Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
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Basic changes involve just common sense and barely dent the wal- let. "One of the biggest dangers is slipping and falling," Geiser says, "so we have pads underneath all our rugs." For smaller scatter rugs, he uses double-sided tape. Although both are now mobile, they elected to keep the stair lifts they had installed when Geiser was ill. They transport groceries with the one that runs from the basement garage to the first floor. The chair climbs the flight in about 45 seconds. A similar chair runs between the first and second floors. Both can be called from another floor by remote control. In the main bathroom, Geiser and Slater replaced the shower stall with a modular unit that has a fold-up seat, an adjustable handheld showerhead, and several grab bars. To be effective, grab bars must be securely attached to a wall stud, not just adhered to tile. Acknowledging that many couples in their situation would have opted for assisted living, Maureen Donlon credits the house with keep- ing her husband's spirits alive. "This is the love of his life, except for me," she says. They have installed a hospital bed in the living room, using a portable screen for privacy. With the assistance of his wife and a tra- peze bar, Edward gets in and out of a wheelchair. He relaxes in the family room in an adjustable recliner that can lift him almost to a standing position for transfer to the wheelchair. In summer, he wheels down a ramp to the patio and his beloved back yard. Companies like Operation Independence in Watertown and HouseWorks in Newton conduct basement-to-attic assessments of homes and manage renovation projects. Besides inspecting structural elements and furnishings, they question clients about lifestyle and health. What rooms do they use most? Do they enjoy cooking? What pathways do they take outside and inside the home? "We'll ask what the prognosis is and look as far into the future as we can, just so that we can rule in and out solutions as either temporary or permanent. It helps envision mobility solutions," says Bill Macmillan of Operation Independence. On a recent condo inspection, Macmillan snapped dozens of pho- tos; measured doorways, hallways, and distances between bathroom fixtures; and took note of such details as door hinges, the tuft of car- pets, and the position of the mail chute. Many a senior has broken a hip reaching for the mail or slipping on letters and circulars scattered on the floor. Making Home a Safe Haven 100 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 4 The bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the house for older people unsteady on their feet. Shower essentials include no-slip tile, a bench, and grab bars. S U S Y 5 6 / D R E A M S T I M E . C O M 098-106_WWMb14_senior friendly_v2_WellesleyWeston Magazine 4/24/14 3:47 PM Page 100