Put resting areas throughout your home. At any stage in life, a resting area is a place that has a chair or a bench where someone can just stop, put something down or sit down for a moment. What a simple way for ease of living. The second takeaway is to put together a team proactively. What does that look like? It means have your list of people that help you around the house, at your fingertips, preferably with one call, whether it’s a plumber or an electrician, a caretaker, or next of kin. It’s important to have that list accessible at all times.
When it comes to aging in place at any stage in life, it’s about safety, security, ease of use, comfort, and beauty.
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 and 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. We are so excited to have as our guest today, Wanda Gozdz. Thank you so much for joining us. I’m really excited to talk to you, Wanda. Today you had been a teacher and a mentor to me. And what I’d like to do is ask you a little bit about CAPS certification and what a CAPS designer, architect, occupational therapist, physical therapist does?
Wanda Gozdz: 01:34 Well, a person that’s a certified aging in place specialist really helps people with home modifications. They basically do an assessment to determine is the home adaptable to a person’s need as they change over time and then they provide design solutions and they also implement those design solutions to create an environment that provides ease of use, comfort, safety and beauty.
Debi Lynes: 02:03 Things that you and I talked about and that you taught me early on was that when we talk about aging in place is really creating a home for anyone at any age, in any stage of life. And that it doesn’t serve any of us well if we limit what we talk about in certified aging in place, if we just put the seniors as a group. It’s really about anyone. Can you talk a little bit about what CAPS is? You sort of gave us a broad spectrum. Specifically from the course, what are we going to learn?
Wanda Gozdz: 02:39 Well, we’re going to learn specifically that there are three segments of the market. There’s those people that are just aging and they’re perfectly healthy. I’m 70 years old. I’m aging. I have no immediate needs, but my environment is such that should something happen to me in the future, I can adapt, my environment adapts to my need. An example would be, for example, I have arthritis and I have arthritis in my right hand. I broke my hand. So now it’s a little harder for me to open my door knob. So what I did do is I adapted my environment by changing it to a lever handle, which allows me to use my forearm instead of my hand and it provides me still ease of use and I still can get into my home comfortably. So that is what I’m coming to the table to be able to assess that that’s what you need in your home.
Wanda Gozdz: 03:35 So therefore, regardless of who comes to your home, whether it’s your grandma or your children or your grandchildren, they can easily get into your home regardless of their condition, their age, or their ability.
Debi Lynes: 03:50 You know, when I remember sitting in a class and being very familiar with ADA and universal design, but not realizing how all encompassing it is for living any place at any time. Can you talk to me a little bit about universal design?
Wanda Gozdz: 04:07 So universal design is basically the fundamental principles that allow comfort, safety, ease of use, and accessibility regardless of what the person’s ability to do that. An example of that would be, I want something that is assessable to everyone. If I have a 36 inch door, it is assessable, meaning everyone can walk through that door. If I’m walking with a walker, I can get through the door. If I have a scooter, I can get through the door. If I have a stroller, I can get through the door. So it’s equitable and it provides access to everyone. So if I put the door in there, the door is equitable, it’s universal and it’s accessible. Regardless of my ability, my age or what I’m doing, it allows me through the doorway. So that’s a principle. Another principle would be, for example, ease of use or perceptible information. So something that does the task for you. If I have a touch faucet, then that does the task for me. It’s automatically is intuitive and it does the task for me. So whether I do the task or the task is done for me, it allows me to have my way regardless of what my ability is, it allows me to still perform the task of washing my hands.
Wanda Gozdz: 05:27 Perfect example is we all know that we go, Commercially, we go to the bathroom in a public bathroom. When you go to the bathroom, you sit on the toilet, it automatically flushes, you stand up, you go to the faucet, you stick your hands underneath it, the faucet automatically comes on and washes your hands. Then I go to the dryer and it blow dries my hands and it dries it. So that allows me the ability, regardless of who is using it, it’s universal because everyone can use it. But if I have a disability, I still can use that product. Meaning I still can get my hands washed because something is helping me in order to do that. And those kinds of products that are intuitive are going to be the things that are going to allow people to remain in their home.
Wanda Gozdz: 06:16 An example would be the lights automatically come on in my house. That’s a safety and security issue. That’s a universal design feature because that’s intuitive. The lights automatically come on. So regardless if I have macular degeneration or I can’t see or I can’t hear, the task is being basically performed for me. So if we use those principles in designing or creating our environment, that way it doesn’t matter who comes to see me. It doesn’t matter how old they are, it doesn’t matter what their limitations are. They still can be able to be functional and get the job done, which means our activities of daily living, which are going to the bathroom and eating ourselves, those are the activities of daily living. So we want that to be safe, secure, functional, and assessable.
Debi Lynes: 07:11 Do you think, since you’ve started the CAPS course and just known more and more about universal design and accessibility, things have changed? Is the whole industry broadening? And since now there are many of us who are aging, we want to age in place, we and we all have grandchildren. We want our grandkids to be able to come and visit. Have things changed over time?
Wanda Gozdz: 07:37 No. Well, what happens is now we’re designing. The clear distinction is our bodies are changing over time. Are we, is our environment changing? So we have to adapt to our environment so that as we change over time, we can still be able to function in it. So what’s happening? So right now the reason we’re modifying homes is because our bodies are changing. And so we want the environment to be able to do that. So if I’m doing a modification, I’m going to look at those things that allow me to do that. I need to get into the bathroom. So I need a wide enough doorway. The trend right now is for a wet room. We want as much space in the bathroom as possible for accessibility regardless of whether or walking in there, whether we’re on wheelchair, whether we’re in a walker or we’re bringing the dog in for a bath or we’re bringing our grandchild in. We want as much space as possible. So we’re creating a bathroom that has no walls in it. It just has the basic structure and the whole room is assessable to me. So I have a shower head that moves up and down. I have a faucet that I can easily touch and be able to stick my hands under. I have grab bars that give me stability and security while I’m navigating in that shower. So all of that is changing. What is changing and the products, they’re becoming a lot more friendly and a lot more aesthetically pleasing. So what is changing is the products are there and they have been there. We’re moving them from institutional life to what? To aesthetically pleasing because it’s now our home and we want our environment to be beautiful.
Debi Lynes: 09:25 One of the things that you pride yourself on. And one of the things that I think you’re internationally known for is being able to walk into a home and really help people assess ways that they can make their home more visitable, if that’s the right word for that. When you walk through a home, can you give us just an example of you walk in or you drive into the driveway? What kinds of things are you looking for?
Wanda Gozdz: 09:51 We start at the curb. I’m looking for access. I need to be able to get into my home. So it starts at the curb. Egress starts at the curb. I’m looking at what obstacles. How am I getting in? Am I traveling? Am I getting in here through the garage? Am I getting in there from the front stairs. And what are the travel paths? So my travel path is important. Do I have to step up, you know, from the garage into the house. So that is an obstacle. So what do I have to do there? If I am in the house and now I have to walk up a flight of stairs, that is an obstacle because now I have something in my travel path that’s stopping me, so I’m looking at that travel path. Do I have a 42 inch width that allows me a travel pack that allows me? Now since we have an open space plan and most people’s homes are open, we use furniture for that travel path. So do I have enough space between the couch and the counter so that I could pass forward safely?
Wanda Gozdz: 10:52 So that’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking how am I walking through that environment easily with a minimal amount of effort.
Debi Lynes: 11:02 All right. I tell you what, you’re amazing and this is why she’s so fascinating to listen to. She’s such a wealth of information. Wanda, we’re going to take a quick break. We’re going to come right back. I just talk a little about more about aging in place. Stay with us.
Debi Lynes: 11:14 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
Henrik de Gyor: 11:39 Hi, I’m Henrik, the producer of Aging in Place Podcast. If you’d like more information and transcripts of this podcast, visit aginginplacepodcast.com and now back to Debi Lynes with the next segment of Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.
Debi Lynes: 11:59 We are back here on aging in place. We are again here with Wanda Gozdz. Good to see you again. It’s amazing to talk with you. You are such a fountain of knowledge and you make it really user-friendly, which is great for many of us. You know, I’ve got a 91-year-old dad and a two-year-old granddaughter and I think when they can visit the house and everybody’s safe, I feel much more comfortable. You were taking us a walk through a home and really showing us some things that we can pay attention to. The takeaway or what I really heard from you was from the beginning. Okay. When you drive up to a house, that’s where you really start paying attention to aging in place and making your home universally designed.
Wanda Gozdz: 12:45 So what I’m going to say is the other issue is our population is going to be basically the female because we outlive men by 10 years. And so what women want is security and so that starts at the outside of the house to approach you. Somebody comes to my front door. I live in Florida. Code basically requires that our doors open out to deal with the hurricane. So when the door out and someone knocks on my door, I have to step outside and then look behind the door to see who’s there. Well, that’s a security issue and a safety issue. If I live by myself, I want to be able to be safe. I want to know who’s on that other side of the door before I answer the door, not after I opened the door.
Debi Lynes: 13:33 I never thought about that.
Wanda Gozdz: 13:33 Yeah. And that’s a big issue. One, and I do it every day because somebody knocks on my door, I have to step out the door and I have to look behind the door. So to me that’s a safety issue. So what I want to do is what is going to enhance security and safety. For me, a perfectly example Ring phone. Ring phone is the ability to be able to have communication directly through. So I apply it on. If I have an iPhone or a [smart] phone, it’s an application and it’s a product you put outside. You do not have to have an electrical connection. You put it on the outside and it’s a camera. So it has 180-degree view in front of me around my environment. So it looks down my corridor and up my corridor. Ring, R-I-N-G, Ring. I mount it to the outside of my house and there’s a camera inside. And that camera when somebody approaches, it automatically is on and being able to see from a range back here. And the security issue is that you can add a light on top.
Wanda Gozdz: 14:37 So lighting is a security issue. If I have a light above my doorway and someone approaches me. Immediately, I can see who’s coming to my home. Now with Ring phone, somebody knocks on my door. I automatically see them on my phone and I don’t have to open the door because I’m looking in my phone to communicate. “Hi, how are you, Debi?” Oh, you can say, “Oh, I’m, hi Wanda. How are you?” “Oh, hi Debi. Thank you for coming over. Let me open the door for you.” If I don’t know who’s at the door. “I can say, may I help you?”
Debi Lynes: 15:11 Got it.
Wanda Gozdz: 15:11 So I don’t have to open the door in order to see who’s at my door. So that’s a security and safety issue and for under 100 bucks, maybe it costs 100 bucks to get the combination of the phone and the light. Immediately. Safety and security is addressed. And I feel much more comfortable, whether it’s nighttime or daytime, when somebody is at my door. One feature is now if you’re dad… You’re away. I go to my son’s house, he says, “mom, let me know when you come to my house. I’ll open the door” or you can give this feature to someone else and then when, so your dad, if he lived in another house, he can give you access so whoever comes to the door you can see who’s coming to Dad’s door.
Debi Lynes: 15:54 What’s interesting is I was thinking about my daughter who has a two-year-old and is pregnant with another one and I think, I mean we’re saying security, but it’s just convenience too. It would be a wonderful feature for her to be able to know again, if she needed to really come to the door or not.
Wanda Gozdz: 16:10 That’s right. And if she’s in another room feeding the baby, she can keep the phone there and she doesn’t have to get up to go see the door. Somebody’s right there. She’s has the access to it, so convenience, ease of use, comfort and safety are the features. Security and safety is what the Ring phone basically provides. And I recommend that to everyone, especially to women.
Debi Lynes: 16:31 Well, it’s so much fun to talk about product because I think at the end of every one of our podcasts, what we try to do is we do takeaways, practical things that people can actually do when they finish and this is exactly what we’re looking for. I’m surprised when you consider or when you share lighting as an area of safety and security until you mentioned the light at the front door. Are there other things that are safety and security we really wouldn’t think about?
Wanda Gozdz: 16:57 The number one feature for safety is lighting. I say that what we have to do is change our lighting. Lighting provides safety and security. Right now, we grew up on Thomas Edison created the yellow light bulb. It is yellow light. As we age, our eyes turn yellow. So what we need is we need blue light. LED light is the light that we need that provides security and safety. If we increase lighting, automatically we increase security and safety. So where do you need that additional light?
Debi Lynes: 17:30 Right, exactly.
Wanda Gozdz: 17:30 In transition areas and places, so we need direct light for thing. We need task light. So I’m working at the counter. I want that light there and then I need lighting that’s going to provide me the ability to be able to see what I’m doing in that particular task.
Debi Lynes: 17:48 Let me ask you another question about lighting. Oftentimes turning on lamps, turning off lamps. I know for my dad, it’s oftentimes a hassle to move around and turn off all of these individual things. Are there products out there to make that easier also? Yes.
Wanda Gozdz: 18:07 You can have an app from your phone. You got Alexa, you talk to Alexa. Say “Alexa, turn on the lights.” “Alexa, shut off the lights.” “Alexa, tell me what time it is.” So you can use that as a feature or component that helps you with those features.
Debi Lynes: 18:22 So from a certified aging in place point of view, tell me who would actually do that for you? Do you look for people who are certified in that?
Wanda Gozdz: 18:34 You’re gonna look for an interior designer. You’re going to look for a contractor that’s got CAPS certified and you can check National Home Builders Association to their website and to put in CAPS and then you can find the people in your local area that are certified. You need to understand what you really need to have in your home.
Debi Lynes: 18:54 What about things like bars, Counters? How do I determine the height of counters? And how do I, again, be proactive when I’m either renovating my house or building a new house to prepare for aging in place?
Wanda Gozdz: 19:14 Well, you’re going to have to have a professional. Then, you would want an interior designer that understands what the differences and/or you want a contractor that’s CAPS certified because they understand how to be able to determine what kind of counter you need, what’s your reach, how far you can be reach, how far you can lift, so they’re trained in basically doing that.
Debi Lynes: 19:34 You know, when cost is no object, I think, “Oh, I’d like to put an elevator in” or I’d like to do things like that. Are there cost-effective ways to begin to retrofit, if you will, my home or when I’m building, are there ways to just develop a master plan and I can do it over time?
Wanda Gozdz: 19:54 Yeah. And that would be again, meeting with interior designer or CAPS certified professional because they are going to plan that space for you and how to best economize to get all of that. You know, for an elevator, you require certain things, for a lift you require certain things and they’re the experts that know all of the things. So I would probably say they need to do an assessment. So when they do an assessment, that’s where they evaluate what you can do in that space.
Debi Lynes: 20:20 And so that’s what you were basically telling us when we went into the front and then we went in and furniture was something that we talked about travel. What about going into the kitchen? Talk a little bit about the kitchen.
Wanda Gozdz: 20:30 Well, the kitchen is the same way. Activity of daily living. What are you doing in the kitchen? You have to feed yourself, you have to wash the dishes, you have the cook and you have to clean up after yourself. So, you’re looking at the activity that the person is doing and how are they basically doing it and everybody’s different.
Debi Lynes: 20:46 Well, from an accessibility point of view, what are some tips that you could give us about what we need to pay attention to within the kitchen area.
Wanda Gozdz: 20:56 Well when the kitchen, again access cooking, the stovetop, you need to make sure that the stovetop is safe and secure. So the big thing is induction stovetops are really good, worth for aging in place because it runs on magnetic energy so if something is removed, if you cooking in the pot and the water boils out, the stovetop automatically shuts itself off. Take the top pot off and you touch the stovetop. The stovetop is immediately cold. So for aging in place, that’s a perfect stovetop because I already have to lift my stovetop on twice while I was cooking and I’m thinking I could burn down the building.
Debi Lynes: 21:36 I did the same thing. I popped popcorn and walked out of the room. Oops. Yes, very right. Not good.
Wanda Gozdz: 21:43 So you can basically do that. Yes.
Debi Lynes: 21:46 What about if I do have my dad or someone in a wheelchair if a cousin just recently broke her leg and we were trying to figure out how to get her in and sit at, you know, come into the kitchen and sit at the counter…
Wanda Gozdz: 22:00 You’d want a high-level counter. So what she needs is access. So if you had a multilevel counter of two different heights, she can easily come with her chair and sit at the counter. So the design, right now, everybody wants an Island. Everybody wants an Island. That’s the trend. Well, an island you want to put multilevel in it because regardless of whether your granddaughter’s going to come and stand at it or somebody’s going to come in a chair and sit at it in a wheelchair, they’re going to have access to what? To be able to eat at the counter. So that multilevel counter gives you the ability to do that.
Debi Lynes: 22:38 It makes so much sense. What is the difference between a lift and an elevator and if I’m not ready for an elevator or it’s cost-prohibitive right now, is there anything in preplanning that I can do to be able to put an elevator in it at some point?
Wanda Gozdz: 22:52 Well, the issue is that we have a lot of types of elevators. Elevator is known as a pneumatic elevator. It’s a vacuum elevator. So you know like you go to the bank and you put your money in, it goes up the tube that’s called vacuum, that’s called the pneumatic vacuum. So that doesn’t require anything other than plug and play. But you have to have someplace to put it. That would be great in front of a stairwell. If you had a winding stairwell or a loft elevator because it could go from a level to the other. The issue is it only requires electrical outlet. It requires a battery backup and cost you $16,000 $17,000, that’s the fastest one that you can get overnight to your house. If you had an issue. It has some requirements. Some of them are not wheelchair accessible. They’re creating them so they’re wheelchair accessible, but you can get one to another. The elevator is a little bit more complicated because that requires planning and that requires where is the space that you have in order to basically do that.
Debi Lynes: 24:01 So let’s say I’m building a new house and I want to plan for an elevator because I’m going to have little kids and I’m also going to have aging parents. Is there anything I can do to plan for it?
Wanda Gozdz: 24:12 If you’re planning in a new house, you would want to put double stack closets next to the stairwell. Those double-stacked closets are for future shafts that you’re going to put the elevator in. Then you have to really know what kind of elevator you’re going to put in. Do you need an elevator pit? You need to have your electrical. You have to have your battery backup. You have to have your telephone. You have to have your walls reinforced. So there’s certain things that the designer or the builder can help you in that planning. When you can decide what kind of money you want to spend on that elevator and how much is it going to cost you.
Debi Lynes: 24:44 What’s a lift?
Wanda Gozdz: 24:48 A lift is basically the same thing, but it’s used for short distances. It’s shorter. It only takes one person at a time, and it has a limitation of 500 pounds. So it requires a flat surface. So you’ll see lifts basically in older buildings where they had garages and they had transitions. It was only used for one person, but it will fit. It’s used instead of a ramp, a lift can be used in a garage because you can put it where the stoop is and then the person can transfer, but it has limitations. It only holds up the 500 pounds including the equipment and the person. It requires that you have somebody who’s holding a button to move from place to place. But so it’s a mini-elevator, mini-elevator that’s short, but it serves a purpose and it replaces a ramp very, very economically.
Debi Lynes: 25:40 Talk to me a few. I was just going to say talk to me a little bit about ramps if you will. Can anyone build a ramp anywhere at any time? Are there specs or are there things we really have to pay attention to? You talk to me about that.
Wanda Gozdz: 25:55 Well, a ramp has got an issue because the ramp has to comply with local code… Building code. A ramp has to be able to be assessable. It has to be at least 36 inches high. You have to have a travel path and you have to have a surface and you have to show transition, so a lot of people make mistakes on ramps. I would say that you would want to talk to a professional to make sure that you’re compliant when doing a ramp. You can also buy a portable ramp. 101 Mobility is a big manufacturer. They sell portable products. You could buy a portable ramp to use it for a short term basis. That would probably be sometimes more economical than building a ramp. And ramps can also be built. Like I see a ramp down my street that’s on the side of a garage and it goes from the street to the garage so ramp can be very simple. If it’s at the ratio of one to 20, it means it’s pretty flat and pretty slowly sloped, so you don’t have to have rails on the side of it. So those are accessible. So that ramp doesn’t require that it has railing on because it’s sloped gradually. So you’re not going to fall off of anything.
Debi Lynes: 27:08 Wow. There’s just so much know our ramps pretty much standard in most commercial buildings now. Are they required?
Wanda Gozdz: 27:15 Yes. Under American Disabilities Act, any commercial building requires to have a ramp.
Debi Lynes: 27:21 You know, we’re talking about wheelchairs and we’re talking about children and we’re talking about those kinds of disabilities. I’m just now thinking…blind, lack of vision, hearing, some of those senses are there. Is there anything specifically or interesting about aging in place when your site goes? Oh yeah. Well I see that with myself as I get older.
Wanda Gozdz: 27:49 Then we use other tacticals. So if we can’t see, we need to hear. If we can’t hear, we need to see. So we have to use all the other senses. So we bring all the other senses to the table when we’re designing.
Debi Lynes: 28:03 Give me examples of that, of what that would look like.
Wanda Gozdz: 28:07 So if I can’t hear, I need to see. So I would need color contrast, which would help me with what? With the showing where the differential. At the end of the hallway it’s going to say, Oh, something’s happening. If I can’t see, I need audio, so something to tell me. So that could be a command or it could be a tone or it could be a voice coming from an Intercom is the thing that people use. If they can’t hear, they can see. So you can have a camera that’s there and they can visually see who’s on the other side of the door or who’s going through the door. So that would be a way to accommodate them.
Debi Lynes: 28:48 What about color? Do you find that as we get older we need softer color? brighter color?
Wanda Gozdz: 28:54 Color is the biggest thing that we need. Color contrast. As we lose, we lose the ability for depth perception and we need color contrast. So the darker colors are harder for the eye to see. Lighter colors are better, but we need contrast between a surface on the floor or the surface and product. So surface that we need immediately.
Debi Lynes: 29:15 We’ve only got about a minute or so. And you, you pretty much have a mantra about what certified aging in place certification really looks like.
Wanda Gozdz: 29:26 It’s safety, security, ease of use and comfort.
Debi Lynes: 29:32 Safety, security, ease of use and comfort.
Wanda Gozdz: 29:37 And then I add beauty because everyone wants their environment that’s beautiful. That’s the design.
Debi Lynes: 29:42 Safety, security, ease of use and comfort. That makes so much sense. Again, I keep saying it but I can’t say it enough. You’re a wealth of knowledge and I think what we did today on this podcast is really just scratch the surface of what and how I certified aging in place specialist can really enhance your living space and again it’s all about health and wellness. So I am very, very grateful to you and I want to thank all of our listeners too and Wanda, we will definitely have you back here on aging in place.
Wanda Gozdz: 30:22 And if anybody’s interested in classes they can just go to my website, goldenageliving.com and go under course schedule and they can find out where the courses are listed and available.
Debi Lynes: 30:35 You are amazing. Again, thank you so much for joining us.
Debi Lynes: 30:38 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: 31:07 Thanks Debi. Time for 60 second make-over. Thanks to online shopping, you now can do a little makeover for your home with just a couple of clicks. Have that doorway that has a little step up to cross with someone using a walker. Those door jams can be a fall waiting to happen. What to do? A popular online shopping website sells rubber thresholds in many sizes. A rubber threshold will prevent walkers or wheelchairs for hitting that bump in the road. Prices usually start around $30 it’s an easy fix for a big problem. Who knew?
Debi Lynes: 31:42 Wow, Wanda Gozdz, a certified aging in place specialist. She gave us so many takeaways. The entire podcast is a takeaway to tell you the truth because there’s so many practical tips, but here’s the bottom line and the takeaway I hope you all get, and that is when it comes to aging in place at any stage in life, it’s about safety. It’s about security, it’s about ease and it’s about comfort. Thank you all for joining us here on aging in place.
Henrik de Gyor: 32:16 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you. If you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us at email@example.com. Thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.
By nature, anything in the out of doors is therapeutic and is a conduit to health and wellness.
What biophilia means simply is bringing the outside inside.
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 and 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 We are here today on this episode of aging in place at any stage in life with Geoff Roehll from Hitchcock Designs. Geoff, I really appreciate you joining us today. One of the things I feel really strongly about is bringing the out of doors inside and the out of doors as a source of health and wellness. What I would love to do, Geoff, is talk a little bit to you about what you do about the importance of landscape design and landscape architecture really in the whole scheme of living. And then we’ll kind of get to more specifics.
Geoff Roehll: 01:41 Sure. As a landscape architect for the past 30 years, I’ve kind of focused my career on exactly that type of environment where the outdoor environment can provide an opportunity for folks and the markets that I serve are primarily in the senior living arena. So we’re trying to make better places to live and also in the hospital environments where we’re trying to create a place where not only family and staff, but patients can have potentially a better outcome.
Debi Lynes: 02:13 Why is the outdoors so important?
Geoff Roehll: 02:16 You know, it’s interesting, I think intuitively all the way back to Zen gardens and the way that, the Japanese have treated the outdoor environment is, a source of relaxation. Inherently, they felt that they felt better outside. And I think people do that when they walked outside or they walked into a greenhouse, they took a breath of fresh air and they just inherently felt better. There’s a concept called biophilia design or the biophilia hypothesis, which basically says that humans are innately attracted to the natural environment. So they like being surrounded by natural light. They liked being surrounded by winds and other calming elements. They liked being surrounded in nature and flowers and the color and the wildlife. They’re inherently attracted to that. It wasn’t until more recently back in 1985 that there was research done to see if we can prove this hypothesis, that being exposed to the natural environment can be positive.
Geoff Roehll: 03:19 And so one of the things that was done at Texas A&M was the primary research to this, where they monitored and measured people’s recovery rates, when they’re exposed to the natural environment and when they’re not. And they found evidence that the ones that recovered, with a natural view of a natural environment, use less pain medication and they have less post recovery surgery time. So, and this wasn’t designers doing the research, these are researchers doing the research. I’m not a researcher. What we do is we apply the research to the landscape. Since then, several other studies have been conducted and one specifically that was done for senior living communities and it was done at an Alzheimer’s wing and they monitored, about 25 residents over a five year period of time that we’re all suffering from dementia. One of the things that they recorded was the type of medications that they were using, their behaviors, what kind of aggressive behaviors they had, what their blood pressure was, what their indications were, and then how they felt.
Geoff Roehll: 04:31 They monitored those behaviors and medications. One of the things they measured was their weight and weight loss is a key indicator of failing health with dementia. And so, they monitored that over five years and then they restricted and, restricted access to the outdoor environment for certain ones. So some only had as little as five minutes in the garden and others had up to a half hour in the garden. And what they discovered over that five year period when they looked at the behaviors and the physiological attributes, the ones that had a longer period of time in the garden had marked improvement over the ones that didn’t. And so it was the first time that there was really credible evidence that exposure to the natural environment could have a positive influence on whether it’s a residence wellbeing or whether it’s a patient’s outcome.
Debi Lynes: 05:24 So let me ask you this. We’ve kind of generalized that. How do I bring it back to the home environment?
Geoff Roehll: 05:30 It’s one of the things that we promote all the time. We take the same philosophies that we have for a healing garden, whether it be in a senior living environment or a hospital, why not apply that to a college campus and create a respite garden? Where is there more stress? In colleges. You know, why not an office buildings? You know, you used to think about the old atrium gardens that were in older buildings. Why not create a space designated for the users of that office building, that it is a respite and it is a retreat. One of the other elements that we’ve been applying it to in hospitals and senior living environments is for the caretakers. Why not have a garden setting for a caretaker and because talk about stress, it’s the number one element within senior living environments is keeping and retaining key staff people.
Geoff Roehll: 06:30 If you can create an environment that gives them an opportunity where they can get a respite and get away from the stress, that stressful environment that makes their quality of life better as an employee; then we’re doing good as well. We recently completed at a local high school an honor garden that has all of the same elements that we talk about within a healing garden, but within a high school setting. And so now at lunch breaks and in good weather, you’re utilizing that space for socialization for some outdoor classes, art displays. So It is that tie of creating an outdoor environment where you’re attracting people from an institution into an outdoor environment.
Debi Lynes: 07:12 I think it’s really interesting when we start talking about doing things like honor gardens, what did that actually look like physically?
Geoff Roehll: 07:19 Well, it was a space. They had a courtyard. The interesting part of the reason it’s called an honor garden is they had the unfortunate circumstance where they had several students who, while they were students, pass away, whether it be through illness or car wrecks, and some of the parents and families and friends of the students who passed away wanted to create a Memorial on the campus of the high school for those students. And it got to be a little, consuming about where these were going. Does a popular student get a bigger one and a less popular student get not so big of one. So they wanted to bring some kind of political correctness to how they represent, who gets memorialized and not. And so they created, instead a Memorial garden. We were the ones who said, why don’t we honor the life of the student as opposed to memorializing the death.
Geoff Roehll: 08:14 And so we wanted to create an honor and to honor the life of the student who passed. We chose a courtyard space that was defined by the building itself. It happened to be adjacent to the cafeteria. And so it was convenient that the space is probably less than an acre, probably about a quarter of an acre in size. It has a variety of seating areas in it, because one of the elements within the landscape that we like is to provide choices on a day. Like today in Chicago, you wouldn’t want to sit outside, but if it was 70 degrees, you would want to be sitting in the sun. But if it was 90 degrees, you would want to find a shady spot.
Debi Lynes: 08:55 You want for any kind of outside living for there to be choices.
Geoff Roehll: 09:00 Absolutely. Choices are important, whether it’s the physical environment, how the temperature feels, and also socially in some of our healthcare settings we want a doctor and a patient to go outside and they might be in a more private conversation. They want a section within the garden that they can have that private conversation. We also in our senior living environments like to incorporate areas for socialization. So we’ll have areas within that garden that enable and has the flexibility for those chairs and tables and furnishings to offer more of a social representation.
Debi Lynes: 09:41 One of the things we talk about all the time about aging in place is that it really isn’t about getting older. It’s about anyone, at any time, at any stage in life, with any physical ability. I tell you what I think we’d like to do is we’re going to take a quick break. We’ve really given a wonderful overview of what landscape architecture is and what you specifically do and why you’re really qualified and a great candidate to talk to us today about aging in place on the podcast. When we come back. I’d love to talk a little bit about if I live in an apartment, if I live with my grandchildren, if I only have a deck, if I don’t have anything but the inside of a window sill, what are some things that I can do to age in place gracefully? Stay with us. We’ll be right back. Again, we’re with Geoff Roehll, Landscape Architect.
Debi Lynes: 10:33 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 us at lynesondesign.com. That’s L Y N E S on design dot com.
Debi Lynes: 10:58 We are back here on aging in place. We are talking with Geoff Roehll who is a landscape architect and that brings us to some questions. We had been talking really more broad-spectrum about some of the things that you do with healing spaces with senior living facilities and hospitals and really how to generalize that to a population. Whether I have a one-year-old or a 91-year-old, how we pull all of this together. One of the things I really want to talk about is elements of landscaping that can really entice someone and why biophilia is so important. Why landscaping is so important, why bring in the outside in is so important.
Geoff Roehll: 11:41 Yeah, that’s a great question Debi. And I think the idea of engaging the senses is what this is all about. Whenever we create these environments, whether they’re for young kids or for people engaging the senses is what really matters.
Debi Lynes: 11:57 Let me ask you what that really means. Talk to me about what that specifically means and why engaging the senses is so important.
Geoff Roehll: 12:04 Yeah. I’m not sure if we’ve fully understand why it’s important, although we know that the outcomes of people who are engaged with those senses feel better. I’m not sure if anybody really has done the research as to why or what physiological things occur in the brain that makes someone feel better. We know that one of the elements that we like to engage is when somebody goes outdoors, there’s a change in temperature. So there’s a sensory thing that is either positive or negative. It can be really humid and hot out or it could be a little bit more comfortable out, but when somebody might fit that fresh breeze that they were hot inside and they hit that fresh breeze and it did two things, made them feel better physically, but, it was also very calming and soothing. We look at all of the senses. And another one that I just mentioned with the wind is sound.
Geoff Roehll: 13:02 What does that wind and what plants does it hit? It creates that rustling noise that is calming or is it the waves in the background? We all sat on the beach. Why do you feel good when you go to the beach? There’s all these senses that are engaged that are positive. We’re creating these positive distractions. Other senses that we look at are color, sight and whether it’s something that is visually stimulating. When we look at our plant palette we are looking at plants that are complementary to one another. Some might have very coarse textures and some have very fine textures. Sometimes we’ll put a green backdrop with something very vibrant in the foreground to create that sensory contrast combined, with the things that you hear, and the things that you can feel. Then also the things that you can smell.
Geoff Roehll: 14:02 Smell is another sense that we like to entice in the environment that some people find very, very refreshing and some people in certain health conditions can find kind of nauseating. I think smell is an important sense that, gets overlooked sometimes in the garden setting and in particular an area that we pay close attention to the smells are in our cancer gardens. Cancer gardens are designed specifically with the cancer patient front and center because that’s who the ultimate person that we’re designing that space for. You could also design it for staff and families, but when you’re dealing specifically with the cancer patient, because of the type of treatments that they’re going in, they become very photosensitive. So sunlight is a real issue where glare can be very painful. So creating an environment that has the choice of finding deep shade really matters.
Geoff Roehll: 15:03 A lot of times, you’ll see the cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy go in these gardens settings with the dark, heavy sunglasses on. It’s because the glare can be very painful for them. Similarly, the smell. The smell of a fresh lilac in the springtime to you and I in a very healthy condition, maybe is very, very appealing, but somebody going through chemotherapy, it can make them nauseous. And so we have to balance that when we’re thinking about design within a garden setting, what elements are going to make someone feel comfortable? And if you’re healthy, it’s different than if you’re healing. Understanding what those elements are that we’re including in the garden. Plants that don’t have quite as much odor to them as others. There’s specific pallets that we can choose from that those plants are a difference that still offer the color and the other sensory components.
Debi Lynes: 15:58 So we’ve talked about temperature. We’ve talked about wind. We’re talking about all the different senses. Talk to me about natural light, different kinds of light. What about a nature experience or an outdoor experience in the evening as well as in the day?
Geoff Roehll: 16:16 Yeah, I think that’s an important component. You know, especially in Chicago, where I live, where it gets dark and about four o’clock in the afternoon, we just did a cancer garden where the infusion rooms overlook the natural environment and they wanted to do something to make it more attractive at nighttime because some of those patients are coming after work. They’re not getting there until 3:00, 3:30 or 4:00 o’clock. It’s starting to turn dark and the garden is in the dark. So what elements of the landscape that we can add that are sensory, that can be viewed from the indoors out. And that’s where lighting has really become popular. The use of LED lighting technologies that have changing colors. We can introduce those elements within the landscape. And let’s say you have an evergreen backdrop, we can incorporate colored light as part of the sensory experience from somebody in an infusion room is going to get the same benefits that you and I might get in our backyard. Or you know, a children’s environment where you’re trying to create a very playful setting you can do with somebody in an infusion room.
Debi Lynes: 17:30 It’s really interesting to me. One of the things I’m thinking about as we’re talking is how to take some of these things and again, integrate them into just the home environment. And when we’re talking about behavioral health centers, we’re talking about hospitals, we’re talking about, you know, five-year-olds, 30 year olds, 80 year olds. It seems like nature and the natural environment is a great way to connect people. And I often times think, and I think you and I have talked about this before, I love to… I don’t have a lot of time or a lot of space, but I love raising my herbs. I love how they smell. I love how they taste. I love what I can do with them. Do you find that there is a connection between the outdoors, how people relate, how you can sort of bring people together just organically?
Geoff Roehll: 18:16 Well, I think the use of plants is a great therapeutic element. Matter of fact, there’s an entire profession called horticulture therapy where these therapists utilize plants to help heal. At Rogers Memorial hospital, they have a courtyard within an adolescent wing where they’re treating young kids with mental disorders, behavioral disorders, and they’re working with these patients for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. And they use horticulture therapy as one of their treatment protocols in an outdoor setting. So they developed a garden that has a greenhouse component to it and they’re working with kids with plants so they can sew the seeds, they see the certain seed germinate now they have to take care of the plant. So every day they have to go down and water it. So they have a responsibility. They have to then watch it grow and understand the different cycles. It’s going to bloom and then it’s maybe producing fruit. Some of them are producing herbs that they make other elements out of, but it’s an amazing transformation of having a garden setting to do those therapies in. They get much greater benefit and impact when they’re conducting the therapies in that garden setting than when they don’t.
Debi Lynes: 19:37 Yeah. Well, let’s think about this. Let’s think about young children and let’s think about older adults and those in between. I think that the idea of being able to plant a seed, watch it grow, look at the life cycle of it. Talk about giving you a sense of purpose and being needed in a time where it may be tough to find purpose.
Geoff Roehll: 20:00 Absolutely. And then doing that in an outdoor setting where you’re not in an institution where people are telling you what to do, you’re in a natural environment where you’re surrounded by birds chirping and the wind blowing into the evergreen tree and the smell of the evergreen tree. You’re engaging the senses differently. If you’re in your therapist’s office and it smells funny and the door’s locked and you’re confined by four walls, your behaviors are different than if you’re outdoors and you hear a bird chirp, or if there’s a water feature gurgling in the background that makes you calm down. And it’s that calming environment that I think that they’re getting effective treatment from.
Debi Lynes: 20:44 Geoff one of the things I would love to do, we’re to take a quick break, is come back and share a beautiful story that you shared with me about a woman who was moving from her home to an apartment and how you and your group creatively brought the outside in for her and made the transition much easier. Stay with us. We’ll be back on the aging in place podcast.
Henrik de Gyor: 21:08 Hi, I’m Henrik, the producer of aging in place podcast. If you’d like more information and transcripts of this podcast, visit aginginplacepodcast.com . And now back to Debi Lynes with the next segment of aging in place podcast for every stage in life.
Debi Lynes: 21:27 We are back here on the aging in place podcast. We’re here with Geoff Roehll and we’ve been talking about biophilia. We’ve been talking about landscaping. We’ve been talking about using our senses. We’ve been talking about interconnectedness. We’ve been talking about how bringing the outside in can create a feeling of health and wellness. Now I’d like to talk about a story that you told me that just resonated with all of us here in the room. We’d like to share with the audience about a woman that was moving to an apartment from a home she’d lived in all of her life.
Geoff Roehll: 22:01 Right. This was a wonderful opportunity where a lady who was aging in place in her home, her spouse had passed away recently. Her family had moved away and so her kids no longer lived in the area. It was getting unsafe for her and so she needed to find a safer living environment. She chose a facility, that was much like an apartment. It was independent living within a retirement community. However, she was a naturalist. She loved the outdoor environment and she loved her backyard and she had multiple fruit trees in our backyard along with some other terrific vegetation. Well, the sales representatives who sold her the apartment, said that they would love to move her into the new apartment, but they also wanted to see if we could take a look at her fruit trees to see if we could move them as well. Quite honestly, she was worried about what would happen to her fruit trees.
Debi Lynes: 23:01 Oh, I love that. I get that.
Geoff Roehll: 23:04 And so we took the extra step and went to her house. She was in the process of transitioning to the apartment, so she was getting ready to move out and we looked at the plants that she had in her backyard and we agreed that several of the fruit trees could be very easily relocated. And so we decided to move about a half a dozen of these fruit trees. But we asked the sales person where the room was. Fortunately, she had a room on the first floor and we were able to go into her room and look out her window while we have the contractor placed the fruit trees and we put them in an area that when she moved into her room there were her fruit trees, you know, right there that she could continue to nurture and take forward. And that made her transition to this next level of her life, so much easier to accept. She knew that her fruit trees were going to be well taken care of because she could do that.
Debi Lynes: 24:00 Well, talk to me if you will, about people of different disabilities or abilities, if I can use it that way. You know, I’ve oftentimes wondered if you’re in a wheelchair or if I’m not quite as mobile as I was. The thought of bending over to do gardening, even if it’s just a tiny plot is really challenging. Are there sort of tips or rules or techniques that we can use that really make a planting and having a garden more accessible or easier?
Geoff Roehll: 24:32 That’s a great comment because most gardening is done on the ground and it’s difficult for older adults or some people with different levels of ability to reach. And so raising the plants, so they’re the elevation where they need to be is desirable. You can do that in many ways. We’ve designed numerous raised benches that allow for someone in a wheelchair to access the plants, like a kitchen table, but you’ve got to have a location for their feet to go. And that can be expensive. It could be an expensive detail. But what we found really effective that could be done at home, or it could be done in an institution, is the use of round circular planters, freestanding planters, similar to the clay pots. And so by using these clay pots, they might be 24 inches tall and they might be 30 inches tall and they might be 36 inches tall. But the fact that they’re round means that they can be accessed by somebody, a wheelchair, and all sides of it. So you can maintain the vegetables or you can maintain the herbs or you can maintain the flowers. We do cutting gardens in these raised beds, they’re easy for staff to maintain, but more importantly is it gives the residents the right elevation to work with these plants.
Debi Lynes: 25:49 I never even thought about that. What about square planters? Are there advantages or disadvantages to those? You said that you really like round. Why is that?
Geoff Roehll: 25:59 I like round. I think square is fine as long as it’s outside corners. I mentioned before the idea of having a planter that has an inside corner, which means you have an intersection of two walls and if you’re in a wheelchair you can imagine to try to get to the corner of that inside corner. You can’t because your feet are in the way. We tried to design those planters, if they’re a rectangular planter, that’s fine. If it’s a rectangular planter that is T-shaped, you can see how all of a sudden you have two inside corners that really aren’t accessible. So we would put 45 degree angles in those corners so that somebody in a wheelchair has the ability get all the way around that planter. The height of the planter, we like the idea of that it can vary. We had one designed by one of our guys who was six foot two and notice that everybody working on it was less than five feet tall.
Geoff Roehll: 26:58 And so their ergonomics matter when you’re trying to design these environments, especially with the older adults or with kids. You know with kids, you’ve got a very similar challenge. You know, you got to make the planters a little bit lower. That’s why we like those freestanding planters. They’re inexpensive. You can get them in the right height. Even done, instead of a horizontal garden, we’ve done a vertical garden where we take a planted area, we put a grid across the front that’s very similar to a channeling fence. Plastic up against that and then it’s back filled with top soil and it gives somebody with different levels of ability and different height challenges, the ability to plant within a vertical surface and then watch it grow.
Debi Lynes: 27:46 Are there times where it’s not just about the plant, but it’s also about the wildlife that surrounds the plant that’s important?
Geoff Roehll: 27:55 Yeah. I think when we say natural environment, people think automatically of plants, but I think it’s a variety of things, the flora and the fauna. We introduce plants that attract butterflies, for example. It’s a great element. It adds to that positive distraction that we talked about earlier of creating those elements of landscape. It just so happens that the plants that are providing that visual sensory experience are also attracted to butterflies. So butterflies bring in butterflies into a garden are desirable. Bringing birds into a garden setting. So providing fruit trees that, you know, like a service berry where the robins might want to come in and nibble on the service berries is something that we see is a desirable element within these garden settings.
Debi Lynes: 28:45 It makes so much sense to me. If I were to ask you basically, what are a couple of things that you would recommend to anyone who’s starting out creating a natural environment? Are there ways to begin? Are there places to… where do I start I guess is what I’m asking you?
Geoff Roehll: 29:04 Yeah. I think one of the things I mentioned earlier is that the idea of, the orientation of your home starting way back from the apartment that you’re going to be renting. Is that the South face or is it the West face? Is the balcony facing the right view? All of those elements. So when you purchase your home or you’re moving into that apartment, be conscious of thinking about the orientation. If there’s a choice between a unit on the East side and the West side, think about what it’s going to be like on your patio in the hot afternoon sun or where the winter breeze is going to be coming from or that summer breeze. Do the windows move? In other words, do you have fixed windows or do you have the ability to open your window to get natural ventilation? Are there skylights?
Geoff Roehll: 29:53 I think another element within that that people respond well to is when there’s a room with a skylight. So I think even stepping back further is the actual environment that you’re moving into and then also being conscious of what the views are from when you’re in the room. Let’s say that you’re not as mobile as you were in the past or there might be stairs going out to the environment, the view of what you’re looking at from indoors to out matters. And so when, if you buy a new fruit tree, do what we did and go inside and look at the view and then think about where the placement of that plant is going to be, whether it’s a fruit tree or a lilac or some sort of flower garden to get the best value out of its location.
Debi Lynes: 30:38 Let me ask you this, we’re almost out of time and I would be remiss in not asking you, is there somewhere or a resource or some places that we could go if we’re interested, both in biophilia, in landscaping, in creating a beautiful environment out of doors as we age?
Geoff Roehll: 30:58 Yeah, there’s a terrific resource that I utilize a lot. It’s called the therapeutic landscapes network. And just Google therapeutic landscapes network and you’ll find their a website and it’s chockfull of wonderful information, whether it’s books that have been written on biophilia, books written on research, the actual research papers that have been published it includes a list of, in your area who are landscape architects, who design therapeutic environments. It includes a lot of the research that we discussed today. It’s a great place that people can go to. A lot of the information with links that take you so you can at least try to find the path of information that you’re looking for. It’s a great place to start.
Debi Lynes: 31:43 One of my takeaways today is by nature, anything in the out of doors is therapeutic and is a conduit to health and wellness. I really appreciate you joining us today. We appreciate everyone for joining us today here on aging in place podcast. Goeff Roehll, Thank you so much.
Geoff Roehll: 32:01 My name is Goeff Roehll, and I’m a landscape architect with Hitchcock Design Group. You can reach me at GROEHLL@hitchcockdesigngroup.com. Thank you, everybody.
Erin Lentz: 32:14 For podcasts, links, information and media inquiries. Please visit our website at aginginplacepodcasts.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as our host Debi Lynes and her expert guests discuss relevant topics for creating a home for all decades in life. Don’t miss our weekly podcast on aging in place for every stage in life. Transition through life where you are with the comfort and ease deserve. Discover how you can start creating a home that will adapt to you as you journey through life and the changes it will bring.
Debi Lynes: 32:46 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 a hint that is a practical application.
Tracy Snelling: 33:15 Thanks, Debi! Cut the rug out. Area rugs, throw rugs, kitchen rugs are all dangerous when it comes to aging in place. From a toddler learning to walk to your seniors having walkers or canes. Rugs can be hazardous as pretty as they look, safety needs to come first. Tripping and falling can be a grueling ordeal for any age and falling can lead the hospitals, rehabs, and even more health issues. If you feel you cannot do without that floral design on your floor, please make sure you take precautions. First, look for a rug with no fringe or any thickness on the edge. Secondly, on the market are several products. Rug tape, when applied properly, will do the trick. Make sure you play it all the way around your rug to adhere all the edges to the floor, not just the middle. Tripping on the rug happens at the edge. Remember that, and that’s your “Who Knew!”
Debi Lynes: 34:18 Goeff Roehll was with us this week and he’s a landscape architect. Here’s my takeaway. The word biophilia. What biophilia means simply is bringing the outside inside and what does that look like? It can look like raising an herb smelling the herb eating them. You’re bringing the outside inside. It can mean deck gardening. It can mean doing vertical gardening. It can mean having a painting of a scene. All of these things promote health and wellness and are so important as we age in place at any stage in life.
Henrik de Gyor: 35:01 Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes, marketing by Erin Lentz and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you.