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


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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 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.


4. Carla Rohal

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Carla Rohal of Cregger about bathrooms and kitchens for any stage in life

(duration: 33 minutes 36 seconds)


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Newport Brass



Universally designed plumbing fixtures are gorgeous. They come in all finishes. You can even plumb for them before you need to put them in, but don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid. They are a designer’s dream rather than a designer’s nightmare


Lynes on Design


Debi Lynes:                   00:03                Hi and welcome to Aging in Place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at aging in place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces 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 at any stage in life. I’m really excited to have my friend Carla Rohal with us. She works at Cregger and it’s really interesting to me that you and I are talking today about Aging in Place at any stage in life. We were just talking about this. I’ve got nine grandchildren. Oh my goodness.

Carla Rohal:                  01:25                Oh my goodness.

Debi Lynes:                   01:26                And a 91-year-old dad who lives with me. You’ve got one daughter, but you are recently an empty nester.

Carla Rohal:                  01:32                Yes.

Debi Lynes:                   01:32                I would love to talk to you, a little bit about Cregger Supply, what you do and why it’s so important that we have a kitchen that functions at any age, a bathroom that functions at any age and how we can kind of make that happen. So thank you for joining us.

Carla Rohal:                  01:50                Sure. I’m glad to be here. Thank you. We see a lot of people in this area that are looking towards their retirement and even if they don’t have special needs right now, they want to make sure that if they do, that they are prepared for them. So that starts in the design stage, of course, with their architects, with their designers, with their builders, and then they come into Cregger and they start seeing what we have to offer for them.

Debi Lynes:                   02:18                How long have you been with Cregger and what does Cregger really do? What’s the comprehensive plan if you will?

Carla Rohal:                  02:25                Okay. I have been with Cregger for 16 years and in the industry for 24 [years]. We are a plumbing supply wholesaler, which also includes the kind of accessories that go along with bathrooms and also, we do appliances in a different market. And we’ve grown and grown into HVAC in this market.

Debi Lynes:                   02:51                Yes. In the 16 years that you’ve been there, have you seen a huge trend toward proactively paying attention to aging in place or at any stage in life? In other words, doing things like prepping for handrails before you’re even, we have even need them.

Carla Rohal:                  03:15                Yes.When when I started, it was more retroactive. Like they would come in after the fact. We’ve had this happen, we need to get a higher height toilet now we need to get some grab bars put in. “Do you have anything that can go in if we weren’t prepared for this?” But that was then, and this is now and we have people that are younger than me coming through the door talking about “we’re going to be in this house for a while. We could have a parent move in or something could happen to us and we want to be prepared for it.” It could be as much as just putting this stuff behind the walls and being prepared for what if, or putting it in now and just making sure it’s decorative enough that it doesn’t look so ‘hospital’.

Debi Lynes:                   04:02                I was just going to say ‘institutional’ is really what we’re talking about. Yes. So I would love to kind of take a tour of Cregger with you and I walking through it in our mind and talking to people. I tell you, if you haven’t been there, it really is fun to go in and see so you can get some brilliant ideas. But I want to talk first of all about the bathroom. So let’s go through, one of the things that people talk to me all about as a designer is, “I don’t want a grab bar. I don’t want a grab bar there, they look horrible.” And “what do you mean I might need a handheld shower?” Or, “Gosh, Carla, can you help me prepare if I have to transfer my dad from a wheelchair into the shower? What about a bench?” Let’s talk about some of the products that are out there right now.

Carla Rohal:                  04:43                Sure. We can start with that shower with the bench. So you have a walk-in shower, which we sell, of course, the linear drains, so there’s no threshold and it keeps the water so that it doesn’t come outside of the shower and you can just push a wheelchair straight in. Okay. You can transfer them to a seat that is rated to handle up to 500 pounds. Right. And they can have grab bars anywhere in that shower that don’t look so institutional. They match the design of the fixture and the finish of the fixture.

Debi Lynes:                   05:22                Do you recommend putting grab bars at a specific place in a bathroom like that? I guess in the showers is what we are really talking about

Carla Rohal:                  05:27                Well generally, they like to put a small hand size of grab bar right when you’re entering a shower.

Debi Lynes:                   05:39                Okay. That makes sense.

Carla Rohal:                  05:39                Just so you could have something to grab onto if there is a threshold. That’s nice to have that there. Then, generally, by a bench, you would have something, a lot of times they’ll do it on a 45 [degree angle], but sometimes it’ll go straight across and it can be whatever length you want it to be according to the size of your shower. They make them 12, 18, 24 [inches].

Debi Lynes:                   06:02                But they don’t look industrial.

Carla Rohal:                  06:04                Not at all. It looks like a larger towel bar holder. It’s just bigger, but it looks the same. Decorative, finish wise, all that.

Debi Lynes:                   06:14                I was just gonna say, what about finishes? Can I get the oil bronze? Can I get silver? Can I get brushed…?

Carla Rohal:                  06:20                Just about anything. You can get all the new brasses and bronzes and matte blacks and white, all of it.

Debi Lynes:                   06:30                That is very hip and cool right now. Okay, so I’ve got that. Now let’s talk a little bit about the shower itself. I’m saying shower itself and I really mean…

Carla Rohal:                  06:39                The water. The water delivery. The handhelds are obviously key. We’ve done showers where people have to be showered by someone else. So we’ve done like two handheld showers on each side. So it would be very easy to get to the person in the wheelchair for the caregiver.

Debi Lynes:                   07:01                Yeah, I never thought about that. The other thing I’m thinking about as we’re speaking now is if I am, well let’s say I don’t even have a disability, but I have a shoulder injury. Well, I guess that is a disability… and I can’t really reach across. Do you ever consider putting what do you call that… the turner on-er/off-er.

Carla Rohal:                  07:20                The valve.

Debi Lynes:                   07:20                The valve. Very technical term. [laugh] Up close by or is that place strategically too?

Carla Rohal:                  07:26                That is also placed strategically. It doesn’t have to be near the fixture, but it should be in the place that makes the most sense for what you’re trying to accomplish in that shower.

Debi Lynes:                   07:38                Okay. So now I walk out of the shower. Let’s talk a little bit about sinks, height, faucets. Talk to me. Talk me through some of those.

Carla Rohal:                  07:46                Well, the heights of the cabinets these days are such that they’re higher and they’re easier. You don’t have to bend over. You can also get ones that you can roll right up underneath in a wheelchair. And that is, I mean, that’s all over the place. But definitely lots and lots of nice decorative options.

Debi Lynes:                   08:09                We talk about aging in place, but we’re really talking about visitability. We’re talking about you being able to come, your daughter being able to come, my granddaughter at two, being able to come and be able to wash your hands and my dad too. So what kind of fixtures are you saying? And let’s talk, talk us through some of those. And I’d love to hear brands too because that’s always nice to be able to know, you know, what and where I can buy. Absolutely, so the most common thing to do in the sink area is a lever handle. That is what is used according to the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

Debi Lynes:                   08:41                And why is that?

Carla Rohal:                  08:42                Because you can not have the facility [ability] to grab it but be able to push it with your hand and you couldn’t do that with like a cross-type hand.

Debi Lynes:                   08:51                Correct.

Carla Rohal:                  08:52                So anything that has a lever would be considered very easy to use. So that I would say is 99% of our sales.

Debi Lynes:                   09:00                And what about cool looks? I mean do you get…

Carla Rohal:                  09:03                Yes, they make very beautiful faucets that are ADA compliant.

Debi Lynes:                   09:07                And I laugh because my favorite fossil that I got from you is one that is a lever, but it looks like almost a trough and I love that to get on it looks so amazing and my kids think it’s about the coolest thing ever.

Carla Rohal:                  09:22                Of course. And I’m sure that is an ADA compliant fixture.

Debi Lynes:                   09:25                Let me ask you a question about heat. Is there a way to temperature control how hot my faucet is and how hot my water is?

Carla Rohal:                  09:33                Yes, Most of the time that it’s controlled by your water heater, however you can use the stops underneath your sink to cut back on the amount of hot water that can come through on the hot side. So, there are also valves that will do that. There’s a lot of different ways that you can go with that. In a home, I would say you would just cut it back yourself. You wouldn’t put a limiting… We do those in commercial places.

Debi Lynes:                   10:02                Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take a really fast break and we’re going to come back and we’re going to talk about my favorite subject. You know what it is… Toilets, of course, because who knew? Toilets can be so interesting for aging in place at any stage in life, so I really want to talk about the little tinkle little bottom toilet first, so stay with us. We’ll be back here on aging in place.

Debi Lynes:                   10:24                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.com.

Debi Lynes:                   10:49                We are back here on aging in place. We are here with Carla Rohal and we’re talking about plumbing fixtures. Who knew it could be so interesting and so important. It’s only important when you sit on the potty and you can’t get up. I mean, I think that’s exactly what it is. We’re talking about toilets as being really interesting and something that in today’s market who knew that the toilet would be one of the big decisions that you would make when you’re building a home or even renovating a home. Let’s talk a little bit about the height of a toilet, why that’s important and some of the new products that are out there. Because they’re pretty amazing.

Carla Rohal:                  11:28                Absolutely. The trend is that most toilets now are ADA compliant, which means they’re the like chair height. Yes. Easier to get up, off of and down onto. And the trend has become that since probably, I would say in the last 10 years, most companies aren’t making any of their new toilets and regular height. Got it. It’s almost hard to find one in a regular height because we have found as adults, if you’re tall, that it’s easier to get on and off, so it doesn’t matter if you have a hurt back or if you’re just tall, it’s easier to get on and off a higher toilet.

Debi Lynes:                   12:11                Probably the most fun toy that I saw recently was the one that has the seat for little tiny bums and then ones for regular folks. Talk to us about that. Who makes that?

Carla Rohal:                  12:24                That’s actually a Kohler seat and it is a training-type seat where you can have…

Debi Lynes:                   12:31                I have a two-year-old granddaughter, so perfect.

Carla Rohal:                  12:34                Perfect, for she won’t fall in. That’s right. It is made with a very small opening so that their little bums won’t fall through and then you can raise that part of the lifts and an adult can sit on it and you can put it on any elongated toilet seat, I mean, any elongated toilet. Yes.

Debi Lynes:                   12:53                Oh. And you have the last time that you and I were together, I think you were telling me about an interesting situation that you had a friend of yours, I think, had broken their shoulder?

Carla Rohal:                  13:01                They had shoulder surgery and they purchased one of the cleansing seats and I believe that might have been a Kohler cleansing seat as well.

Debi Lynes:                   13:12                What does that even mean?

Carla Rohal:                  13:13                That means you put a toilet seat on your toilet that acts like a bidet. So it sprays and does everything that you need to cleanse yourself without actually being in a separate fixture or separate bidet fixture. All you need is the same water supply that comes into the toilet. You ‘T’ [valve] off of it and you do need an electrical outlet.

Debi Lynes:                   13:35                Let me ask you a question. What am a lot of people ask when they come in buying toilets?

Carla Rohal:                  13:40                The very first thing they say is that they want a higher toilet. That is the number one thing we hear when they walk through the door. Okay. Second would be that they want the seat to be elongated. Obviously, that’s a more comfortable seat to sit on. Those are, I would say the two biggest things they ask for. Now, a third thing that they’re asking for is just the cleanability, which means the sides of the base of the toilet goes straight back in a skirted fashion so it’s just easier to keep clean.

Debi Lynes:                   14:12                Gosh, I never even thought about that. You know, it’s funny cause my son just renovated his house and he said he was more excited about showing us his bathroom and his toilet than anything else because it had bells and whistles that I didn’t even know existed. Talk us through some of the fancy, jazzy things that are there.

Carla Rohal:                  14:30                Well, okay, so the skirting is the least jazzy, but most liked by women, or, I shouldn’t say it that way, but by the people that are cleaning the toilet. The bidet seat itself, the washlet seat, it’s got a lot of different functions depending on which one you get, it will fine spray, rear spray. It will oscillate and pulsate the water. It gives you temperature control on the keypad so that you can make the water cooler or warmer.

Debi Lynes:                   15:04                Okay. So you said keypad. Help me.

Carla Rohal:                  15:07                So there it’s a, it’s just a little pad where you press the button to turn it on and to do all these different functions. So it just sits on the wall and you press the buttons and it does all that and it’s really cool. It’s very easy to function.

Debi Lynes:                   15:21                That’s what I was gonna say from a usability standpoint, is it pretty easy to manage?

Carla Rohal:                  15:26                Yes. Like if you are incapacitated with your primary arm. if you’re right-handed, you’ve had something go wrong with your right hand and you need to use the restroom, it’s certainly a lot easier to press a button to spray and press a button to air dry when you’re done.

Debi Lynes:                   15:43                It’s really interesting after talking to occupational therapists, physical therapists, people who’ve had hip replacements, I never really… you don’t really realize how easy or difficult it can be to participate in activities of daily living until you really have something and you can’t do.

Carla Rohal:                  16:01                Oh yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   16:01                And I think that’s what’s been amazing. What about as far as toilet paper holders and again I have to go back to bars because I know that oftentimes getting into that bathroom and on and off the toilet is a real issue. How do you all deal with that?

Carla Rohal:                  16:17                With the grab bars, again, a lot of people have their bathroom, the toilet [area], the water closet area set up for or put in immediately. At least one bar. In a commercial situation, you have to have three. It’s mandatory to have three. You have a vertical, a horizontal and then a horizontal behind the toilet. That is to code. In a home, you don’t necessarily need that. One next to the toilet is generally enough. However, you know, two would probably more than suffice.

Debi Lynes:                   16:52                One of the things that you showed me the last time I was in the showroom was a toilet paper holder that actually was a grab bar too because I guess it’s fun because now that I’ve been around people and watch where they are vulnerable, I’ve seen a lot of people grab on to that toilet paper holder as a… and that’s not good.

Carla Rohal:                  17:10                That’s not good. Going to rip it off the wall unless it’s… Moen makes one that is a toilet paper holder and a grab bar. So you can use it. It’s about eight inches and you can use it to hoist yourself up and it also dispenses the toilet paper.

Debi Lynes:                   17:29                Are a lot of these products cost-prohibitive or are they pretty reasonable?

Carla Rohal:                  17:33                No, they’re pretty reasonable.

Debi Lynes:                   17:35                Tell me about the Moen product because aren’t they, I mean they’re a pretty reasonable product.

Carla Rohal:                  17:39                Absolutely. And they have several decorative lines and they have pretty much for every single faucet line they have, they have a decorative matching everything.

Debi Lynes:                   17:51                Oh, like a universally designed…

Carla Rohal:                  17:53                Yes. Grab bars, accessories, everything that goes with it so that it’s all cohesive and it looks pleasant to the eye. I mean, I think it’s really amazing. Talk to me if you will. I’ve always heard one-piece toilets, two-piece toilets, lids, flushing, things like that. What is the standard or the design, to code now? Well, to code, you don’t have to do one or the other, it doesn’t matter. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a two-piece or a one-piece. It just height is what is. Yes. But for cleaning and for your home, a one-piece fully skirted toilet is going to be the absolute least maintenance.

Debi Lynes:                   18:37                Just a little Clorox and all is well in the world. Well, that makes a lot of sense.

Carla Rohal:                  18:42                I wanted to mention that Kohler has just come out with a new toilet that is going to be one of the highest on the market, meaning height-wise. Okay. So those people that are looking for even taller toilets than the ones that meet the American Disability Act, they can get another two inches out of this toilet.

Debi Lynes:                   19:03                It’s so funny because I’m doing the podcast, I’m always looking for the inside scoop on things like that. And it is amazing when they talk about squatty potties and all. Do you have things like that? All kinds of things to really make, again, like we said, activities of daily living, much more streamlined and easy. It’s wonderful. And again, do you have favorite brands or is it just according to what you, you really like? And the last thing before we have to go to our next segment is what about heated seats?

Carla Rohal:                  19:31                The heated seats come with the washlet. Generally speaking, you can’t get the heat without the whole set up of the water.

Debi Lynes:                   19:41                So who are usually designs that? When people go into a home unit, they want a renovation or they have a gutter, they have an architect. Do they actually come into the showroom? What does that look like? They come in with you and how do you take them around? How does that work?

Carla Rohal:                  19:56                Well, they come in, sometimes they come in with someone like you and they start by the design, meaning I’d want it to be traditional, transitional, contemporary, and it has to look nice, but it needs to meet all these criteria. And we just kind of go through it and I show them all the options of the things that match and they are surprised most of the time that they can actually get what they need and it can look nice.

Debi Lynes:                   20:25                I think one of the things that you do so well, based on my experience is when cost is no object, it’s easy. But there are times, and one of the things you taught me, there are places to put your money and places that you can be more conservative. Is that the advantage of having a Carla actually take around and kind of share with you all the different things?

Carla Rohal:                  20:50                It is always better to use a professional, for sure, because we know, we’ve been doing this for years. We know how to help you save money. We knew to how to help you get everything that you need and if you tell us, you know, the range you want to stay in, we can help you do that.

Debi Lynes:                   21:05                You can do that and make it look fantastic. We’re going to take another quick break and we’re going to come back once more. We’re going to talk about kitchen and then we’re actually going to talk about some specific product lines, which will be fun. Stay with us on aging in place.

Debi Lynes:                   21:18                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes and thank you for listening to aging in place for any stage in life. We would like to ask you all to give us a review. Of course, preferably five stars. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed aging in place for any stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   21:35                We are back here on aging in place. We are here with Carla Rohal. Let’s talk kitchen. I think that’s a great place to go to when you’re talking about universally design things and designing for anybody at any age.

Carla Rohal:                  21:49                Absolutely. We’ve done several kitchens for people that weren’t necessarily older. Some are for younger that are handicap and they want to participate or they’re on their own and they need to be able to cook and clean. And if you think about walking up to your kitchen sink, if you’re in a wheelchair, you’re not going to be able to do anything at your kitchen.

Debi Lynes:                   22:13                I never thought about that, but that’s very true.

Carla Rohal:                  22:15                So now, you know, there’s lots of sink options that are shallower, that you can get low enough, get the wheelchair under faucets that you can touch or wave and turn them on so that it’s easier to use them.

Debi Lynes:                   22:32                I’m going to go back to the sink. Talk to me about a shallow sink. I never thought about that either. What does that actually… that makes sense because when I put my hands down into a sink, it’s usually what, 12-14 inches?

Carla Rohal:                  22:42                Well, 10 [inches] is okay, but the ADA compliance sinks are five and a half. So that brings it up. It still gives you, and now ample, yes, but I think the trend had been bigger, deeper and that just doesn’t work in a situation where somebody is disabled.

Debi Lynes:                   23:03                Do you typically work with architects to design that or, I mean, you pretty much know all your products and know what you can do with all of it. Who makes a shallow sink like that?

Carla Rohal:                  23:12                Elkay Manufacturing. They have several.

Debi Lynes:                   23:17                Do they? Now talk about Elkay for a second because that’s a name that I know because of you, but talk to us about that product line. They do a lot of kitchen things?

Carla Rohal:                  23:24                Yes. They are a manufacturer of stainless steel sinks and they also have a lot of commercial product that I don’t necessarily deal with, but we deal with their sinks and the thing that I like about Elkay is you can almost say, “okay, I want a stainless steel sink that’s X by this deep” and they have it. They have thousands of sinks that you can almost call your size, your depth.

Debi Lynes:                   23:52                Pretty cost-effective company too?

Carla Rohal:                  23:54                They yes, they have everything from entry-level to pretty high end depending on gauge and thickness.

Debi Lynes:                   24:03                Ok. Gauge and thickness. Gauge is what?

Carla Rohal:                  24:07                Gauge is the thickness of the stainless steel.

Debi Lynes:                   24:10                What are you seeing from a trending point of view? Are you seeing porcelain? Are you seeing stainless as what people are really tending toward? Are the old, big white farm sinks…?

Carla Rohal:                  24:21                We sell a lot of the white farm sinks. That is a huge trend and has been, I would say for, I mean I have one in my house is 11 years old. So I would say that trend has been around for a while and I don’t see it drying up anytime soon. The stainless steel is always… It’s just a workhorse of sink. People just like it. They’re comfortable with it. They know what to expect, they know that really the only thing you can do to it is scratch it. And if they take the proper precautions, they can keep it nice for years to come.

Debi Lynes:                   24:56                Okay. So what about faucets? You, you mentioned kind of a wave your hand over it faucet for their kitchen. We’re talking about kitchen here.

Carla Rohal:                  25:03                That’s right. There’s a couple of different technologies out there. There’s touch and there’s wave motion kind of thing.

Debi Lynes:                   25:11                Yeah. What does that mean? Who makes touch and how is that different than wave?

Carla Rohal:                  25:16                Touch is Delta, the Delta Company and the Brizo Company both make touch faucets. I love it because even though people tend to say, well, I don’t want to have to touch my faucet, we don’t have to touch it with your hand. You can touch it with your elbow, the back of your hand, your ear, it doesn’t matter, and that’s pretty much the entire body. Less the head. The entire body of the faucet will come on and off at the simple touch of your skin.

Debi Lynes:                   25:45                That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Carla Rohal:                  25:47                That’s right. When you’ve got stuff all over your hands from baking or chicken or whatever and you just don’t want to spread the mess or the germs, it’s nice to be able to touch.

Debi Lynes:                   25:58                How does that temperature control?

Carla Rohal:                  26:00                Now the temperature controls still has to be adjusted. That’s right. Now there is a new technology by that same company, by the Brizo company and the Delta company that you will be able to call it out or say that you want to a certain temperature in your faucet.

Debi Lynes:                   26:19                I love that. Is it fun?

Carla Rohal:                  26:20                Oh my gosh. It’s really fun. New technology and it is very new and we are able to put it on our existing touch faucet. Add it to that in the showroom so we will be able to display it here.

Debi Lynes:                   26:36                Oh, you got to go see it. Super fun. Let’s talk about some products and I liked it the way that you mentioned it. You talked about some entry-level and then some higher ends. Again, one what we said before in the other segment was part of the gift of having a Cregger or a Carla is you can help guide us. What are some of your favorites and why? From a product point of view.

Carla Rohal:                  27:00                Okay, so I do, I love the Moen company. I love the Delta Company.

Debi Lynes:                   27:06                So let’s talk about Moen for a second and we’ll go to Delta. What is it about Moen and they’ve been around for how many years? A gazillion.

Carla Rohal:                  27:13                At least 75, I think. Oh my gosh, I’m so ashamed. I should know exactly how many years. But yes, they have been around for a very long time and they do a very nice job with their styles and again, taking it clear through the line, making sure that if they come out with the faucet, they have everything to match, the tub, shower, accessories, the grab bars, all of that kind of stuff. Also, they have an amazing customer service department and that will be where I can tell you that any product that you see on our showroom floor, if they don’t have good customer service, they are not on the showroom floor. It is the most important thing to us is the customer service. Not as much the design because they all have nice design. If you have a really great design and your customer service is terrible, that’s of no use to me.

Debi Lynes:                   28:09                Well that makes a lot of sense. Delta I’ve heard of too.

Carla Rohal:                  28:12                Yes. Delta is like Moen very large company. Been around for a long time. Very good customer service. Very innovative.

Carla Rohal:                  28:21                And what about price pointing with things like that? Would you consider Moen and Delta sort of running the gamut?

Carla Rohal:                  28:27                Yes, they, I mean they both have entry-level and they go up to a probably, I would say, a mid. Scooting over that mid-price range with some of their newer, more decorative stuff.

Debi Lynes:                   28:40                Who is more high end? What are some fun, trendy, high end?

Carla Rohal:                  28:44                Well we have a lot of fun trendy stuff. The Rohl Company, R-O-H-L, they have a lot of great designs that people like you, designers come in and they have a lot of wow factor there. It comes with a price.

Debi Lynes:                   28:59                But in the right place again, get a little bling.

Carla Rohal:                  29:05                That’s right. I mean for sure. Powder rooms are a great place to put that product and kitchens because when someone comes to your house, they’re going to see your kitchen for sure. And most likely they’re going to see your powder room. So that’s a great place to put those nice higher ends. Like Rohl and Brizo and Newport Brass.

Debi Lynes:                   29:25                Oh, Newport Brass. Hmm. I haven’t heard of that. Yes, I guess I have.

Carla Rohal:                  29:30                They are a great decorative company. They have all of the finishes. They do their own faucet finishing and they do it for some other companies as well, so they have the ability to really have everything you need in every finish you need.

Debi Lynes:                   29:44                Do you recommend that people stick with a flavor or a style throughout their home or do you find that people are like, you know what, this is my crazy powder room and I wanted to do something real wild in here. It doesn’t match anything.

Carla Rohal:                  29:57                I’m fine with whatever they want because it’s your house. You’re not building it for me. You’re building it for you. However, I hear all the time that people want to make sure that when they go to resell their home that everyone’s going to like it. So you know, generally they may jazz up some things and do some things a little different, but they don’t leave the idea of this house is traditional or transitional or contemporary. They tried to stay at least consistent in that.

Debi Lynes:                   30:27                So if anybody thought that this episode of aging in place podcast, it might be like, “Really? I’m going to talk about toilets and fixtures and they would like, Oh, we’re going to skip that.” No, it’s fascinating and I so appreciate you joining us. We learned a lot and you have to come back and we will talk a lot. There’s a lot more to talk about actually. Carla, thank you.

Carla Rohal:                  30:50                Thank you.

Debi Lynes:                   30:50                Thank you all for joining us here on aging in place.

Debi Lynes:                   30:54                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes and thank you for listening to aging in place for any stage in life. We would like to ask you all to give us a review. Of course, preferably five stars. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed aging in place for any stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   31:12                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:              31:40                Thanks, Debi. This suggestion is for those thinking about remodeling their kitchens. Ever thought about raising your dishwasher? Choices of dishwashers include drawers and half sizes, but raising it to a height we’re bending over repeatedly like an exercise would be marvelous. Kitchen cabinets can be reinforced to hold a dishwasher waist-high if you wanted, and having it at this height could have other benefits such as using the door when open as a prepping area or even hold a glass as you pour your milk if you’re after spills like I am. And with seniors on blood pressure medications, simply bending over can bring on dizziness. Even back injuries can be aggravating when it comes to the dishwasher loading or unloading. So lift up those dirty dishes off the ground and leave the bending over to the gym. Raise it up and that’s your “who knew”.

Debi Lynes:                   32:32                Here’s our takeaway on aging in place for Carla Rohal. We’re talking about plumbing fixtures today and the takeaway is pretty impactful. Here’s what I learned. Universally designed plumbing fixtures are gorgeous. They come in all finishes. You can even plumb for them before you need to put them in, but don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid. They are a designer’s dream rather than a designer’s nightmare. Thank you all for joining us here on aging in place.

Henrik de Gyor:             33:08                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.