13. Randy Hunter

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Randy Hunter about your home safety for any stage in life

(Duration: 33 minutes)


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Lynes on Design


Check your smoke alarms. And don’t ever hesitate to call 911. Better to be safe than sorry.


Debi Lynes (00:03): Hi and welcome to Aging in Place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at Aging in Place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces in health and wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now? Because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully and we want our families around us as much as we can and why you the audience? Because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that’s safe, aesthetically pleasing, and that you can live in at any age with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life. Hi and welcome to Aging in Place for any stage in life. I am here with Randy Hunter. He is a firefighter and I am thrilled to talk with you. Today we’re going to talk about all kinds of safety, but before we get started, Oh, you grandfather of a six-month-old. Tell us a little bit about your background and what you do now.

Randy Hunter (01:24): So I’ve been in the fire service for 26 years now. I started off as a volunteer rod on the coattails with my dad in a small world department in South Western Pennsylvania.

Debi Lynes (01:36): Oh did you, okay.

Randy Hunter (01:36): So just about an hour South of Pittsburgh. And I knew I wanted to be a firefighter forever since a little kid. Joined the Marine Corps, was a firefighter for the Marine Corps and crash fire rescue. I did that for a short period of time. I got out. I was fortunate enough to get hired in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I spent 10 years as a firefighter there, which is pretty close to where I grew up. So it was a nice working, I just got tired of the winters at times, you know what I mean? So I came down here on vacation one year.

Debi Lynes (02:04): And here is Hilton Head [Island], South Carolina.

Randy Hunter (02:06): Absolutely yes. And here’s the Hilton Head. And I’m loved being down here. I applied for a job with the Bluffton Township Fire District, July 31st of 2008 and I was hired August 7th of 2008 and moved August 9th.

Debi Lynes (02:22): Well, tell me what your role is down here now.

Randy Hunter (02:25): So I was with the training division for the last 11 years. I’ve been recently reassigned to community risk reduction

Debi Lynes (02:31): What is that mean “community risk reduction”?

Randy Hunter (02:33): Well, I mean it is just what it says. We’re here re reducing the risk in the community. But many years ago where I shop until just recently, it’s always been known as fire prevention and that’s what the fire promise that we’ve been there to prevent fires. And we realize now that our overall goal is to reduce any kind of danger to our community, to our citizens. So it’s not community risks. So that goes anywhere from, you know, fire safety to our hurricane to trigger treating, making sure that people have the proper costumes on a barbecue, grilling fireworks, even though we’re not supposed to use them down here in South Carolina killers. Yeah. But that’s what we realize now that we have an ultimate goal of trying to protect our community.

Debi Lynes (03:13): It does seem like the overarching role of the fire department now is just really broad and generalized. I mean, you’re here today talking about Aging in Place and I think the fun part for me is talking about safety in and around your home is what we’re going to focus on today. And even though the podcast is Aging in Place, we’re talking about any stage in life. And that’s what you said when I said, when I said that you had the best comment.

Randy Hunter (03:38): Yeah, we have program. We did, we shouldn’t be looking at it. I don’t exactly know how it’s, I wish I could remember what I said earlier, because I believe.

Debi Lynes (03:44): No that’s exactly what you said.

Randy Hunter (03:44): But we need to be, we have programs from you know, small children to very elderly people. We look at all these different aspects of what they need to learn. Captain Lee Levesque, he’s great at public education. He’s also in the community risk reduction and he is out in schools all the time. Even when he meets with kids all the time about, you know, fire safety don’t be afraid of firefighters. But now we’re broadening that to where we’re going around talking about like we’re going to talk about today, slips and falls and how to talk, how to protect yourself around the home. But I think that’s what makes it so this position now is so interesting is because we are literally out there and when we go places it doesn’t take very long for someone to find out, Oh you at the fire farm. I have a question for you. And then there they are asking this question and how to make things better.

Debi Lynes (04:32): Well, let me ask you a question about how to position this. Initially I was going, do we position this with, again, let’s talk about little kids in the home to older kids or is it better to do sort of a tour of a home, let’s say for you. In other words, when you pull in to a, you get a call, what would be one of the first safety issues going to that call?

Randy Hunter (04:58): When you look at us coming in to some or you know, other organizations maybe like up in Fairfax, Virginia, for example, they have codes that say that you’re building, if it’s a commercial structure, the numbers had to be such and such size. They gotta be contrast. And it’s the same thing for our residents. We want to make sure that when the fire apparatus or EMS or police pull up in front of your house, that it’s clearly marked that what your dresses, you know I knew I put in here, I saw the one.

Debi Lynes (05:24): Right.

Randy Hunter (05:24): Yeah. If it was nighttime, that one outside here is a little bit difficult to see and we just want to make sure that it’s visible.

Debi Lynes (05:31): So you said contrast. What does that mean?

Randy Hunter (05:33): Like if you have a white house, do you want black letters.

Debi Lynes (05:35): Oh, got it.

Randy Hunter (05:36): Yeah. So pretty simple. You know, we just, I didn’t know, maybe I didn’t explain it. He shaking his head, she’s laughing. So maybe, but you want to make sure that if you stand in a road that your house is easily identified from the road when the apparatus in the front boom. They know exactly where they’re at. It

Debi Lynes (05:52): Was funny that you’re talking about that contrast. We had someone talking about new appliances and some of the appliances are actually paying attention to the contrast between the let’s say on the stove between being able to read it with a bigger font and then color contrast so that people can actually see it more clearly and easily. Right. I mean, it was pretty interesting.

Randy Hunter (06:13): And I think no matter what we’re doing. I mean, I just taught a class for fire instructors. We’re talking about making PowerPoints and it’s gonna be contrast, you know what I mean? Just you gotta make it, everything’s gotta be visible. Plant number what we want. We are very visual people and didn’t want to see, know what we’re looking at.

Debi Lynes (06:27): So when you drive in, walk again walking into a home, what do you think of when you think of safety? What are you looking for?

Randy Hunter (06:35): Well I’ve coming from the fire department, our main thing is we hope that every house has working smoke detectors. That’s, you know, captain leave in the back when he’s out there. That’s his smoke detector. Smoke the type of smoke detectors. That’s what you know, we want to see every home have a smoke detector.

Debi Lynes (06:50): How many were, how often do we check them and why? Smoke detector.

Randy Hunter (06:54): Oh well. So after I said repeat it, smoke alarms, it’s allowing us to that they’re smoking house, what we recommend it. So before we get into fall, we want to make sure that, because this can lead down a whole rabbit hole of a thousand different things. So if we want to stick to certain things, we might not want to go down smoke detector or smoke alarms, but we’ll get down a little bit. So what we recommend in houses now, we recommend that people sleep with their bedroom door closed.

Debi Lynes (07:17): Oh.

Randy Hunter (07:17): It’s practically pretty amazing. A fire in a hallway. How much did that door will stop and protect this bedroom? This room right here, for example. Now it’s easy for me to preach that, but I don’t practice that because we have animals and we are not going to lock, my wife’s locked the cats out of the bedroom. Okay. So what we say is if you’ll sleep with, you know, you should have one in the bedroom with your door shut.

Debi Lynes (07:38): In the bedroom.

Randy Hunter (07:38): Yup and then one outside the bedroom cause it’s bad because if a fire starts in here and that door’s closed, you want the smoke alarm to detect it inside this room.

Debi Lynes (07:46): Good point.

Randy Hunter (07:46): If the door’s closed, you want one outside that way for something in the hallway that the smoke is detected out there as well.

Debi Lynes (07:55): Is there a rule of thumb for how many smoke detectors you can have? And I know on Hilton head this house was built in 58 and it’s considered a really old house. But in Pennsylvania and other places relatively.

Randy Hunter (08:06): Well. And you know in Bluffton, yeah, this is [a, I mean ]I’m not saying, but.

Debi Lynes (08:09): It’s an old house, yeah.

Randy Hunter (08:09): A lot of the new smoke alarms are hardwired into them with a battery backup and those batteries are coming based on building code. But what they recommend is, and you kind of caught me off guard with this, but we’re rolling one per bedroom and then they want one outside per floor. Yup.

Debi Lynes (08:28): Okay, that makes a lot of sense.

Randy Hunter (08:29): And where you don’t want a smoke alarm is in your kitchen, whatever. Butter stove. I mean, that’s, you know, I know it’s a joke with the kids about it because even when you’re talking to kids, you make them laugh. And I’m like, well, my wife thinks that’s the foods. But you know, you gotta think about them. We had a hotel built in Morgantown and they installed all the smoke alone right next to the showers. So if someone would have a hot shower, I’m going to open up the shower door. It says the larva every single time. So they had to go back and re on it, you know, and install these, reinstall them. Sometimes people just don’t know, thinking they think smoke, they don’t think

Debi Lynes (09:05): Exactly. What about carbon monoxide? I hear more and more about that.

Randy Hunter (09:10): Very, very important, especially is your house well, well, here’s what we recommend it. My house for example, is all electric. Right? So I have less of a chance from getting carbon monoxide. It doesn’t mean I don’t need one cause it’s amazing. We had a call the other day, A gentleman went in and put into his garage and has a car with a push button, push the button, thought it turned off, got out, was my somewhere else in a car, kept running. So if you wouldn’t have had a carbon monoxide alarm in his house, then he would’ve been in trouble.

Debi Lynes (09:42): Who would have ever thought that? We’re going to have to take a quick break.

Randy Hunter (09:44): Absolutely.

Debi Lynes (09:44): We’re going to come right back. We have a lot more to talk about here with safety and fire and all of those good things. We’re here again with Randy Hunter on the Aging in Place Podcast. Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes. Design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what lines on design can do for you for more information on certified Aging in Place and facilitative and supportive design, look for us at lynesondesign.com. That’s L-YN-E-S on design dot com.

Debi Lynes (10:22): We are back here on Aging in Place. We are here with Randy Hunter and we are talking about safety. We’re getting ready to talk about your personal favorite thing.

Randy Hunter (10:31): Slips and falls.

Debi Lynes (10:32): Slips and falls at any age, but you said it’s one of the things you deal with older people all the time. Probably your biggest call.

Randy Hunter (10:40): Yeah, a lot of times, you know, I think when we, as we get older, a lot of people don’t want to admit that they need some help. Are they going to have to look? I bought gloves or gloves. I bought glasses the other day and I really was, I pride myself on never needing glasses and all of a sudden I’m like, I buy new glasses. So we look at things like this. I think some of our, the community, we really want to say, look, it’s okay if you start to have a little bit of issues with getting around. We just want to make it safer for you. Everyone wants to live independently. So when we started talking about slips and falls, we want to make sure that you can go around the house and they can kind of look at our home and say, you know what? This is a potential trip hazard. If you have hardwood floors like in here and you have loose rugs, loose rugs are going to make people slip and fall. It’s kind of simple. So we go around and we look and make sure we can move those things around and we don’t want them around anyways.

Debi Lynes (11:29): So wait a minute, you will come in and walk my house with me?

Randy Hunter (11:32): We can absolutely.

Debi Lynes (11:33): Because that would be amazing. I’ve got a one-year-old grandchild, my 91-year-old dad who’s here. It would be so helpful because I think oftentimes I see my house so often, I don’t pay attention. So what, so what are some of the things you said loose rugs that makes sense.

Randy Hunter (11:48): Loose rugs, you want to make sure. So as we get, then you can use this to, for someone to say someone breaks a leg. Okay. And so it’s not just always looking at the elderly. We’re looking at things that are going to make that person get through that house easier. So open concept, make sure that they have an open area to walk there. They’re not going to be bumping into things. I don’t know how many times I get up in the middle of the night and you know, you do something, you pump in, I’ve got a new watch and I don’t know, it feels like it’s 4,000 times bigger. I bump it on every door, you know? But those are things that we look at as we’re going through. Do we have a lamp in a certain area where you really want in here, but the cord sticks out, you know?

Restrooms, excuse me. Restrooms. You know, when you go in and you’re getting in and out of the showers, slips and falls. We should have rubber [matt], you know, some grippy things on the bottom of the shower, the tub, handrails, you know, I mean, those are the little things that we would love to come in. And you know, not necessarily tell people what they need but make those recommendations.

Debi Lynes (12:44): Well, I think that’s what I mean, Aging in Place. I think I would love to have it at any age. I’d love to have somebody come in and share with me areas that were safe and areas that probably could use a little a safety update if you want.

Randy Hunter (12:57): Absolutely. And 90% actually probably 100% of fire departments in our nation. If someone was to call their local fire department, they would be able to come out and do a walkthrough and we do home inspections for fire. We can do home inspectors for safety. When it comes to residents, it’s one of the things where we don’t go around and really, Hey, can we come in? Can we come in here? Because that’s not really that a man’s home is his castle, for example. So that’s all. We can’t really enforce far coats.

Debi Lynes (13:22): But if we could invite you.

Randy Hunter (13:23): Absolutely 100% we will encourage it you know.

Debi Lynes (13:26): When you get calls, do you find that most of the time the slips and falls or in the bathroom or where? Bedroom, bathroom.

Randy Hunter (13:34): We [man] I don’t have those exact numbers, but bathroom, bedroom, that’s where two main.

Debi Lynes (13:39): Oh is it really?

Randy Hunter (13:39): Yeah. And a lot of times someone gets into a, maybe goes to the restroom or something and getting up and saying down based on how they are still have anything to hold onto. So all of a sudden, you know, lowering down, they kind of lose grip. They don’t, some people don’t like that cold floor, so they put that rug there. So now we have two things. Now we’re trying to study ourselves, but then our rug slips out and then all of a sudden they fall down. You know, talking about that again, not trying to get too far off the track here, then stay in and eventually hit a certain point.

Debi Lynes (14:07): I don’t know it’s kind of fun getting off track. It’s really interesting.

Randy Hunter (14:10): But we have, we got to make sure when someone slips and falls we need to make sure that, that we’re checking on our neighbors. Okay making sure that we know our neighbors and make sure you have somewhere to call. If someone falls down, let’s say I fought on the floor and just can’t get up, it actually after so long it actually becomes pre dangerous for them. Yeah, Because the way they lay their it depending on, it can be a very serious health risk. So what we recommend is obviously having some way maybe.

Debi Lynes (14:37): Communicate.

Randy Hunter (14:37): To communicate or just know your neighbors and say, Hey, you know, I haven’t seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith in a while. My wife and I did it the other day. We are a neighbor of ours who we see summer front porch and day in and day out had a little sticky note on his door from a package delivery and my wife combined and she’s like, man, you know, I dunno, so-and-so’s huh. We’ve got packages such been there the next day. It was still in there. So we called our, his, one of his good friends. Do you know where [inaudible] is? And they’re like, Oh yeah, he’s been in Vegas for a month. And we’re like, Ooh, but we, but we pay attention to our neighbors and what they’re kind of doing now because we’re nosy. We’re friendly. Maybe a little nosy too, but you want to know. But you know, if you haven’t seen someone stop in just checking them. You know, everybody wants to see that. And it’s good being a neighbor too.

Debi Lynes (15:27): Do you teach people how to get up if they fall? Do you talk to people about it? Like you come in and someone’s slipped or fallen on the floor and you’re like, Ooh, cause I know because my dad lives with me at 91 that’s, you know that a six foot tall gentleman that weighs 195 pounds, who falls is dead weight.

Randy Hunter (15:47): Oh that’s [an, and ]it is very tough for me to go out, but that’s why when we go, we send the whole engine company because we are going to have three guys and girls to help pick somebody up. Now, the other reason too is if someone falls down, we are going to go and make sure that they’re just not getting need back in a chair. So that makes sense. So make sure they’re not hurt. We’re going to kind of, Hey, you know, and as our firefighters render and they are looking for those types of things, Hey Mr. Smith, we noticed you found this rug again today. Maybe we can just go ahead and take this rug up for you or you know, along those lines. Because but our firefighters are trained to always be vigilant of being able to help.

Debi Lynes (16:23): In other words, not just looking at what’s presenting, but sort of the periphery, what’s going on. Do you find that you enjoy the education and prevention piece of all this? In other words, going in, if you could have seen that rug and had been invited in to kind of take a walkthrough,

Randy Hunter (16:38): Oh, I love doing, I love doing the critical community risk reduction. You know, as a young firefighter, I wanted to go fight fires, which I still do. I still love doing that stuff. I don’t do it anymore. I want the trucks now, but I absolutely 100% love coming and doing something like this. Being able to educate our community. We go into our local retirement community here. I went in the other day and taught a CPR class, the security that runs a committee that oversees the community. But when I was in there, all of the residents saw my department vehicle saw me in uniform and had a thousand questions about everything and I could have sat there all day and talk to him just because I enjoy interacting with the community and to being able to help.

Debi Lynes (17:16): What kind of questions did you find that they were asking you? Which I think is really interesting.

Randy Hunter (17:21): Well, right now a [lot of question] we’re getting is smoke alarms and changing batteries. And when can we help them replace their smoke detectors. So we do a program where we can go out, we’ll help change batteries, but we’re looking for someone that’s not physically. Again, we’re looking at someone from their home by themselves that can’t physically get up on a ladder. So we’ll go out and help and change her batteries. Help replace your smoke alarms. Again, the fire services, one of the things awesome about who we’re talking about. It’s a broad scope, but someone calls us. We never tell them no. You know I mean we have a policy that says we don’t rescue cats out of trees anymore. But sure enough, if someone calls and says, my cat’s in a tree, guess what? We’re going to send an engine company over there and a truck company and they’re going to do what they can. They get that cow tree because we’re the fire department does not tell anybody. No. And we get called for maybe an elderly lady to them by herself or colors overflowing. She does nine one, one. There’s no one else a sense of fire-prone. It’s going to go, but luckily we’re going to go shut the water off. And more than likely we have a plumber or somebody is handy on the engine and they’re like, well, wait a second man. Let’s go ahead, here’s your problem. And they see another fix the problem. And you kind of hear stories about that all through the fire service. And I think that’s one of the things that drives people to be a firefighter.

Debi Lynes (18:37): Oh, I think it’s amazing. I want to talk about two things. I know we have to take a quick break here in just a minute. I’d like to talk about electrical wiring.

Randy Hunter (18:44): Okay.

Debi Lynes (18:44): And just because that for some reason that spooks me a little bit.

Randy Hunter (18:48): Me too.

Debi Lynes (18:48): Right. And then I’d love to talk about fire hazards in the house rooms so they are most likely. I guess my assumption is a kitchen, but let’s talk briefly if we can about electrical wiring.

Randy Hunter (19:04): Right now?

Debi Lynes (19:04): Sure.

Randy Hunter (19:04): Okay. So, well first off, there’s three things that I’m afraid of. Spiders, snakes, electricity, and not mastering any of those three snakes. I’m going a little better with. So if anyone has any questions at all about electricity, first of all, they need to look and see if it’s something with wiring, get a professional, don’t look at it. But when we’re looking to extension cords, we don’t want to overload outlets. We don’t want to have those. You know, my wife actually come home the other day and she’s like, Hey, I bought an extension cord for our new lamp. I’m like, no, we’re not putting [inaudible]. I mean only because it’s a $3 extension cord. It’s not will it catch fire? You never know, but you don’t want to take the chance. You want to get something that’s actually, you know, you want to get an outlet plug directly into the outlet. Those extension cords get really hot, especially if they’re kinked.

Debi Lynes (19:52): That was the point of having an extension cord was to not do that.

Randy Hunter (19:56): Well they have some that are rated better than others and you’re going to have to look on, they have a UL slip on and everything, but those are things. Ideally, you want to use a surge protector and they make them at all lengths. Now that way, if something happens in that quarter is short, it’s going to cut the power and not continue to do it. That’s one of the main things that we want to look at.

Debi Lynes (20:13): We’re going to take a quick break. We’re going to come back and we’re still going to talk about electricity because you’re afraid of it and we can’t talk about dividers or snakes and we’ll go back to that. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.

Henrik de Gyor (20:23): For more podcast episodes, links, information and media inquiries, please visit our website at aginginplacepodcast.com as we transition through life with the comfort and ease you deserve, discover how you can create a home that will adapt to you as you journey through life and the changes it will bring. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as our host Debi Lynes and her expert guests discuss relevant topics to creating a home for all decades in life. Don’t miss our weekly episodes of Aging in Place. Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes (21:00): We are back here on Aging in Place. We’re talking to Randy Hunter. We’re talking about electricity in your home. And I would think around the holidays and probably 4th of July are pretty sketchy and dangerous when it comes to house fires on electricity.

Randy Hunter (21:19): Well, especially at Christmas, we have all the what’s called Rizwan say, you know, he’s an expert interior illumination or however, but he look at this stuff and people do, they’re going to run a long extension cords during the holidays and we just got to make sure that we’re, the main thing with learning chords is getting a chord that’s actually rated for what you’re looking. I just purchased myself a surge protector that’s extra long for that reason because our surge protectors are normally that long. You don’t reach my needs your side about a longer one so that if something does happen, it actually has a switch. It’ll [self Oh].

Debi Lynes (21:55): Turn off.

Randy Hunter (21:55): It’ll, yeah,

Debi Lynes (21:57): So if I get a surge protector, I can put my $3 extension cord in it [and then.]

Randy Hunter (22:04): No, I mean the idea would be in theory it should protect it so that that $3 extension cord shorts out the surge protectors should stop that. But the idea would be like my surge protector, I bought a six foot one that kind of extends backwards and no one can see it. And we can plug our lamps into it.

Debi Lynes (22:22): What’s so funny, when we do the podcast at the end, we do takeaways and the takeaway from this is already do not buy a $3. I mean, I didn’t know that. I thought

Randy Hunter (22:31): A lot of people don’t, and I’m not going to, don’t get me wrong, if you look at my garage, there’s probably a $3 corn hanging up there. We try and do the best we can as firefighters to really represent and do practice what we preach. But every once in a while you get somewhere where you just really want that lamp to turn on and all of a sudden. But the idea is that we don’t want to be, we want to try to avoid something like that.

Debi Lynes (22:52): What is the biggest cause of fires in homes in general?

Randy Hunter (22:55): [ are between] cooking and heating. That’s the two biggest fires, right or causes of fires right there. Now actually in the low country here we have a lot of lightning strikes and a summertime we run a ton of lightning strikes. It’s just because of the Pines and all that stuff here. But a lot of our nationwide heating and cooking fires seem to be the main cause of home fires.

Debi Lynes (23:19): What about dryers?

Randy Hunter (23:19): While dryers, the main thing that it causes fires and dryers is going to be the vents being cleaned out, making sure.

Debi Lynes (23:26): What vents being cleaned out?

Randy Hunter (23:28): Yeah you know where the lint traps are or anything like that. You’re a clean nose notice I’m asking where all your podcast, we’re going to turn the ties now. But yeah, so that heats up in there and then when that air can’t flow as it restricts it, then it can’t do what it needs. It doesn’t operate properly and it catches fire. So, you know, when you look at your overall, and like I said, we can talk for four months on safety, but when you’re looking at, you want to follow the manufacturer’s instruction, do you want to stay Virgin on keeping things maintained, clean watching for slips and fall, you know, so there’s a ton of stuff that can be done.

Debi Lynes (24:08): I’ll tell you what scares me the most for myself is you’re gonna flip it is I have a tendency of popping popcorn or doing something and getting distracted. And I’ve burned pot on the stove, which is really embarrassing because I, you know, you don’t think that that’s the deal.

Randy Hunter (24:22): So things happen like that. We were cooking and one time w you know, a lot of people have done that. Again, you get attached track. We were cooking one time at the house and we had a wooden cooking cutting board and I was doing something and needed to counter space and set it off. We have a flat top stove. The stove didn’t even think anything about it. My wife’s like, something’s burning and I didn’t realize that the burners were on and I sitting around on top of the burners. And so people do make mistakes. You know, the idea is that w we all are human. We’re going to do that, but to try and prevent those as much as possible. Now I would not want to come to your house if you were cooking in some, yeah, it’s on the stove.

Debi Lynes (24:59): That would not be good.

Randy Hunter (24:59): You know, but that’s something that we can, you know, again, just trying to stay vigilant.

Debi Lynes (25:05): We had a situation, I, and I would be curious as to how you would handle this. We were in the kitchen about a year ago. You would love this. We were in the kitchen about a year ago and I had was having a meeting and I, and I looked and there were literally swear to you flame shooting out of my dishwasher, my dishwasher.

Randy Hunter (25:23): What was on fire?

Debi Lynes (25:23): The[ top panel. It had been.] I had someone out to fix it the day before and I guess something just so I went to my laundry room and I got my fire extinguisher that was dated 1987 and I went, Ooh, I’m scared to touch it because of all the spider webs. And now that I’ve touched it, I don’t know what to do with it. And the reason I bring that up is fire extinguishers. I mean, it was, there were flames. I, you know, I think you’re going to be wise in what you’re doing, how you handle these situations.

Randy Hunter (25:57): Yeah, absolutely. And you know, so all of these things we’re talking about, you can find them through the nfta.org the national fire protection association. Look, your local fire department, whatever it may be. But like I said, there’s so much stuff we could talk about how a fire extinguisher, make sure it’s dated, make sure you know where it’s at.

Debi Lynes (26:14): Make sure you know how to use?

Randy Hunter (26:16): Yeah, we go into a lot of businesses and everyone’s all excited being, Oh man, we have an AED. And I’m like, Oh, that’s great. Where is it?

Debi Lynes (26:25): And an add for the people.

Randy Hunter (26:26): Oh, an automatic external defibrillator, which is great. They have one, but sometimes other employees don’t know where it’s at, you know? So these safety tips can go into your home, into your place of employment. If you go to a restaurant, there’s are things that just be vigilant and know, you know, what you can do to be safe.

Debi Lynes (26:42): And again, fire extinguishers I think are intuitive to you. You don’t even think about them. But I think too many of us, and I, it’s funny because my kids have no idea and I mean they’re adults, they’re young adults, but I think that they’ve just always been used to growing up with them but not really ever see them.

Randy Hunter (26:58): Yeah. And I, and that’s the way the fire service is going out with the community risk reduction. A lot of our programs, you know, 10 years ago were strictly based a kid stopped op roll, don’t play with fire, whatever it may be. Now we’re realizing that we do have older kids, adolescents and young adults that don’t know how to operate a fire extinguisher. So we, you know, we try to encourage them to come out and learn CPR, first aid, just you name it. We try and educate people in it with the star, anything.

Debi Lynes (27:28): It’s amazing. So people can call no matter where you are in the US or our standards or codes. Pretty, pretty much the same. In other words, are firefighters all trained in CPR?

Randy Hunter (27:39): No. Well, yes, that’s there. I want to say how to say it. So broad question. Yes. All firefighters are trained a certain level of medical. Some fire departments are just the very basic of first aid or what they call an emergency first responder. Then we have EMT, EMT advanced, paramedics, and then we even have some…

Debi Lynes (27:59): Like paramedics who are a helicopter pilot.

Randy Hunter (28:01): Yeah. We have flight medics and stuff like that actually to a part-time. So when we have all that stuff, so we are trained in all that. All firefighters are trained in basic fire prevention. Like we know how they give you come to our youngest firefighter and say, Hey, I would like to have a, can you tell me he’s a fire extinguisher? They shouldn’t be able to because that’s in recruit school, they’re required to do some pub[lic] ed[ucation] during recruit school. But yes, 90%. And if they don’t know the answer to it, they know exactly where to go and help you find it.

Debi Lynes (28:26): And you know, we’ve only got a couple of minutes to go, but before we go, I think I’d be remiss in not asking what is an emergency when something happens. How do I know when to actually call nine one one? I think that’s, there’s a big misconception.

Randy Hunter (28:41): Well, my biggest thing is don’t ever, if you have to question it, call number one. We would rather come to your house, come to your place of employment and the canceled en route or get, they’re like, Oh, everything’s okay. As opposed to sitting in the station and like, you know, they called us 10 minutes earlier, so don’t ever, if you have to question whether or not it’s an emergency AppSumo herbs and call nine one one.

Debi Lynes (29:02): Is, it really is the way, whether it’s, whether it’s physical fire.

Randy Hunter (29:08): Yeah. Well, because an emergency to me may not be an emergency to you and vice versa. So I’m not going to sit here and dictate, but I will, if somebody feels that they need help, we never, ever want them to discourage them from calling nine one one. We want them to call, have us come out, have law enforcement, EMS, whoever, come out, assess the situation and we’d rather go back home and making sure you’re safe as opposed to not being calling them out.

Debi Lynes (29:31): Then on that note, what information do I need to be armed with to help you expedite this and that you can do your job and can be more efficient with the information,

Randy Hunter (29:43): Current current location, what their problem is, where it calling from. And with cell phones nowadays, we need to make sure that when the dispatcher answered the phone that you tell them where you’re actually calling from. Sometimes like the fuss gallon, maybe not a great sample. It may actually, it may go the fussy Island right now as a Hilton head dispatch. [inaudible] May ping on you for counting. So where are you calling from.

Debi Lynes (30:06): And so that means no matter where we are in the US, that same situation.

Randy Hunter (30:10): They could have asked you. 100%.

Debi Lynes (30:10): Do you find that people don’t know where they’re calling sure on?

Randy Hunter (30:14): Oh, absolutely. We have a lot of students are down here. We have a lot of tourists. Hey, I see a lot of, there’s a house on fire where I’m not sure where, but I think it’s I it all, I’m on [Route] 278 and I see dark black smoke somewhere down there, so we got send an apparatus [a fire engine] to try and pinpoint where this, you know, and people don’t usually stay where they’re at.

Debi Lynes (30:33): I tell you what, the more we talked, the more questions I have, I can think of outside and gardening and all kinds of questions. Will you come back and talk to us?

Randy Hunter (30:41): Oh actually I love this, please.

Debi Lynes (30:41): Randy, thank you so much. We want to thank all of you for joining us here on aging in place for any stage in life. I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious and always creative and when we were doing the Aging in Place Podcast, she said there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew she’s going to be with us every week, giving us a quick tip and to hint that is a practical application.

Tracy Snelling (31:17): Thanks Debi. Love thy neighbor. They come in handy one day. If you’re friends with your neighbors, the ones right next door, or even just a few houses down, come up with a system that lets them know you’re okay. I used to watch over an elderly woman who lived alone and I had her call me every morning at 8:00 AM and she let my phone ring twice. That way it doesn’t disturb what I’m doing. And if she didn’t call me by 8:15 AM, I would call her to make sure she was okay. Also, she would turn on her porch light every night. So without disturbing her, I knew always well when I did my drive by and her neighbors kept a watchful eye for the light too and they had my phone number just in case. So devise a plan. Let your neighbors know that you’re good at baking or shopping for cookies, at least for an exchange for a watchful eye. Who knew your safety could be right next door.

Debi Lynes (32:15): Randy, what an amazing interview today and talk about a takeaway. Here’s the bottom line. Please, please, please check your smoke alarms. And don’t ever hesitate to call 911. Better to be safe than sorry. Thank you all for joining us here on aging in place for any stage in life.

Henrik de Gyor (32:36): Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to debi@aginginplacepodcast.com we would love to hear from you if you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us that pr@aginginplacepodcast.com

Thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.

8. Ryan Herd

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Ryan Herd of Caregiver Smart Solutions about using sensors for any stage in life on Aging in Place Podcast

(duration: 33 minutes)

Ryan Herd



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Caregiver Smart Solutions

CES Showstopper award winner

Plastic shot cups


It’s all about sensors.


Lynes on Design


Debi Lynes:                   00:03                Hi and welcome to aging in place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at aging in place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces in Health and wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now? Because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully and we want our families around us as much as we can. And why you the audience? Because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that’s safe, aesthetically pleasing, and that you can live in at any age with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                  01:03                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes and welcome to the Aging in Place Podcast. I am here today with Ryan Herd and I’m very excited to have you today straight from the CES conference in Las Vegas. Ryan, I’m thrilled to be able to talk with you and I’d like to learn a little bit about your background, number one, number two about the CES conference and number three, I think it congratulations are in order.

Ryan Herd:                    01:31                Hey Dr. Debi. Well, thank you for having us on. I really appreciate it. So, let’s start by unpacking those questions. Who am I? I’m actually Ryan Herd. I’m known as the smart guy. I’ve been in smart tech and IOT for 29 years. I literally wrote the book on it called Join the Smart Home Revolution and I’ve been in the tech industry for all my life. I’m a techie. I kind of love this stuff.

Debi Lynes:                   01:57                Did you get into that? How did you get into that area of being known as? I like it. I’m known as the smart guy.

Ryan Herd:                    02:03                Yeah, Ryan Herd the smart guy because I wrote the book. So I wrote the book called Join the Smart Home Revolution and it was really to fix or answer that fundamental question, which is what is smart home and how can it help me as a human? You know, the one issue with the technology industry is where you make a lot of widgets and gadgets, but how can I actually help me as a human? So I started to answer that question and because of that I’ve also worked with some of the top companies like Sony and really group would just call a banker and home advisor. I helped them start up their smart home division. So yeah. And I also had a integration firm called the one sound choice. And what we did is smart technology for high net worth, high profile individuals all over the US.

Debi Lynes:                   02:50                And you know, I want to get right into it. I still want to go back and talk a little bit about your kids and your life because it’s pretty fascinating. You have, it sounds like you have a nice self-care and a nice balanced life. But to get right to the point, one of the things that intrigued me when I first talked to you, and because I’m older and I’m very, yeah, there you go. A grandmother of nine and most 10. I’m really curious when it comes to aging in place and the home. The more research I do and the more data I have gathered, the more I realize that a lot of the products that are for aging adults if you will, or people who have special needs acute illnesses aren’t really user-friendly. And it was so fun for me to talk to you because that was the first thing out of your mouth is oftentimes people who manufacturer these things don’t really think in terms of universal designer humans.

Ryan Herd:                    03:47                That’s the big problem. And, and I don’t mean to beat up on anybody. Again, I’m a techie. I love technology. I just got back from CES and that’s the Superbowl of technology. Now with that said, I’ve been spending a lot of time out in Silicon Valley as well as over here in New York and NGIT and there’s a lot of really smart people. I mean they are doing amazing things and they’re building and designing things that are going to be incredible for when I get older. Where they lack is they don’t understand the consumer or the person that’s going to use it. Today. For example, when we’re talking about let’s say the greatest generation people that are approaching a hundred years old, you know, 19, 28 and older is when they were born. You know, they’re technologically adverse. It’s all about, they don’t want to be spied on. It’s their belief system is, you know, we are going to meet somebody, we’re going to get married, we’re going to buy a house, we’re going to have kids. We’re going to live in that house. We’re going to die in that house. And we’re never ever, ever going to be a burden to anybody else. So that’s what we do see, is there’s people that are trying to just take all these smart home gadgets and put it in mom’s house, but mom doesn’t need a smart lock. She doesn’t need a smart thermostat. She doesn’t need a alarm. What she needs is to know that somebody’s got their back.

Debi Lynes:                   05:05                And you know that. It’s really funny because my mom and dad moved in three years ago. We lost my mom, but my dad’s 91 92 and it’s exactly what you say is true. They want their life to be the same as it always has been, but they have so many more restrictions now. And I also think for my dad, at least, he doesn’t want to feel special. He doesn’t want to feel like he’s a burden on anyone.

Ryan Herd:                    05:31                Right, right.

Debi Lynes:                   05:31                He wants to be as independent as he can. So what does that mean in terms of technology?

Ryan Herd:                    05:40                Well, independence, you said it right. So let’s think about it. Remember when you got your first car and you were independent for the first time you left home, this was the first time you’re able to be on your own. Nobody was next to you. You know, we’ve been craving it. We finally got it. Now you’re not going to give that up, right? You want your independence for as long as possible. And that’s why what we’ve seen is those that are 65 and older, more than 85% of them want to live at home alone and independent. So the question is how do we as caregivers, how do we enable that? How do we give them the ability to be independent, live at home, and yet reduce our stress. Because being a caregiver, it’s, it’s stressful, it’s time-consuming and it’s isolating.

Debi Lynes:                   06:24                Yes it is.

Ryan Herd:                    06:26                So we’ve done, the new company I have called Caregiver Smart Solutions is just that. We’re answering that fundamental question, which is how are they doing, right? We’re enabling your loved one to live home longer while reducing your stress because as I said before, being a caregiver, it’s stressful, time-consuming and isolating. So let me tell you what we’re not, we’re not a camera, right?

Debi Lynes:                   06:49                Okay.

Ryan Herd:                    06:49                Because cameras are invasive. You don’t want a camera in your home. I don’t want it in my home.

Debi Lynes:                   06:53                My dad, Well what’s funny about that is my dad has flat out refused it, don’t be spying on me. not spying. I just want to make sure if you’re falling or you’re slipped or you can’t do this or that, that you’re covered.

Ryan Herd:                    07:04                Exactly. That’s actually the first thing I did when my father had cancer. I put a camera in and he put a dish towel right over it. So that wasn’t gonna work. So the second thing that we’re not, we’re not trying to change your loved one’s habit. I dunno. Have you ever tried to change the habit of an 80-year-old?

Debi Lynes:                   07:21                Yeah it’s not pretty.

Ryan Herd:                    07:23                I can’t even change my own habits, right? So that’s not going to happen. Number three, we’re not aware of it because the reality is, is they’re not wearing them. They’re not charging them up. And you have to understand, as I said before, there’s a psychological aspect. And what I mean by that is it’s like me going to my father Dad, do me a favor. I need you to wear this. And if something happens, you gotta push the button. Now here’s where psychology comes in. The reality is, is I’m working around, I’m dealing with my kids. I’m dealing with this. A video call. I have other meetings I have to take. I’m not thinking about end of life. 93-year-old grandma. You know what she is and now we’re taking this device and saying, if you have a problem, push the button. And she’s looking at that as the button of death. And you have to understand they don’t want that and we want to enable them, but we don’t want to bring that kind of stuff up. So how can we be proactive? And this is what we are caregiver’s smart solutions. We take tiny non-evasive sensors and we place them discretely around the home and what the sensors are monitoring is your loved ones’ habit because your habit is an indicator of your health. For example, if mom’s habit is that she gets up twice a night to go to the bathroom fine green check Mark. That’s what she always does. But if all of a sudden she starts getting up five times a night, three nights in a row, that’s definitely an issue. That’s something you want to know. And it could be a urinary tract infection. No, that’s just a little bit of what we do and we do so much more.

Debi Lynes:                   08:56                Talk to me a little bit about a, what is sensor? How does the sensor work? It Does it go in the corner of the room? Does it go in different rooms? What am I actually monitoring movement sound?

Ryan Herd:                    09:06                So there’s a couple of things that our sensors are doing in the baseline. We’re measuring movement, we’re measuring things like the refrigerator, we’re measuring the medicine cabinet, we’re measuring the time it takes mom to walk down the stairs. We’re measuring quality. How long has mom been sleeping? It’s really important to get, let’s say five to eight hours of sleep.

Debi Lynes:                   09:27                Correct.

Ryan Herd:                    09:27                She’s getting up once an hour, every single hour. That could be an issue now.

Debi Lynes:                   09:32                Was an issue for cognitive decline.

Ryan Herd:                    09:33                It’s an issue for that. And, and you know what? We’re facilitating the insights through the use of an app. You can see exactly what’s going on. And let’s say it’s that. And you see mom, your loved one got up once an hour for four hours straight. So now when you talk to mom, you can say, Hey, how’s everything doing? And what is she going to say? It’s fine. But now you can say, I saw that you were up a lot last night and it, you know, it might’ve just been a bad burrito. I don’t know.

Debi Lynes:                   10:01                How does it, how does it actually track? We’ve got about a minute in this segment. So how does it actually document and track? Is it actually formulating data? Is it a, is it journaling for me? Is it sending me a note or an email?

Ryan Herd:                    10:18                So what we’re doing from the fancy side is we’ve got a bunch of noninvasive sensors mounted throughout the house and what happens is we’re using something called machine learning. Think of that as a record button, so two to three we’re recording the habits, so now we have a baseline, we know how your loved one is doing, and then from there we add something called AI fancy technology and what AI is looking for is they’re looking for those things that are out of the ordinary. For example, if mom’s sleeping later or if mom is taking longer to get down the stairs or if mom is not drinking, making her coffee. All of these things are outside of what normal is.

Debi Lynes:                   11:00                All right, hold that thought. We’re going to take a quick, quick, quick break and I’m going to come right back and get into it again. We’re talking with Ryan Herd and I’m really excited. We’re talking about motion sensors. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.

Henrik de Gyor:             11:12                For more podcasts, episodes, links, information and media inquiries. Please visit our website at aginginplacepodcast.com as we transitioned through life with the comfort and ease you deserve, discover how you can create a home that will adapt to you as you journey through life and the changes it will bring. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as our host Debi Lynes and her expert guests discuss relevant topics to creating a home for all decades in life. Don’t miss our weekly episodes of aging in place. Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   11:49                We are back here on aging and place. We’re talking with Ryan Herd, talking about motion sensors. More importantly, we’re talking about universal design. We’re talking about aging in place for absolutely every stage in life and I’ll tell you what’s interesting about this is although we’re talking about older adults at this point in time, one of the reasons I wanted to do the podcast, Ryan, is because it’s really something that’s important for families or folks at any age. I know my daughter has two young kids. And when I think about her having motion detectors, I think, or the sensors as you’re talking about, I think it would be an amazing opportunity.

Ryan Herd:                    12:29                And it’s interesting because as your daughter is right, so I’m 48, I’ve got three young boys and your daughter has, and they call us the sandwich generation, meaning, you know, we have our kids that we’re taking care of as well as we have our aging adults that were also worried and concerned about. So we’re sandwich tray in the middle of that.

Debi Lynes:                   12:47                It’s so very true. Being a psychologist, I do a lot with the sandwich generation. I started out with adolescent and now I’ve ended up with the geriatrics and I think we’re sitting right in the middle of them. So let’s go back and talk about these sensors and as far as the artificial intelligence piece of that, how this works again.

Ryan Herd:                    13:06                So the easiest way to explain it is, as I said, so we have two main things that go on. We’re using machine learning and again, think of that as the record button. So that’s going to record the habits over about two weeks’ time. And then we’re going to get a baseline. So for example, we’ll be able to know that mom is vacuuming every Wednesday because everyone says she’s going in and out of the rooms and we can see them [with sensors, not cameras]. Once we get that baseline, then we can add AI or artificial intelligence on top of that. So for example, let’s say, let’s say we’re talking about false. So envision a Cape Cod. So you have a two-floor house, a mom’s upstairs, she gets up in the morning, she goes to the bathroom. Now these are going to be triggering our sensors and she comes out of the bathroom, she goes walking down the hallway, triggers a sensor on the top of the hallway. We know that she takes about three and a half minutes to walk down the stairs. She’s going to trigger the sensor at the bottom of the stairs. Then she’s going to walk into the living room because that’s the next room. And then it goes into, she’s going to trigger that. Now it’s going to know what her typical timeframe is. How long it takes to get down those stairs. Now another scenario, let’s say she got up, she went to the bathroom, she got to the top of the stairs and now all of a sudden it’s four minutes, four and a half minutes, five minutes. And she hasn’t triggered this. The sensor on the bottom of the stairs where his mom, she’s probably laying in the middle of the stairs.

Debi Lynes:                   14:35                Or just we going to say she’s gotten dizzy. She’s fallen. Yes.

Ryan Herd:                    14:38                You take another scenario, she triggers a sensor at the top of the stairs but then triggers a sensor at the bottom of the stairs 30 seconds later and does not trigger the next sensor, which is living room. What happened? Mom probably rolled down the stairs. That’s the kind of power that we’re talking about [awareness] and that’s just on one thing. So let’s take it even farther. Let’s talk about dehydration. So technically the closed loop would be things like, I see mom open up the refrigerator. I see mom moving around. I see mom making coffee through the coffee pot and I see mom going to the bathroom [all with sensors, not cameras]. Well, that’s what you expect to happen.

Debi Lynes:                   15:13                Correct.

Ryan Herd:                    15:13                I’m going into the fridge, walking around, not going to the bathroom and not making coffee. That could because for concern over several days because that could mean that she’s dehydrated. Dehydration that precursor to a fall. And guess what? We don’t want our aging loved ones to fall. That’s the power of what we’re doing.

Debi Lynes:                   15:35                So how does this work from a practical point of view? Are you in the actual production? How does someone get this? What would be a fee schedule? It just makes so much sense.

Ryan Herd:                    15:49                So we have three different kits. I don’t know if you can see it.   

Debi Lynes:                   15:54                There you go.

Ryan Herd:                    15:54                At Caregiver Smart Solutions, what we do to make it easy for everybody is we made three different kits. We have the Basic kit, Deluxe kit, and Deluxe plus. Obviously, they can be found on our website which is caregiversmartsolutions.com. You can give us a call at (888) 585-5022. Now the easiest way to explain it is think of the basic kit. The scenario is we just got out of holiday, right? We had Thanksgiving, we had new year’s. So let’s say you saw grandma and this was the first time that you realize that grandma, you know she, she’s just not as snappy as she used to be and I’m not saying anything’s wrong with her, I’m just saying that.

Debi Lynes:                   16:34                No, no, no okay.

Ryan Herd:                    16:34                The first time that your concern you get the basic kit. All I want to know is the basics. Is she moving around? Is she eating, is she taking her meds and is she going to the bathroom? Just the basics. From there, we can go all the way to the deluxe plus kit, which then we’re monitoring obviously much more, many more things like doors. We’re also monitoring things like TV because if mom’s sitting in front of the TV for five and six hours, that’s like me saying, I need you to get up and run around the block. They shouldn’t be sedentary for that long. The coffee pot or tea kettle, we’re measuring sleep quality as well as fall detection, so on that, that is usually for somebody that maybe there’s been an event, maybe mom has already fallen or maybe you’re really concerned about your loved one. Maybe she’s got a bit of dementia.

Debi Lynes:                   17:28                Dementia.

Ryan Herd:                    17:28                What’s the most important thing when we’re talking about dementia? We’re talking about a did the door open up and b that you walk out of that door because that is the most important thing. Those are the kind of things you want to know.

Debi Lynes:                   17:43                Well, it’s really interesting to me because as a certified aging in place specialist of the things I think about all the time are when cost is no object. That’s one thing. Okay, I can hire full-time help, I can do this, I can do that. But I think for many of us within the sandwich generation, we don’t necessarily near-live near our loved ones. And I think that, you know, if there have been such a void in American for any kind of, I guess fixed in the middle, if you will.

Ryan Herd:                    18:14                Right.

Debi Lynes:                   18:14                And, and more importantly home-health and some of those things are almost cost-prohibitive. How do you all play with others in this area, if you will?

Ryan Herd:                    18:31                So think of us as a, we’re complimentary and we’re proactive. So every, all the technology in the market right now is reactive. It’s, I’ve fallen, I can’t get up. If something happens, push a button and we’re all waiting for impending doom.

Debi Lynes:                   18:44                Correct.

Ryan Herd:                    18:44                How about earlier? So we can start answering that question. As I said before, how are they doing now when we’re talking about in-home care, the least expensive that you can get into it for is twice a week, four hours a day, and that’s only covering eight hours at 25 bucks an hour. And that’s about $10,400 a year. It’s a lot of money. Now the problem is is there’s 168 hours in a week. So what happens that on 160 hours, what would the system like ours? You’re still getting all of the basic questions that you have answered and it could be as simple as how many times is mom going to the bathroom? How many times is she opening up the medicine cabinet at the refrigerator? Is she moving around? Those kinds of things. We’re also complimentary regardless of where mom is living. And what I mean by that is maybe it’s a house, maybe it’s a townhouse, a condo, maybe she’s in independent living, maybe she’s in assisted living because you have to remember in assisted living, if we have the opportunity to put our loved ones in an assisted living place and that’s a beautiful place, but their business model is that they are really an apartment building with a social aspect, right? They do have nurses on staff, but the responsibility is not to come in and check on mom all the time. Once mom goes into her apartment, once that door is closed, there’s now a black hole. So we facilitate you knowing how mom’s doing as well as the nurses’ aid station to know what’s going on.

Debi Lynes:                   20:15                One of the things that’s interesting psychologically is I know from my dad at least and for a lot of folks that I know and who have expressed concern with home health or bringing people in is they don’t want strangers in their home. I think, you know, for me it’s 60, I could care less bring him in. You know, somebody is helping me, I’m all over it. But I, but I understand that that’s a huge issue. And so this alleviates all of that. And I think the feeling of independence and autonomy is amazing. Do these run 24 hours?

Ryan Herd:                    20:48                They run 24 three 65 so 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They’re always on. You can take a look at the app and see exactly how mom’s doing and if something’s a miss, you will know. So if something bad happens, we’re going to send that notification to you. So this way you can call up mom or we’re just going to facilitate that conversation. So here’s another scenario. Let’s say you have an in homemade, let’s call her. Sally is going over to mom’s house and then all of a sudden Sally calls you and says, you know what? I think we need more time in the house because I don’t think mom is eating as much cause she looks like she’s losing weight.

Debi Lynes:                   21:25                Got it.

Ryan Herd:                    21:25                Now you can live well back to our system and see exactly over time, what’s her average, how many times does she open up that refrigerator and if you see it trending down now you know that Sally is, you know, she’s honest. She’s telling the truth. I trust her. She’s absolutely correct. So it’s backing up with the in-home.

Debi Lynes:                   21:42                Well, it’s a check and balance. It makes so much sense. Ryan, we’re going to take another quick break and come right back. Once again, we’re talking to Ryan Herd. We’re talking about Caregiver Smart Solutions because he’s the smart guy, so stay with us. We’ll be right back.

Debi Lynes:                   21:57                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what Lynes on Design can do for you for more information on certified aging in place, and facilitative and supportive design, look for lynesondesign.com. That’s L-Y-N-E-S on design dot com.

Debi Lynes:                   22:23                We are back here on aging in place. Once again, we’re with Ryan Herd and we’re talking about Caregiver Smart Solutions, and they are smart. Okay. The natural segue and the natural question is this, how in the world and why in the world, even though I know you’re the smart guy and you’re a techie, I mean, I think this whole demographic and this aging in place phenomenon, I can say this the baby boomers are aging. We’ve got a great transfer of wealth. We’ve got a lot of folks and you and I and me more than you are in this sandwich generation. Can you share a little bit about how you did get into it and then let’s talk about the CES Las Vegas conference and you winning.

Ryan Herd:                    23:07                Sure. So my background, as I said before, I’m known as Ryan Herd the smart guy and I’d been in technology for 29 years and I literally wrote the book on smart technology called Join the Smart Home Revolution. So everything is great. And then my father got cancer not once, but twice now. He’s tough as nails, but being his caregiver, I’m concerned, you know, and this is the first time that I’m really concerned on how he’s doing. So being the smart guy, I figured I could find something, buy it, put it in and everything would be fine. And then I realized that in this industry, technology stopped in 1990 literally when we talk assisted living facilities, they still have pull strings and they think that’s so leveraging my background, a smart technology, I started to attack this problem and saying, you know, why can’t I look at an app? Why is it that it’s 2020 and I still need a call, a text, or to stop by to see how my loved one’s doing. There should be the ability to have an app that can answer my fun amount of questions, which is how are they doing? You know, are they moving around? Are they eating, are they sleeping? Are they sitting in front of the TV? And then, of course, there’s the fault. So.

Debi Lynes:                   24:16                Brilliant.

Ryan Herd:                    24:16                That’s how I got into it and I figured I can fix this problem.

Debi Lynes:                   24:20                So what happens now? You were the number one, you won the CES conference. Talk to us a little bit about how that happened after talking with you, it makes sense.

Ryan Herd:                    24:31                Exciting.

Debi Lynes:                   24:31                But what were some of the criteria that you think you more than check the boxes on that you really had?

Ryan Herd:                    24:36                So we entered what’s called the Showstoppers and we first were named prior of CES, we were named one of the top 10 hottest startup at CES.

Debi Lynes:                   24:49                Which is how I heard about you.

Ryan Herd:                    24:52                Oh really?

Debi Lynes:                   24:52                Yes! That’s how I heard about you. I was just doing a little research and I was like… him.

Ryan Herd:                    24:57                I got to talk to this one.

Debi Lynes:                   24:58                And you know.

Ryan Herd:                    24:58                And we went from there and then we had to give another pitch. All 10 companies do. And I got to tell you, there was some stiff competition. There was a great company that was bringing robots. There was another company that was talking about water usage. And it was actually fascinating where it would go on the head in the shower and literally when you turn on, the water would go on. But if it didn’t sense anybody underneath it, it would go on like 50%. And then when you were under it or going, it was amazing. Another company that was doing retrofittable smart dials for stove, you know how all of our stoves are dumb. Or you can put this smart knob on and then through an app you can tell if it’s on, if it’s off all these things. So I, while I had competition, but at the end of the day, as luck would have it, we did incredible and we ended up winning. So we are named the hottest startup at CES. And then on top of that, the next morning we found out that we’ve won Techlicious Top Pick at CES. So we won back to back number ones, which were absolutely fabulous. They really.

Debi Lynes:                   26:08                Alright, so here’s the real question now what?

Ryan Herd:                    26:12                Now what? Well, we are in the background talking with a lot of the nationwide retailers. We are also thinking about moving into other countries because what we found out, we really knew this, but.

Debi Lynes:                   26:26                It’s ubiquitous.

Ryan Herd:                    26:28                Yeah. You know, with a product like this, the reality is I don’t care. I don’t care what your race, religion, creed for you live. Everybody has somebody that they love and care about and they want to make sure that they’re okay. And we’re talking about the US we’ve, we’ve actually got about a hundred million people that are 65 and older and 10,000 people a day turn 65. Now when you look at worldwide population, Japan actually has the most amount of old people with the least amount of young people taking care of them. So that’s a huge problem in Japan. Yeah. So it is amazing. So you’re going to see some amazing things from us. You know, it’s our destiny to fix this problem and really I want to, I want to reduce as much stress as I can because I am going through this. I get it. I know what it’s like and we just want to help people out.

Debi Lynes:                   27:21                It’s a very practical approach. I think that’s what is intriguing to me is that you’ve really taken, again, the universal design principles of that is a pretty simple application when you think about it, but it really covers so many aspects of safety in the home. Are there specific places that you put these sensors?

Ryan Herd:                    27:47                So we do have videos that teach you how to do it and basically it’s…

Debi Lynes:                   27:50                Are there Youtube videos?

Ryan Herd:                    27:50                Of course, peel and stick them on the wall. You know, we want to respect our loved ones, architectural details, so we want it to be as non-intrusive as possible. With that said, don’t put it behind a door, behind a plant. We can help you with that.

Debi Lynes:                   28:09                Okay. You do that. I was going to say, how does one get this product or is it available and if not, when will it be available?

Ryan Herd:                    28:17                So this is our third generation product.

Debi Lynes:                   28:19                Oh, is it really.

Ryan Herd:                    28:19                It’s going to be coming out the second quarter of this year. It’s the most cost-effective. It’s the smallest. Again, these are tiny, non-intrusive sensors. They’re about the size of a quarter.

Debi Lynes:                   28:32                How do they mount?

Ryan Herd:                    28:34                Peel and stick, You literally peel the back and stick it on the wall. So it’s nice and simple. Now if it seems like it’s too complicated, we’re in the middle of forming a partnership with a nationwide installation company. So this way we’d be able to take care of you. So again, we have some amazing things coming out in the next quarter. So stay tuned.

Debi Lynes:                   28:54                Did you have any idea when you first started and went to school that this would be the direction that you would take when you were a kid? Now are your three boys pretty techie too?

Ryan Herd:                    29:05                They’re techie because dad’s a techie, but a funny story a side note is I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My mother is a entrepreneur, my uncles are entrepreneurs. And when I got out of high school, I actually went to culinary arts school. So I got a degree as a chef.

Debi Lynes:                   29:21                You’re a chef? Of course you are.

Ryan Herd:                    29:22                I left that and I started an electronics company in 1989 so that was…

Debi Lynes:                   29:29                Tell me about reinventing. Oh, I absolutely love this. There you go. Well, I tell you what. I’ve got a little homework to do now. I’m going to go read up a little bit more about the smart guy and I really appreciate you taking time today and is there anything that you can say is on the horizon, a little teaser that we could look forward to soon?

Ryan Herd:                    29:52                So for Caregiver Smart Solutions, we are trying to answer that fundamental question which is how are they doing. And at the end of the day it’s the little things that are important. Is the, is your loved one moving around? Is she opening up the fridge? Is she doing all those things as well as so much more now on the horizon you’re going to see some amazing stuff with us. We are going to be partnering with some of the best companies that are out there. You’re going to see us expand as far as the granularity and the more information that you can get because our goal is to really get into your loved one’s house as early as possible. So this way we can fix as many things as possible as they age and as they age. Really give them the ability and give you the ability to help them out and keep their independence for literally as long as we possibly can.

Debi Lynes:                   30:42                You are absolutely amazing. We want to thank you. We want to thank all of you for joining us. I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious and always creative and when we were doing the Aging in Place Podcast, she said there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew she’s going to be with us every week, giving us a quick tip and to hint that is a practical application.

Tracy Snelling:              31:16                Thanks Debi. This shot is for you. I only take five pills a day, so I really don’t need a pillbox every morning. I place my five pills in three cute little shot glasses, one for morning, one for afternoon and one for bedtime. At a glance, I can see [via sensors] if I’ve taken my medications. Of course, keeping them out of the reach of little ones is safety, but since I live alone, I placed mine next to my coffee pot and as I do take my medications, I turn the shot glass upside down. The plastic shot cups makes it handy if you’re a caregiver to remember how the nurses pass medications out in the hospital. It makes it so much easier for the elderly to take their meds out of a cup. Then just placing them in their hands. Who knew those glasses have more than one use?

Debi Lynes:                   32:07                It’s pretty amazing to see the direction we’re going for aging in place. My takeaway for today is pretty simple. It’s all about sensors. Just remember that it’s all about sensors. Again, we want to thank all of you for joining us here on aging in place. Have a great week and thank you, Ryan Herd.

Henrik de Gyor:             32:31                Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to debi@aginginplacepodcast.com. We would love to hear from you. If you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us at PR@aginginplacepodcast.com. Thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.

7. Betsy Miller

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Betsy Miller of Billy Wood about appliances for any stage in life

(Duration: 32 minutes 32 seconds)


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GE Appliances

La Cornue







Induction cooktops are also a very cost-effective option


Lynes on Design


Debi Lynes:                   00:03                Hi and welcome to aging in place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at aging in place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces in health and wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now? Because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully and we want our families around us as much as we can. And why you the audience? Because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that’s safe, aesthetically pleasing and that you can live in at any age with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   01:05                Hi and welcome to Aging in Place Podcast at any stage in life. We’re so excited to have you today and we have is our guest, Betsy Miller. She and I have been friends for a lot of years and she’s taught me many things at many stages in life, if I can say that about appliances. You are with and own Billy Wood appliance for how many years?

Betsy Miller:                 01:28                21.

Debi Lynes:                   01:31                And right, 21 years. And I remember coming in as a new mom asking for all kinds of advice and now as an aging adult, I have lots of questions also. So I’m really grateful that you’re here today and I think it’s going to be a fun and information-packed podcast. So yes, that’s right. Yes. Let’s get started first a little bit about you.

Betsy Miller:                 01:54                My name is Betsy Miller and I have been selling appliances since 1998. My family owned our business and I have been involved from every avenue of the appliance sales and marketing since the beginning.

Debi Lynes:                   02:10                What’s really interesting to me is when I bring a client into Betsy, basically I walk in and then go get a Diet Coke and the rest of the time she is guiding, the client about all the different options and appliances. And you may think it’s a pretty simple thing to do to pick an appliance, but it’s really, it’s an expensive item. It’s something you’re going to have for a long, long time and you want to make sure that the items that you pick suit you and your lifestyle.

Betsy Miller:                 02:39                Definitely.

Debi Lynes:                   02:39                So what I thought we might do is kind of compare different stages in life and talk a little bit about appliances in general. Let’s go ahead and walk through the places in the house where you need appliances. I think people automatically think of the kitchen, but there it’s much more extensive.

Betsy Miller:                 02:54                Kitchen is going to always be the biggest that we deal with. But laundry and again you can talk about different stages of your life on how laundry your needs will change.

Debi Lynes:                   03:05                Exactly.

Betsy Miller:                 03:06                We don’t here because of our climate, we do a lot of outdoor equipment, which is fun. And the other thing that we’ve seen a big surge in is certain different areas of houses, guest houses that kitchens.

Debi Lynes:                   03:22                What I think about when I think of appliances now too, and you and I talk about this all the time, back when we first started, you didn’t really have coffee areas and, and coffee machines that you could build and you didn’t, we didn’t have ice machines, we didn’t necessarily, all of us have wine coolers and now that’s pretty much standard equipment.

Betsy Miller:                 03:42                You can do so much. The steam oven, the steam convection oven is probably the biggest surge that we’ve seen.

Debi Lynes:                   03:49                What is that?

Betsy Miller:                 03:50                It is typically a builtin piece and it cooks with both steam in thermal heat.

Betsy Miller:                 03:56                And the whole idea being is whatever you’re cooking, it doesn’t dry out. You can also use it instead of a microwave for defrosting and for reheating, which is a lot of people are trying to get away from microwave cooking. What you’ve heard about the different plastics and everything. So, we have done a lot with the convection steam oven sales, which is pretty wonderful.

Debi Lynes:                   04:17                Take two when I talk about is how, how to choose when you, when someone comes in and they’re, they’re really clueless.

Betsy Miller:                 04:24                Okay.

Debi Lynes:                   04:25                How do you begin or what kind of questions do you ask a potential client about what they need and their lifestyle?

Betsy Miller:                 04:34                One of the first questions is, is always going to be budgets because everyone has a budget and some people have a very high budget and some people have a very low budget, but most people have in mind what they want to spend.

Betsy Miller:                 04:47                The other thing is everyone kind of has an inventory list of what they want and a lot of what we do is new construction. So the inventory has kind of been addressed by the time they get to me. But that’s what you’re talking about. There’s a lot of new products that I can introduce people to, but the ice machines, warming drawers, wine coolers, that sort of stuff I think are, people are aware that they exist and they will put them in their plans. And of course, the things that aren’t quite as common, like the combi steam ovens and the coffee makers. And even for some people, it’s the warming drawers and all the different refrigeration options. We can introduce them to what’s available and ah.

Debi Lynes:                   05:27                Go from there.

Betsy Miller:                 05:29                Yup.

Debi Lynes:                   05:29                All right, let’s start at the very beginning. We’re walking in, we’re sitting down, I’ve got some plans and we’re in the kitchen.

Debi Lynes:                   05:35                Take me through the different kinds of appliances and please we would not, we would love to note names of appliances and doing some research for this. We talked a lot. I researched GE and looked at their universally designed products and ADA products and I think because we’re talking about aging in place at any stage in life, I have a 91-year-old dad and a one-year-old granddaughter and a lot in between. So I’m always looking for what we call and we’re all kind of, we know this word by now, visibility so that anyone can come into my house and it’s pretty safe. So that’s always a concern. When I think of appliances specifically. So we’re walking into a house, we’ve got the house plans in front of us. We’re going first to where, where are you going to take me?

Betsy Miller:                 06:18                Usually cooking.

Debi Lynes:                   06:20                Okay.

Betsy Miller:                 06:20                As far as where it’s going to anchor the kitchen. Okay. And then after that, I go to refrigeration because of sizes and certain houses will have more standardized sizes and pieces than others. We do a lot of custom houses around here. So refrigeration, one of the big words that you’re going to hear as columns, you buy your refrigerator and then you buy your freezer separate and they can go together, they can go apart, one can go on one side of the kitchen, one can go on another. Refrigeration drawers are a big thing and it again, I think it just gets down to the actual end-users and what works best for them in the footprint that they’ve got. And w we have a lot of empty nesters around here and so we do 95% of the time you’ll be talking to a family that has two people under the roof.

Betsy Miller:                 07:15                And, but not always, because we also have people like you who have big families and a lot of people come and visit. And I know, I know you’re going to have a huge household for Christmas.

Debi Lynes:                   07:26                Exactly my son has four little ones and it’s just getting ready to redo a kitchen too. So appliances are on his mind too. Let’s go, we, we’ve talked about, I know I want to go into the cook-top and the cooking, but we started with refrigeration, so let’s talk a little bit about why columns, what kind of refrigerators, what would be easy to access, what would be convenient and kind of go from there. Let’s talk a little bit about that standard refrigerator.

Betsy Miller:                 07:55                A standard refrigerator is going to be a little bit easier because you’re typically talking about 36 inches wide by 70 inches tall. French doors are by far the most popular that’s on the market with the two refrigerator drawers up top in the freezer below.

Betsy Miller:                 08:10                It’s just kind of trendy right now with, yeah, depending on aging people though, a lot of times the side by side will work better because you can put what you’re using frequently at eye level for both sides, both the freezer and the refrigerator. If you can customize your options a little bit more and that’s what we’re seeing more of. The columns will run in different widths and you can choose your refrigeration side and you can choose your freezer side.

Debi Lynes:                   08:39                I’m not sure, and I don’t mean to interrupt you, I don’t mean what does a column actually mean. What does it, what does, I know we can’t see because it’s a podcast we can only hear but, but talk to me about what a column would actually do.

Betsy Miller:                 08:50                The idea being is that you buy a refrigeration column and they’re typically 80 inches tall, so it’s a full height.

Betsy Miller:                 08:58                Some of them are 84, but they vary in width anywhere from 18, 24, 30 36 and they go up in six-inch increments, which is what you typically see with cabinets are going in three-inch increments. But you choose what suits your needs. I talked to someone this week, it was a single woman in her fifties and she used more freezer space than refrigeration space just because she works in troubles for work. And that’s what Sumo her.

Debi Lynes:                   09:26                Convenient.

Betsy Miller:                 09:27                The next group I’ll talk to is someone that again empty nesters retirees that they use the refrigerator more frequently because they have the time to cook fresh and go to the grocery stores. And with buying the pieces separately, you get to choose what suits your needs.

Debi Lynes:                   09:44                Are you still looking at pieces that have ice and water? Are those sort of passing?

Betsy Miller:                 09:54                It’s a nice convenience, but when we get into those customization options, you usually don’t see them.

Debi Lynes:                   10:01                Okay.

Betsy Miller:                 10:01                In those situations, we have a lot of ice machines that we sell and it’ll give you a gourmet cube. So if clients are buying an ice machine, we typically wouldn’t do a dispenser in addition to that. Okay, And then we also see whole house filtration, so they don’t necessarily need the cold filtered water as part of the refrigeration.

Debi Lynes:                   10:21                Oh my God, I never thought about the filter. We’re going to take a real quick break.

Betsy Miller:                 10:25                Okay.

Debi Lynes:                   10:25                We’re going to come back and I really, I want to talk to you about what you’ve been teaching us about how companies actually designing for different stages in life. It’s kind of cool.

Betsy Miller:                 10:34                Yes, very cool.

Debi Lynes:                   10:34                Stay at this. We’ll be right back here on aging in place.

Henrik de Gyor:             10:38                For more podcast episodes, links, information, and media inquiries, please visit our website at aging in place, podcast.com as we transition through life with the comfort and ease you deserve, discover how you can create a home that will adapt to you as you journey through life and the changes it will bring. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as our host Debi Lynes and her expert guests discuss relevant topics to creating a home for all decades in life. Don’t miss our weekly episodes of Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   11:16                We are back here on aging in place. My friend Betsy Miller is joining us and we’re talking about everything kitchen right now. you really had, when we came in and we chatted before about what we were going to do here on the podcast today, you had the coolest things ever and I think when you wonder what it’s like to be a kid again, what, when you wonder what it’s like to be an aging adult. You were talking about the engineers and the design of kitchen products and it was really fascinating.

Betsy Miller:                 11:43                When I was preparing to come here this morning, I looked up on appliances and aging in place and knowing that was your topic and I just Googled it and found one of the links they had sent me to was GE had a segment, it was on some news station, but what they were doing is they had taken their youngest engineers and made them feel old.

Betsy Miller:                 12:07                They had used tape to tape their joints tight, they’d put gloves on top of them, they were wearing glasses that were made everything, I guess foggy, sure. And earplugs. And then they had them go into their test kitchens and try to use everything and see what was tougher, what was easier. And you could see all these young 20 something engineers and they were tracking down about six inches off the cooktop, trying to turn on the controls. And that, the whole 10 episode was to show every, these younger kids to make them more compassionate towards the clients that they’re selling their stuff to. And I thought that was really cool. I was reading a little bit more in one of the things that they were really trying to do was make it easier for baby boomers because that’s such a big part of the population right now and a big thing other than when we were talking about ADA appliances and unique things like side swing doors and dishwasher drawers, what they were doing was adjusting the fonts to either be brighter or larger ovens and on display panels and then being able to adjust the brightness is well so they were easier to see and I actually see that when new product comes out.

Betsy Miller:                 13:30                A lot of our demographic, again is a lot of that baby boomer generation and some of the fonts will come out and are very, very gray and we get complaints that people can’t see because there’s no contrast.

Debi Lynes:                   13:44                It’s funny, I hear that all the time. Even on appliances, washer and dryers, I hear people tell me all the time that are typically a bit older. They’re like, I don’t want 4,000 buttons. I want something that’s fairly streamlined and easy to navigate and intuitively user-friendly. Do you get that a lot with people?

Betsy Miller:                 14:06                Is sometimes we are definitely in an age of home connect though for everything.

Debi Lynes:                   14:11                That’s fair.

Betsy Miller:                 14:11                And, the manufacturers would be behind their competition if they didn’t have that available. So it’s, it’s kind of a tight rope to walk for the manufacturers to decide whether they want to be super user-friendly or if they want to be up to date with everything else that’s on the market.

Debi Lynes:                   14:29                Talk to me specifically about some vendors and things that they’ve done. I know you were talking about aside open. oven.

Betsy Miller:                 14:35                Oven. Yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   14:37                That some of the vendors in cool things that are trending right now.

Betsy Miller:                 14:40                So side-swing ovens are designed to have the dork works just like a regular door does walking into a room. There’s also a French door ovens instead of being dropped down ovens and when people either if you’re shorter, if you’re incapacitated, if you’re in a wheelchair, those are options to get in and out of an oven comfortably without having to have someone help you. And that is a big thing is looking for independence inside the house in and products that can help you keep your independence.

Debi Lynes:                   15:16                You were talking about drawers. Tell me about refrigeration drawers right now.

Betsy Miller:                 15:22                Well, and there’s drawers for everything. There’s drawers for microwaves that are designed to go under counter. A lot of people feel that they’re safer because you don’t have to pull something hot down, pulling it up.

Debi Lynes:                   15:33                Yes yeah.

Betsy Miller:                 15:33                That make sense and then refrigeration drawers are another thing because you don’t have to get down on your hands and knees to get into an under-counter refrigerator to see like where your water or where your diet Coke is. Dishwasher drawers, same idea. You’re bringing the height of the dishwasher up. I just had a client today that she had a traditional dishwasher, but it was raised, my guess is 18 inches off the floor. So when she opened the door, the door was 18 inches higher than it would be on a standard dishwasher. Oh, that’s very cool. Yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   16:03                Actually that, you know, I’m only 66, but I can tell you that I’m paying attention to those things for two reasons, for three reasons. One because it’s my profession two because I’m old enough now to feel it when I’m bending over. And three because we’re doing the podcast and it’s funny, you don’t know what you don’t know and once you start learning about things, it’s.

Betsy Miller:                 16:22                In four because I told you the statistic about the number one cause of death over 65.

Debi Lynes:                   16:28                Yeah tell everybody.

Betsy Miller:                 16:28                Falling. Another thing that I came across is that the number one cause of death for our population over the age of 65 is something related to falling. And we were talking about that it could be a hip.

Debi Lynes:                   16:42                Yes.

Betsy Miller:                 16:42                It could be complications of falling, but that I was really surprised to see.

Debi Lynes:                   16:49                And I know bathrooms and catch-ups are the two places. Well bathroom, I think it’s bathrooms, number one, kitchen number two and then entering or exiting.

Betsy Miller:                 16:56                And this is not my expertise but that’s, they were recommending different types of flooring that were more non-skid. Laminate came into it. Wood came into it. Cork was one of the options that they had mentioned.

Debi Lynes:                   17:10                Well just for the general population and many of us. What are some funky fun things that you are seeing trending right now? What about color? Are you seeing stainless? Are you staying back to white? Are you saying…

Betsy Miller:                 17:21                Color is the new not stainless? It’s kind of a way to say it is.

Debi Lynes:                   17:28                I like it.

Betsy Miller:                 17:29                Color is the new not stainless and actually we just got, we just got a e-blast today is Viking has come out with an a new color palette. LA Cornue is a French range that has a lot of different options for color and what you’re hearing is someone will come in and a lot of times they don’t cook but they are looking for a statement.

Debi Lynes:                   17:50                For display.

Betsy Miller:                 17:50                They’re looking for a statement piece and the colors are not stainless and that’s kind of the idea behind them. A blue star is a company that will customize any range to any color on real color wheel. What else? GE Cafe just came out with a one that’s matte white and matte black. And again, you can customize it with bronze and copper and pewter twin trims. So that, that’s kind of cutting edge. That’s bringing down the price point on. some of the customization options.

Debi Lynes:                   18:23                Talk to me about dishwashers. I know they sound so boring, but it’s so funny. I know you’re like, it’s a big deal to you too. I know that whenever I bring clients and she’s like, all right, here’s the deal. Do you want ease? Do you want efficiency? Do you want quiet?

Betsy Miller:                 18:36                While the one thing with dishwashers now is they all do a good job. They all clean well, they are all pretty quiet. It just depends on what features that you want and what you’re putting in your dishwasher. But dishwashers are pretty easy and that when you’re talking about placement for things, it’s kind of like when we’re doing our inventory on everything, we go through all the parts and pieces that the sizing can be affected. And then it’s like, okay, how many dishwashers do you want? and.

Debi Lynes:                   19:01                Whoa. How many dishwashers?

Betsy Miller:                 19:01                And we’re, I we’re seeing two in the kitchen, one in the back kitchen, and they don’t take up a lot of space, so that is a thing that is an easy add on for a lot of people to make their lives easier when they have however many people you’re going to have for Christmas.

Debi Lynes:                   19:19                What can I to say. When my with my kids who have four kids, I don’t think I would ever put a dish away. I just have, I had to go.

Betsy Miller:                 19:24                Right to left.

Debi Lynes:                   19:25                That’s right.

Betsy Miller:                 19:25                Go right to left. That’s exactly right.

Debi Lynes:                   19:27                It makes so much sense. We’re almost out of time in this second segment, we have a third segment. I know. Can you believe it? How fun is this? We’ll be right back. Here on aging in place talking about appliances. Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes. Design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what lines on design can do for you for more information, certified aging in place and facilitative and supportive design. Look for us at lynesondesign.com that’s L-Y-N-E-S on design.com. Once again, we are back on aging in place. Again, I’m with Betsy Miller and we’re talking about appliances and I’m laughing because we all have so many opinions about what we want to talk about and it’s so many things, so little time. So I think we’re going to focus on this segment. We’ve got to have your back on safety, safety, safety when it comes to appliances.

Betsy Miller:                 20:21                Yes. What we started our conversation with was induction cooking and induction cooking was popular years ago. It’s been popular in Europe for years, but it fell of the fashion in the U S kind of when that timeline came through that everything was nonstick because the pans didn’t work.

Debi Lynes:                   20:41                Got it.

Betsy Miller:                 20:42                Cook-top, it needs to be some kind of clad bottom that will hold a magnet. So it works is the conductor for the cooking. The idea with induction is the cook-top itself doesn’t get hot. There is a heat molecule that bounces inside the pan which creates your heat. And I have induction at home. I have a 10-year-old daughter. When I moved into this house, she likes to cook a lot and I moved into this house. I was planning on replacing the cooking that was there and I was coming from gas. So my natural inclination was to go to gas.

Debi Lynes:                   21:16                Right.

Betsy Miller:                 21:17                She’s got this beautiful long blonde hair and I was very concerned about her safety or my stress level when she was because of her safety. And we put in induction and it’s it’s terrific. I put down paper towel a bunch of times, like if we’re frying…pan frying, anything.

Debi Lynes:                   21:34                Sure.

Betsy Miller:                 21:34                Just to make it easier to keep clean. If you’ve got old cast iron pans like lodge pans or locker, say you can put down one of those silicone baking mats and you can cook right on top of them. So it doesn’t scratch the cook-top, but you don’t have any loss and heat. What we were talking about is, for example, you have your dad living.

Debi Lynes:                   21:55                Yes exactly.

Betsy Miller:                 21:55                And a lot of people are caring for their parents.

Debi Lynes:                   22:01                Sure.

Betsy Miller:                 22:03                And so when I talk about my daughter and kids, and that’s a lot of times we’ll see newer grandparents come in and they’re worried about gas in kids, but I hear just as frequently parents yup in the house and either not being safe enough to turn something off, not being safe enough to turn something on.

Debi Lynes:                   22:23                Correct.

Betsy Miller:                 22:24                And that is induction is such a nice safe way. I use the example that you could put a pizza box on the top of it and right after you took off boiling water in the pizza box, nothing is going to happen to it. So you just don’t have to be concerned about anyone getting burned on the cook-top. It still gets hot if you have a boiling pan on it because your pan has boiling water in it and the pan is hot. But the, the safety factor is so nice before talking about both sides of caring for a one year old and caring for it, a 91 year old.

Debi Lynes:                   23:00                Well, and I used to think that you couldn’t use induction if your parents or whoever had any kind of pacemaker. And that’s a myth. All We are here to debunk.

Betsy Miller:                 23:08                Yes. Yeah, that’s false that anyone can use an induction cook-top. There’s no safety concerns. I’ve had people ask me about high blood pressure as well and it doesn’t affect it at all.

Debi Lynes:                   23:19                Talk to me about washers and dryers. That was one other thing we really wanted to touch on, especially for younger, older folks.

Betsy Miller:                 23:25                So we sell a lot of front-load washers and dryers in that’s actually my personal favorite. I feel that for my family it gets our clothes the cleanest, less wear and tear. I haven’t taken anything to the dry cleaner in probably 20 years because.

Debi Lynes:                   23:41                What the good front load?

Betsy Miller:                 23:43                Oh gosh.

Debi Lynes:                   23:43                What’s the brand?

Betsy Miller:                 23:44                This is w we GE is excellent. Maytag, Excellent Whirlpool, Great. You would like it because GE just this week we saw that they’ve got a color called Midnight Navy.

Debi Lynes:                   23:58                Love it.

Betsy Miller:                 23:58                And it’s beautiful and that w that’s why we pick out a lot of things, but I think a front load washer is always going to clean better and be better on your clothes. However, if it is on ground-level, it’s pretty tough to get in there. I used to have an LG that was sitting on the ground. I recently remodeled my laundry room and lifted on my OB, but I had an LG washer and dryer and I could pic, I can just picture myself sitting in my laundry room, criss-cross Apple sauce, pairing socks straight out of the dryer or folding thing straight out of the dryer because it was tough to unload the dryer and your hinge at the hip, which would you know is.

Debi Lynes:                   24:43                Yeah they are not great all the time.

Betsy Miller:                 24:43                Ergonomically cracked.

Debi Lynes:                   24:45                Right.

Betsy Miller:                 24:45                And so most of the vendors will have pedestals available, is not option, which will raise the washer 15 inches off the ground. The Heights typically vary from 38 to about 40 inches tall. And so you’re getting them up to, you know, 53 to 55 inches tall and it’s much easier to use.

Debi Lynes:                   25:04                Can people put the opening on either side, brand-specific.

Betsy Miller:                 25:10                Okay. Typically you’re going to see a washer on the left in a dryer on the right. Some will have hinge reversible options, but that’s going to really be brand specific. We’re seeing a resurgent in the top load washers and dryers from people that feel that front load washers are stinky. And that one thing that I bring up is everyone wants bigger and better washers and dryers, but they get really deep and we always have to be conscientious of people’s height in who’s doing what in the house.

Debi Lynes:                   25:44                I do love my speed queen, but when I bend over to get things, I feel like my legs are dangling out of it in.

Betsy Miller:                 25:51                That’s really not that tall.

Debi Lynes:                   25:53                Yeah that is, but it’s deep man. It, you can put a lot of stuff in small children. You can watch a lot of things in there.

Betsy Miller:                 26:01                And dirty clothes. It gets them cleaned because it’s one of the few that’s not a water saver. And I know that’s not very PC in certain areas, but if you ever check out the reviews, people love it because it really gets your clothes clean.

Debi Lynes:                   26:14                Yeah, What about the stackables? Are you seeing that for older adults, space savers?

Betsy Miller:                 26:20                I don’t think that it’s quite as good for older adults. I think that the stackables are design driven by the designers to give clients more counter space to make it look less bulky in a laundry room. You’re not,  I have mine stacked though, but that was because it was the only way it was going to work. So it again, it design-driven, it’s not my first choice but it, it’s there. Now.

Debi Lynes:                   26:47                If we’ve only got a couple of minutes, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask this, if you were to splurge for a couple of really amazing appliances, what would those be?

Betsy Miller:                 26:59                Definitely a Subzero 648 Pro. It’s that cool refrigerator that has the glass door and it’s all stainless inside and out. It’s what they have on their ads. Definitely. That would be.

Debi Lynes:                   27:13                That would be like a steam oven. I would go with a Miele convection steam oven. That would definitely be a piece that would go into my dream kitchen.

Debi Lynes:                   27:23                This is fun right.

Betsy Miller:                 27:26                I know.

Debi Lynes:                   27:27                No coffee bar?

Betsy Miller:                 27:29                I don’t know. There’s a certain amount of maintenance involved with them. Oh, And that’s the same, I have the same opinion of an ice machine, although the ice is really great. I like things that are a little bit easier. So the more maintenance the lower on my list. They go in my dream kitchen. Do I have a full-time housekeeper too.

Debi Lynes:                   27:54                Oh Yes, you do. Okay.

Betsy Miller:                 27:55                Okay. I’ll get a coffee maker and I’ll get an ice machine.

Debi Lynes:                   27:59                Exactly I’d like to own both of them. Do you want a wine cooler too, while we’re adding?

Betsy Miller:                 28:03                Sure. It’s a dream kitchen. Why not?

Debi Lynes:                   28:08                Exactly. And what kind of range would you, Oh, would you like, this is fun now I’m writing all these down, right? Pry pregnant.

Betsy Miller:                 28:19                Pause here, and imagine the hardest thing for me because I actually cook and as much as I like the beautiful arranges, I think I would go with a Wolf pro range because in dual-fuel and probably 48 inches because I like the little oven and a big oven and it would ultimately suit me the best. Not the sexiest though.

Debi Lynes:                   28:47                Okay. Last but not least, warming drawers. I have found that with my dad here and with my grandkids here. Warming drawer. Love me a warming drawer.

Betsy Miller:                 29:02                Placement placement, placement help out. At times people will put them underneath in oven. If it’s on the ground like that, you’re never going to use it. If it is right underneath the countertop, you will use it all the time because you will think to turn it on and it will be convenient to get things in and out. And that is, I have had them in two houses and one was underneath the oven. We never used it. The one was actually above the counter, like just on top of the counter with a microwave on top of it. We probably turned it on four times a week.

Debi Lynes:                   29:36                Oh, that’s amazing. Betsy, you are always fun to talk to. You know your stuff, and I’m going to write all this down for my dream kitchen. I mean, you never know. We don’t know what we don’t know. Thank you for joining us. We want to thank all of you for joining us here on aging in place for any stage in life. Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes and thank you for listening to aging in place for any stage in life. We would like to ask you all to give us a review. Of course, preferably five stars. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed aging in place for any stage in life. I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious and always creative and when we were doing the Aging in Place Podcast, she said, there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew she’s going to be with us every week, giving us a quick tip and to hint that is a practical application.

Tracy Snelling:              30:39                Thanks Debi. Don’t laugh until you try it. We have spotlights, nightlights and flashlights, but what about a tool at light? These John handy lights are a must. If someone in your household suffers from nocturia or even youngsters who just can’t reach the light switch. I bought a model and I tested it for only $7 at my local retail store. The models I saw online started at $5 up to $30 the motto I tested was motion-activated and as soon as I stepped inside the bathroom, it lit the bowl. You attach it over the rim with pliable arms and it runs on three AAA batteries. Also, it’s easy to clean. I find the nicest thing about the toilet light is that it’s not a dazzling bright light, which means I can easily close my eyes and head back to bed. Who knew hitting the loo could be pretty with blue.

Debi Lynes:                   31:28                One of the most fun things I do here on Aging in Place Podcast is we do takeaways and that’s something that you can just think about in a concrete way. Today’s takeaway with Betsy Miller was pretty easy for me. The thing that I didn’t talk about on the air and that is really important is induction cooktops are also a very cost-effective option. That’s our takeaway today for aging in place.

Henrik de Gyor:             31:57                Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to debi@aginginplacepodcast.com we would love to hear from you if you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us at PR@aginginplacepodcast.com thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.