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Installing Safety Bars for a Senior Requires Skill, Not a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Mentality

Being a do-it-yourselfer can be a great feeling. Stepping back, looking at a job well done, and enjoying the benefits of a kitchen remodel, finishing off an unfinished basement, or even putting up the shed in the backyard can feel great. However, safety is still a major priority.

Unfortunately, not many do-it-yourselfers really have the skills necessary for more intricate work.

Senior Home Safety in Cape Coral FL: Installing Safety Bars

Senior Home Safety in Cape Coral FL: Installing Safety Bars

An example would be the homeowner who decides to finish off a part of their basement. They don’t get the proper work permits so they don’t need an inspection, at least not yet. If they decide to sell their home in the future, that could very well change and things get extremely complicated at that point.

They lay the flooring, put up the walls, and do a decent job. Then comes the electric baseboard heaters and the secondary breaker box to carry the added amperage load. They read a book, pay attention to some of the details, and do a decent job, or so they think. When they’re standing outside in the cold, the flashing lights of the fire department bathing them in a rainbow of colors as they watch their house burn down, they realize something may have been done improperly.

While these situations are not the norm, they do happen.

When a senior is living alone, his or her safety will likely be compromised with age. Installing grab bars can be a wonderful asset when they have limited mobility or strength. Those grab bars are most commonly added to bathrooms, especially in the tub or shower surround.

An adult son or daughter who has that do-it-yourself mentality and some tools might tell their mother or father, “I can do that, no problem.” They might mean it, too. However, if those grab bars are not installed properly and secured to the wall studs, they could free up the wall and be nothing more than glorified towel bars. That isn’t going to improve safety for anyone.

The best thing anyone can do is contact a qualified contractor for this type of work.

Yes, it may take time and some patience to get a contractor to even return your call, especially when they’re busy, but finding the wall studs behind linoleum or ceramic tile (the common surfaces of a tub or shower surround) can be extremely difficult, touchy, and sensitive. That’s why more experienced professionals should be doing this type of work, especially when safety is an issue for seniors.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to improve senior home safety in Cape Coral, FLplease contact the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse Home Health Care at (239) 307-0033.

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Ted Wolfendale, Esq.

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.

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