills, knowledge and expertise we both brought to providing a solution, the idea of No Place Like Home Remodeling and Consulting Services began to become a reality. Trent took all the necessary courses to become CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) certified. He is also a licensed Class B Virginia contractor.

Together, with our team, we believe we can make a difference in the lives of seniors and disabled individuals allowing them to maintain their independence in their home setting without sacrificing safety.