Simple (and Temporary) Home Modifications


Last August my Mom underwent a double knee replacement. After spending several days in the hospital and nearly a week in a rehabilitation facility, she was released to come home. While I was excited that she was checking out of the rehab, after all leaving the facility equated to progress, I was also scared. She lives alone and although I was planning on staying with her for a few days, I was concerned that it was too soon in her recovery for her to be by herself.

The night before my Mom was released I was frantic. Armed with a list of suggested home modifications, I felt overwhelmed with an inordinate amount of pressure to make the transition as safe as possible. Knowing that time was limited, I began to tackle the list.

I removed all throw rugs from the home, including the kitchen and bathroom. I know from experience that the decorative little carpets quickly become tangled under crutches, wheelchairs and walkers. The last thing I wanted was for my Mom to get tripped up and fall. The floors looked bare, but they were safer without the rugs.

Against her wishes I purchased and installed an elevated toilet seat. I knew that she underestimated her abilities to stand without support and the last thing she needed was the humiliation of becoming stuck on the commode. The elevated toilet seat was necessary at the time but was easy to remove and stow once she regained her strength.

Removable grab bars were placed in several locations around her bathtub. I’ve written about these marvelous little inventions before because they have been so helpful to my regaining my independence.  My Mom has come to rely upon the security afforded by the grab bars, and I know that they are strong enough to maintain suction.

As my Mom began to heal and master her new knees her home slowly began to revert. Throw rugs have been put back on the floors, although they now have rubber backs to thwart slipping. The elevated toilet seat is on a shelf in her garage, and her walker is folded under her bed. The recovery was lengthy and difficult, but because of a lot of hard work, time and the right tools she has regained her mobility.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

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