14. Shelby Basciano

Dr. Debi Lynes speaks with Shelby Basciano  about Occupational Therapy

(Duration: 35 minutes 31 seconds)

Subscribe

Apple Podcasts | CastBox | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RadioPublic | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Follow

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aginginplacepodcastcom/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/aginginplacepodcastcom/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/aging_podcast

Resources

Disclosure: Links below to other sites may be affiliate links that generate us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Fidget Cubes

Stick-on Motion Sensor Lights, Warm White LED Night Lights

Sponsors

Lynes on Design

Takeaways

Ask your doctor for a prescription for an occupational therapist to come and do a home visit and a walkthrough.

Transcript

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 (01:04): Hi and welcome to Aging in Place Podcast for any stage in life. I’m here today with my friend Shelby Basciano. I’ve actually known Shelby since she was my spinning teacher maybe 20 years ago. So I appreciate you joining us today.

Shelby Basciano (01:18): Hey Debi, how are you?

Debi Lynes (01:21): I’m excited about talking to you. Shelby is a physical fitness guru, but in her professional life, she’s an occupational therapist. And you might be thinking to yourself, an occupational therapist and aging in place for any stage in life, whether you’re a child or middle-aged or an older adult. What does occupational therapy have to do with aging or even aging in your home?

Shelby Basciano (01:46): I’m not sure what if people are familiar with what occupational therapy is.

Debi Lynes (01:50): No, I’d love to start it with you.

Shelby Basciano (01:50): So let me this is what I tell when I do the power hour at the high school this is kind of a definition I get. Occupation: how you occupy your time. That would be the definition. So how do you occupy your time if you’re a baby okay, you poop, you play and then you sleep. You move your fingers, etcetera. So if you have some types of injury or disease process at that age, occupational therapists’ goal is to maximize your independence and wellbeing for whatever stage you’re at with meaningful goals. So, you know, I’m not going to go get a job for a baby because that would make no sense at all. But what we do need is to make sure that the baby can eat properly, sucking properly so they can gain weight and they can get nutrition and thrive. Right? So an occupational therapist is really important for early intervention situations. Okay. And usually it’s really, nowadays they’re really good about identifying babies in the hospital to get that early intervention. But again, that’s why we need access to healthcare. Am I allowed to go political here? We need good access to healthcare so that we can identify things like this early on because the earlier you treat or you start looking at deficits in these performance components is what we call them then the sooner hopefully you can remedy them and the better chance you have of maximizing your potential as a human being and having a meaningful life and an independent life.

Debi Lynes (03:40): Less it would have positive impact if the earlier the intervention is. So we’re speaking to be about babies with occupational therapists, I think. No, I think it’s really, I think it’s really interesting with occupational therapy cause I think it is one of those special days that people really don’t know what it means. You’ve got three teenagers. What would occupational therapy look like for adolescents?

Shelby Basciano (04:02): It could be in a number of different components. I’m going to tell you, if you’re an occupational therapist, you can work in a psychosocial setting.

Debi Lynes (04:14): What does that mean?

Shelby Basciano (04:14): Uh, you know, say a kid is physically appropriate for their age. You’re 15 years old and you’re, you know, you can walk and talk and run and you can do all kinds of things. Your fine motor skills are great. Your handwriting is great. But you’re impulsive in school or you can’t sit still or you have a really hard time processing with the fluorescent lights and the teacher talking and all the things that are going on around you. And OT could come in in a school setting. It’s required by law that they have access to this in public schools.

Debi Lynes (04:53): I didn’t know that.

Shelby Basciano (04:53): Yeah. It doesn’t mean that we have great access all the time, but we do. And you would get an evaluation by an OT and they would, you know, maybe they would say, wow, we have some sensory processing disorders going on here. And a lot of times there’s some easy solutions that maybe seem really simple that the kids can use. I mean, you’ve seen the little cubes, the fidget cubes, you know, that that was really derived from an OT thing so that your, your focus is here and maybe you need pressure in your appropriate receptive, which is your touch. And maybe that’s going to help you to be able to focus and read a book.

Debi Lynes (05:38): That makes sense.

Shelby Basciano (05:39): Some kids, you know, they need a test read to them because visually they have a hard time tracking. I mean, a lot of this stuff, again, if we had addressed it earlier, you may have had a better result by high school, but it doesn’t mean that you’re not a candidate.

Debi Lynes (05:54): I thought the fluorescent were interesting too. I oftentimes see when I go to movies now that there is a warning that if you have seizure disorder or any kind of sensitivity to light, that the flashing light may trigger or cause something which I think is pretty interesting.

Shelby Basciano (06:15): Yeah. Right. It is really interesting and that people are more conscientious. The public is more aware of people that have, I don’t want to say a limitation, but you have something that people are being a little bit more accommodating I guess is what it is.

Debi Lynes (06:30): Exactly, Okay. So now let’s talk about the aging as we get a little bit older. It’s funny cause I’m 66 and I’m noticing now from activities of daily living areas that I’m not a sharp end. I mean I’m not.

Shelby Basciano (06:44): Toileting, I’m just kidding.

Debi Lynes (06:46): Toileting. No, I’m still pretty good at tinkling and toilet is good. But when it comes to things like night the dark, right. I’m much more prone now to put a nightlight and I’m at 66 and nightlight in. I never have had one before.

Shelby Basciano (07:03): Right. Totally a thing and occupational therapists would, if you did a home visit, you would look, and you know what I’m going to say it here in Hilton Head, one thing that I noticed, and again, let me reiterate, I am now a personal trainer and I use all of my skills and I coach, I use them, but I don’t work as an OT anymore. But the thing with a home of L people are very um.

Debi Lynes (07:29): Skeptical to have you here.

Shelby Basciano (07:31): Know, they’re very attached to their decor. So if I tell them, Hey, you got to move a throw rug because it’s a tripping hazard in the middle of the night or because you have a walker now and it’s catching and it’s a high-risk safety risk for fall, they don’t like to take it off. But you know, I will say, you know, you can get better and then, and then maybe we can put them back down. But those are things that I would look from just a, a home of value perspective. Somebody comes home with a walker, you know, they got a new replacement or maybe even a stroke and they’re, you know, move things out of the way. Sometimes with a stroke you are not as aware of your, for instance, your left side, you, you kind of, because of where it happened in the brain, you’re, you’re kind of disregarding that left side. So you tend to run into things so, you know, maybe making a clearer pathway in your household. Another thing that I think is very simple, which would have to do with the aging too, is think about what your priorities are. If you have something that happens to you, whether you’re well or not, you know, if doing your hair wears you out for the whole day because you’re deconditioned, for example, have somebody do your hair. I mean, if you have the access.

Debi Lynes (08:49): I hear what you’re saying.

Shelby Basciano (08:51): Again, if I take it a step in the direction of being a little more having a result from a stroke or something like that. Sure. You know, my father in law, for example, I want somebody to come in and help me. If I have three hours a week of assistance, I want them to do the bathing and the dressing with him because one, it gives him more dignity.

Debi Lynes (09:15): More the physical stuff.

Shelby Basciano (09:17): Yeah. And it wears him out if he tries to do it on his own. I mean, of course, everybody would love to be independent in all facets of activities of daily living. But let’s pick and choose in the beginning, especially what’s important to me and the caregiver or the caregiver has to be part of.

Debi Lynes (09:32): Well, it’s really interesting. I know when my mom was ill, it the, we had someone come in and talk with us exactly an OT talking exactly about what you’re talking about. And she was like, basically, Debi, you all are here for emotional support. You need to get people who know what they’re doing to come in for physical support. And that’s a lot of what you’re talking about and what we’re talking about now, what we’re going to do, shall we, it’s where do I take a quick break? Again, we’re talking about aging in place. But the fun part I think is talking about it for any stage in life. We’ve already talked about babies. I mean, what do you do with one-year-old? You know, what do you do with a teenager? I oftentimes wonder, I had a kid who broke his arm and it was amazing how limited when Brandon broke his arm, how limited he was with activities of daily living, he could barely wash his own hair and I never even thought about it. And then we’re talking about as we get older, so we’ll be right back again here with Shelby Basciano stay with us here on aging in place.

Debi Lynes (10:34): 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 (11:00): We are back here on the Aging in Place Podcast for any stage in life. My friend Shelby Basciano who is an occupational therapist. She says she doesn’t do occupational therapy now. She’s a coach and a personal trainer, but can I be really clear? You do occupational therapy with every single treatment intervention and exercise and coaching stuff that you do. And I think that’s part of why you’re here today because for me, you have a much more holistic approach to everything that you do. In other words, I just don’t feel like I’m working a bicep. I feel like I’m kind of contributing to my quality of life.

Shelby Basciano (11:36): Yes. I think that is, I mean, hopefully that’s what I bring to my clients and I really, I think it’s important to look at the whole person and I’m getting in shape another part of occupational therapy. And this would be relate more to the psychosocial aspect that we talked about. I mentioned impulsivity before, might be something you would work on, but also goal setting on goals. You know, what I think is important for you may not be what you think is important for you. So that wouldn’t be a good goal. Whatever I’m coming up with, I have to have it meaningful to you. It has to be measurable. We have to be able to break it down into smaller pieces. So all of this information we can take and apply it to anybody at any age. You know, somebody who’s got dementia. Let’s, what part do we need to work on, you know, let’s goal set. what’s your goal to keep them safe in the house, make sure that they don’t, when they’re in the wandering stage, for example, they’re not going out. And when you go in the water, you know.

Debi Lynes (12:42): When you take a client, what are some of the questions that you do? Ask them as it relates to all of these kinds of things. In other words, if someone comes to you and says, look I’m in a different stage of my life right now. I need to make some changes and adapt and let’s say I may, I am, I’m not an OT client right now. I’m sort of the holistic client. What are you asking that specifically?

Shelby Basciano (13:07): It’s funny you’re asking, cause this has been like an influx recently for me with a few women. I have a, I have I’ll I’m going to be 50 this year. So what I was training like at 20 and 30, it’s completely different. I have a different mindset about it. Not that I, I think that what I was doing was bad necessarily, but I don’t want to do the things that I did before. And I have a lot of women that come to me.

Debi Lynes (13:33): Priorities and goals.

Shelby Basciano (13:34): We talk about priorities and goals and they sometimes can’t. It’s hard for them to articulate it. But then when I sit and say, what’s your goal? And instead of being like, I’m going to lose the last three pounds that I gained there. Like I want to feel better. I want to wake up. I don’t want to feel bad in my body when I wear heels, you know, I don’t want to not be able to walk for three days or.

Debi Lynes (14:00): Well for me at 66, I want to feel strong.

Shelby Basciano (14:02): Right and feel strong and that is definitely a priority for a lot of, I mean, women and men both, but a lot of women and they just, they want to feel more at peace. And I think that the crazy aerobics, insane, bouncy, kill it, you know, kind of mentality, right. We kind of changed that as we get a little older and that I’m not for everybody and it doesn’t work for everybody, but a lot of the people you know, and they, and they maybe don’t think yoga is the right thing for them. So I’m mixing in a little bit of all the disciplines that I’m trained in. And of course, I’m always using OT. We’ll break it down and say, Hey, this week I want you to focus on drinking your water. And that’s it. That’s all you’re going to do. And then mentally, everybody can maybe add into the week. And then next week we’re going to, I’m going to give you four core exercises that you’re going to do every single day that are going to make you feel better after a week. I mean, I don’t think anybody’s ever done them and said, yeah, you’re, you know, you’re wrong. I don’t feel any better.

Debi Lynes (15:08): Do you look at people’s, not just fitness levels, but health I guess health and wellness, when you do begin to strategize or come up with a program for them, do you look at their health and wellness like you do.

Shelby Basciano (15:22): Of course and I look at their activities and what do you want to do? Where, where are you going? Are you still working? Okay. Do you need to have the energy for work? Are you do you travel a lot? Are you caring for an elderly parent? All of these things, you know, really have to have to have a part in whatever the workout plan is. What’s your realistic idea of how much time you can actually spend? And don’t, don’t tell me something that you think I want to hear, like six days a week. They look at me like, is that the right answer? I’m like, hell no. I mean, I go for, I try to get 40 hours a week and I teach three days a week. So you know, I understand and having kids and you’re got a lot of things on your plate. I think you have to really.

Debi Lynes (16:08): Focus. I know I’ve got that. I’ve got a question as my mind is going, my hands are moving too. Like Shelby, I have another question. At any age do you focus on cardio? Is it about strength? Is it now as I’ve gotten older, balance, balance, balance. I find that I’m, I really want to pay more attention to that. Is it, are those things that are important.

Shelby Basciano (16:33): Balance in, you mean, actual physical balance? Like not falling or balance in your life?

Debi Lynes (16:37): Oh, good question. She is good I was actually thinking physical balance.

Shelby Basciano (16:42): Yeah. And say balance. You know, it’s like a little bit, it’s like swimming. If you don’t swim, you don’t get better at swimming. If you don’t, you know, when people say, Oh, I’m not good at yoga, I’m not flexible. Well you haven’t really moved out of the chair in about 15 years or you sit at your desk and you’re always in one position. So I don’t really think I hate, I really don’t like it when people say, Oh, I’m not good at something cause I’m like, well have you tried it? Have you done it? You know, it’s like when the kids say, Oh I don’t like that. You’re like, well try, you did it one time but I do, you have to look at the whole picture and you know what, to relate back to, one of the questions you asked me before my biggest, the way that I can tell somebody who’s improving because I ask a lot of questions in the beginning about if they have a pain. And most people who come to me, I’m going to be honest, they either have a neck thing, they’re like, I just try everything and nothing’s worse. Everything hurts me. And it’s really, I’m getting really depressed because I used to do classes five days a week or whatever. So I, I asked him, okay, when does it hurt? When I get real, I try to get as detailed, Oh well you know what? I was thinking the other day and I say, text me anytime of night. You’re not going to wake me up. Text me when you realize like, Oh when I get up off the couch or when I go to put my arm in my coat, I tell them just text me cause those are the moments in your life. And I write those things down and we work for one to two weeks or whatever we decide and then I go back and I look at those notes and often what’ll happen when something remedies with your body, you’re like, Oh my gosh, I forgot that that was hurting me so badly that it was affecting my ability to put my coat on. So in that is the way that I tried to make it meaningful to them because often I just take, I often, I try to get a quote from them early on or I was only sleeping three hours a night and they’re like, well I don’t know, am I, I don’t know if I’m really improving that much cause you know, you do kind of plateaued. And then I’m like, well do you remember when you came in a month ago and you said you’re only sleeping three hours a month. So those are the things.

Debi Lynes (18:52): Like you said, that are measurable. You set a goal you try to measure it. Well, what’s really interesting about what you’re talking about to me right now is these are activities of daily living that you’re talking about being able to put on your coat without pain. You know, am I slouched over a computer all day? Is that probably the source of my stiffness, soreness, pain, ache.

Shelby Basciano (19:20): Poor posture.

Debi Lynes (19:20): Poor Posture. Yeah. There you go. With your poor posture. Yeah. Shake posture at any age.

Shelby Basciano (19:26): At any age. And as you age, I mean, gravity’s working on us all the time. So let’s fight it a little bit.

Debi Lynes (19:36): Can you give us a sneak? We’ve got 30 seconds or about one minute in our second segment. What looks a posture? Pick her up or for us.

Shelby Basciano (19:44): I use a lot of cuing. I’m going to say one thing. Okay. Imagine somebody put ice down your back. Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh. So you’re sitting at your desk. Somebody put on my back. I mean, hopefully everybody out there listening just sat up and it makes you realize, Oh wow, I was really slashed over even I was doing it.

Debi Lynes (20:06): Okay. I stand your back. Okay, that’s a good one.

Shelby Basciano (20:09): Now my next one I stole from the people from Carla the hairdresser uncross your legs. You really crossing your legs, throws your hips off. And if you’re sitting in a fixed position all the time, you, you really, I mean, I know that’s the polite thing to do ladies from 1950, but let’s, let’s put our feet just flat on the floor and try to sit maybe a little forward on your but bones. Those bones on your sit bones yet. Yup. Okay. So there’s a little.

Debi Lynes (20:41): Are you guys doing this cause I’m doing it cause I like being able to do these things right as we’re sitting. It’s really interesting alright Shelby we were going to take a quick break. Isn’t this fun? You guys are getting all the cool tips. I love this. All right, stay with us. We’ll be right back here on aging in place.

Henrik de Gyor (20:55): 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 (21:33): We are back here on aging in place. Shelby Basciano has joined us. She’s an occupational therapist, a coach and also a personal trainer and she is superior. One of the reasons I love her is she trains people at different ages and different stages in their life. So you’re, you kind of run the gamut. I thought it might be fun since we’re actually sitting in my home office right now doing this podcast to actually walk you through my house. And what makes it interesting for me is I’ve got nine grandchildren’s, I’ve got a lot of little kids and I’ve got my father who’s 91 here also. So there’s a huge multigenerational spread in ages. So, and it’s funny, the reason we’re doing this quite frankly, is when she came in, she saw about four different things I needed to change right off the bat. So I figured we’ll just yeah, right. Well just call me out on it cause I think if I’ve got it, somebody else does too. So we walked in, it was raining, I had a towel at the front door.

Shelby Basciano (22:29): Right. Okay. Wait, let’s start. I’m going to get out of the car. Oh gosh. Okay. I’m getting out of the car. And it’s gravelly. It’s, you know, so again, some of these things I’m saying, I know that people don’t have tons of money to go repave their driveway. That is not what I’m suggesting at all. But pull in, make sure there’s a spot saved where your dad has enough space to open the door. There isn’t any blockade, for example, because he uses a walker. Correct. Right. So, and also, you have to have a caregiver coming in and help him get out. Walking walking, walking, making sure there’s a smooth path or a clear path that he can approach the house. Then you have steps. Again, a ramp is really nice when you can swing it, but a lot of times people, I mean, one, you can’t swing it. And I, I gotta tell you, you can talk to your husband if you look at the building codes is to build an appropriate ramp. I mean, it’s going to take up your whole front yard, probably Hilton Hilton will decline the permit or whatever cause it doesn’t look pretty enough. So you’re gonna just make sure you have a clear pathway. You’re not going to have a lot of potted plants in the way, for example. Or you know, make sure if you can possibly, whenever there’s stairs, have handrails.

Debi Lynes (23:46): Okay, brilliant. Yep.

Shelby Basciano (23:49):Yep. And also, like for example, I have a handrail on the left side of my steps going up into my house, but my father-in-law stroke has affected his left side and he doesn’t really have a use of it. So I’ll see him reaching over with his right hand, which is highly unsafe, right. So we’re like, okay, well we need to add a handrail on the other side. I mean, even item, sometimes the steps are dark in a stairwell. You might want to, if you have those little lights [for each step], relatively inexpensive.

Debi Lynes (24:20): They are like 12 dollars.

Shelby Basciano (24:20): Right. And some of them are motion-sensitive so they can just turn on when you need them.

Debi Lynes (24:26): That’s actually a really good idea.

Shelby Basciano (24:27): Right you come home from nighttime, even all of us can use it, trip up the service sometimes. And I haven’t even had a glass of wine. So you know, like you, it’s dark. You’re like tired from the day. So handrails. Now we’re walking in your house, you threw the towel down. I get it. I have a dog so I always have like a towel to wipe their feet after they run in the yard too. Right. That’s pretty dangerous. You can trip and fall again for somebody with, you know, without any kind of impairment or anything. We’re probably not, you know, changing everything.

Debi Lynes (25:04): Although I laugh when you say that because my dad’s less likely to slip on that cause he’s so aware of it. But the kids Clementine, my little two year old went sliding on it the other day. So I think it is funny how you don’t pay attention. You don’t know what you don’t know. and now all at once from doing the podcast. I feel like, can I way find this way is the lighting right? You know, I noticed not just what I’m doing but what the kids are doing and what my dad still gets really interesting. Okay. So we’re in, we take a left into my kitchen area.

Shelby Basciano (25:38): Yes okay. If you are having issues with strength, upper body strength or you have one arm that’s only working or for example, I have a lady who’s like, I know how bad I’ve gotten, not coming to you for the last month because of holidays, etcetera. She was traveling. I can’t pick up my Pyrex, you know, she has some nested, okay, so what we do is yeah, don’t nest them or only put the one that you use and a lower shelf. Those are just simple. I know it sounds like it’s ‘dumb simple’, but…

Debi Lynes (26:12): It’s not dumb simple.

Shelby Basciano (26:13): You know. If you use something and it’s like, well it goes on the top shelf. Well, it doesn’t have to go on the top. Let’s just reassess. Okay. Stuck on a date, accommodate. Make sure you have a clear working area. You also, you know, as a designer, you know like the triangle, right? Is that what it’s called? You know, make sure that you have.

Debi Lynes (26:38): Have an accessible workspace.

Shelby Basciano (26:39): Right, Accessible workspace. And if you need to, if your’e standing endurance is limited, bring a chair in. I as a trainer would say, Hey, let’s try to build that up. But if we’re being realistic and you’re going to get tired and you’re going to become a fall risk because your legs are fatigued, then let’s bring a chair in and you can sit and peel potatoes or.

Debi Lynes (27:00):

Do you ever do that with people go in and do a home visit and sort of walk and look at their limitations and, and make recommendations?

Shelby Basciano (27:09): Within the scope of my training. I mean, I just do it.

Debi Lynes (27:12): All now for your client.

Shelby Basciano (27:13):  And I’m there training and I say, you know what? If I was you, I would get the wheels off of the desk chair because when you sit down, that chair is going to fly out and you’re not very stable right now anyway. So things like that. I will, I do. I mean, I can’t not do it. I don’t, I can’t not see it. When we, my, my kids and my husband and I took a cruise for the holidays, sitting and watching people, everybody likes to, people watch, I love it. I’m like, Oh, what’s wrong? He’s got like he, he supinates on his right side. But you know, like I’m always kind of analyzing and looking and I wonder what happened or you know, I’m looking at their back. So it is kind of a natural thing for me to do. But as a yes, a thing I would say, you know, get your PT or your OT you can get a prescription for an evaluation from your doctor and a home evaluation is really important.

Debi Lynes (28:07): I think a home evaluation that’s the best takeaway. Get a prescription for that. And let me tell you again, we’re sitting here in my office and as a therapist I have an office that I try to make really comfortable. I noticed the other day I had a couple in here and they weren’t particularly old. They were, you know, my age, little bit younger and they’re rocking chairs and the man really struggled to get out perfectly healthy. But I go ahead. Yeah, look at you and I with our hands.

Shelby Basciano (28:42): And the height of the chair. Right? So like if you have low chairs, like some people have modern like really sharp looking houses but you know like you go to sit down and you know you have something right and you’re like Oh my gosh we’re going to get off. But so living room you’re looking at the chair, make sure the coffee table isn’t right in the middle of the pathway to walk. Little kids, I mean we know if you’ve had kids.

Debi Lynes (29:08): Sharp end.

Shelby Basciano (29:10): Sharp edges. At my house, my nephew got the glue. You know they used to do stitches but now he had to get his forehead glued cause he hit the edge of the table.

Debi Lynes (29:22): Yeah, the glass table. And again with Clementine, it’s funny with Clementine and dad I put the chairs around the corners cause they both inevitably go to that one glass edge corner and hit themselves. I never even thought, I mean in talking about I do it intuitively, but in thinking about it from a safety and an aging in place point of view. It’s actually makes a lot of sense now that we’re talking about height of things. I wonder if a bed is an issue getting in and out of.

Shelby Basciano (29:48): Of 1000%. There’s people who either had the really high beds, which is difficult to get up in, in, and then the really low, you know, the platform beds are kind of popular now. So that can be an issue as well because they, you know, a lot of them don’t need the box spring anymore. So it makes it even lower. It’s just a mattress on the bunky boards or whatever they call them.

Debi Lynes (30:10): Is there a right way to get out of bed? Correct way to get out of bed. I mean, is it more of a rule or, you know, again, I find my dad, I’m struggling to kind of sit up to get out as opposed to if he rolls to his side and.

Shelby Basciano (30:22): I used to have patients that would say, I just can’t, I just hook something to ceiling where I pull up, you know, and they would want to do, they used to have this thing called a trapeze in your hospital bed and you would lift yourself up. But we realized that really that’s not, I’m encouraging you to improve your strength or anything. So really, I mean for somebody who doesn’t have any issues, get out of bed anyway you want to. But otherwise, I want you to roll on your side. I want you to slide your bottom leg and then your left leg. Use your hand to push yourself up. You know, just slow everything down. It’s just taking the time. I mean we know watch kids like when they’re, you’re like just slow down slow down. You know what I mean?

Debi Lynes (31:04): I love it. You know what’s fun about this? I really want to have you back again cause I think it would be fun to even talk about if heaven forbid you fall, what would you do? I think it would be interesting to kind of do a, a podcast or a program on some actual treatments that we can do. So.

Shelby Basciano (31:20): Can I give you one little hint and I’m sorry I spoke over you. Um. I was not a fan of the Apple watch, but you know that if you fall, it has an in a capability where it senses if you fall. And I think it’s such a great tool because so many people don’t want to get the medical alert. They feel like it’s a, yeah, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. And you’re like, Oh, making fun. Like then you feel like you’re old. I think.

Debi Lynes (31:46): Right exactly.

Shelby Basciano (31:46): Look at it. If you can make that work.

Debi Lynes (31:50): Oh geez. I tell you what you are.

Shelby Basciano (31:52): And I’m not getting paid by Apple.

Debi Lynes (31:54): Well, I hope we are. So there you go. That would be a great thing.

Shelby Basciano (31:57): We would if they want some sponsor.

Debi Lynes (31:59): Exactly exactly, Shelby thank you so much. We’ve learned a lot. Thank you all for joining us here on aging in place for any stage in life.

Shelby Basciano (32:08): My professional name that my business cards have is Shelby Sharp that’s my maiden name. It’s just easier to remember than Basciano although legally I’m Basciano. I work at a beach city fitness and Hilton Head Island. And if you have any questions or you’re interested, you can contact me at ShelbyBasciano@gmail.com or hit me up on the website or Instagram and I’ll get back with you.

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 to hint that is a practical application.

Tracy Snelling (33:16): Thanks Debi. Unless you’re being arrested, don’t raise your arms when it comes to aging in place. Remember your home is about functionality and safety everyday use or things you use frequently, especially in the kitchen. Need to be within easy reach. You have countertops for a reason. You may have just had a shoulder surgery or you have a six-year-old who wants a treat after school. You may even have your aging senior just wanting a cup of coffee. Putting things in easy reach will make things easier on all for the aging senior I watch over and for the most part is my research assistant to see if my who knew tips work every week. I placed these coffee cups in a drawer instead of a cabinet. The cups are the right height where they’re easily pulled out from the drawer. And another hint exactly how many coffee cups does a senior really need? Three. the answer is three. The less you store above your head, the less chance of having an accident. Who knew that raising your arms should just be for exercise and not reaching for your cereal bowl.

Debi Lynes (34:25): Probably one of the most fun things I do during this podcast is listening for the takeaways. This is no exception. Talking to Shelby today was a blast for me and I got a lot of practical tips, but the takeaway I want to share with you, the one that resonated with me the most is this: Ask your doctor for a prescription for an occupational therapist to come and do a home visit and a walkthrough. Wow. What a great way to learn some tips for health, wellness, and safety. Thank you all for joining us this week on aging in place for any stage in life.

Henrik de Gyor (35:03): 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.

 

5. Wanda Gozdz

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Wanda Gozdz of Golden Age Living about safe home environments at any staging in life on the Aging in Place Podcast

(duration: 32 minutes 44 seconds)

Wanda Gozdz

Subscribe

Apple Podcasts | CastBox | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RadioPublic | Spotify | StitcherTuneIn

Follow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aginginplacepodcastcom/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aginginplacepodcastcom/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/aging_podcast

Resources

Disclosure: Links below to other sites may be affiliate links that generate us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Amazon Echo Dot

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)

Certified for Humans smart plug

Golden Age Living

Ring

Solid Rubber Threshold Ramp

Vacuum elevators

101 Mobility

Sponsors

Lynes on Design

Takeaways

When it comes to aging in place at any stage in life, it’s about safety, security, ease of use, comfort, and beauty.

Transcript

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 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.