The Professional Choice
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Senior living centers receive more calls after the holidays than any other time of the year. Spend some quality time with your senior parent or grandparent, in their home and observe them in their daily tasks. Do they struggle bathing, using the toilet or fixing a meal? Sometimes they struggle with the most basic task. Watch and observe.
Today, seniors are remaining in their homes longer, and usually alone. Many adult children do not recognize how much of a struggle their loved one is having in completing daily tasks until a bad fall or other scare triggers a good evaluation and information quest. Most seniors are either too stubborn or too proud to admit they need help or assistance until it’s too late.
Falls are a major problem for senior citizens. Sixty percent of falls happen in the home. Bathrooms are the main concern and in fact, are the most common area to require modifications. Reducing the chance for falls in the bathroom is the most important task to consider. These modifications may be extremely minor, like adding grab bars or putting a riser on the toilet to completely revamping the bathroom for wheel-chair access, a walk-in tub or pedestal sink.
Replacing old knob-style faucets for the newer, lever-style ones is a simple change, and is especially helpful for people with arthritis. Showers are generally safer than tubs for senior citizens because there is a smaller sidewall to step over. A hand-held shower adaptor and a portable stool is an inexpensive modification that can be installed in a few minutes but it will not relieve the risk of stepping over the side of the tub. Walk-in tubs are a great addition but not for everybody.
Grab bars are essential but they must be properly affixed to the wall. Suction cup grab bars are not recommended regardless what the TV commercials state! Non-slip flooring is a must! A grab bar at the top of a stairway may help to transition from the top step to a landing area.
Kitchen modifications are usually most necessary when the occupant has true physical handicaps and in need of a wheelchair.
Wheel-chair ramps, stair-lift units and other home entry modifications are most often thought about when thinking of ‘aging-in place’ but the bathroom is the place most falls take place. The most important factor is to plan ahead. Add these “senior-friendly” home modifications BEFORE they become a “must-have” item. If you witness your elder parent struggle a bit this Christmas season, consider having some of the basic items installed by a professional to assist them before a major fall awakens you to their condition. Act rather than react! You may just save them and you a whole lot of pain and suffering.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Household dangers are lurking all throughout the home; and if you’re a member of our senior population, the risks are even greater.
Interior and exterior lights using motion sensors or photo cells can light the way to safety. Inside the house, place them in the frequently traveled paths at night; like between the bed and bathroom or on your way to the kitchen. Outside, replace the lights that require a flip of the switch with a motion sensor or a photo cell, so you’re never caught in the dark upon returning home.
Decorative and bath rugs are attractive, but without proper backing or with backing that’s worn down, they can be a slip, trip, or fall hazard. Check and make sure they still grip the floor, and if not, add a non-skid backing or toss them out.
All inside or outside stairs need to have a hand railing. As you age you may want to consider installing one on each side of the stairwell for your assistance in navigating those steps.
Your home should already be equipped with working smoke detectors. Each year have someone check their functionality, batteries, and that they’re clear of dust and debris. Cans of compressed air can be purchased and used for cleaning computer keyboards and blowing out cobwebs and dust from your smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors are a must if you have a gas heater, water heater or attached garage.
Finally, put safety over vanity and be honest with yourself when it’s time to install grab bars, handrails, non-skid strips in the bathtubs and showers. Installing a few of these much needed safety items prior to absolutely needing them will enable you an opportunity to ease into their use as you age and become more dependent upon them.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
MSN has a very eye-opening piece about things homeowners do that actually decreases their homes value. I have seen many of these "mistakes" in the Omaha Metro Area as Mr. Handyman has been asked to complete projects for some of these sellers.
Spend your money wisely! Take these examples into consideration when you fix-er-up!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Watching the cable TV shows you may think the DIY projects seem easy. Some are. Here are a few projects you should never try to tackle unless you have quite a bit of experience.
Roof Repair. Not only can you hurt yourself if you attempt to fix your roof on your own, but you can also damage your roof and end up in need of even more costly repairs from a pro. Limit your interaction with your roof to seasonal check ups to remove debris from gutters and check for cracked or broken shingles. Since most roof systems can last for up to 20 years, this is definitely a case where you should leave it to the pros.
- Exterior painting. Paint and preparation vary depending on the surface, but no matter the material, the steps of power washing, sanding, paint scraping and caulking must be completed. The goal of most DIY’ers is to save money but not properly tackling the preparation part of the work may cost you much more in the long run. Keep in mind that older homes likely have lead-based paint issues, which can be hazardous to your health.
- HVAC. Unless you're performing a relatively simple task like installing a programmable thermostat to save energy, most HVAC projects require the help of a professional because very few homeowners know more than just the basics of air ventilation and circulation.
- Attic Insulation. If your attic is easily accessible, it can be tempting to attempt to insulate your attic on your own, but think twice before installing any. There are several types used in this area and knowing how much to add and where to put it is key. Too much in the wrong places or up against the bottom of the roof can cause wood rot to form.
- Structural changes. While most homeowners know to keep away from loadbearing walls, some forget to also avoid walls that contain water or gas pipes, electrical wires and ductwork. Hiring a professional can save you the time you'd spend with the guesswork involved in figuring out what walls can go and what must stay.
- Gutter repair. The installation of new gutters can add great value to a home, but keep in mind that it's difficult to near impossible to repair gutters without impacting your roof, fascia and soffit. If the slope of the gutter is not correct they may rust out prematurely or not function properly.
- Building a deck. In most municipalities, homeowners must secure a permit when building a deck higher than 18 inches off the ground. Building codes will also affect your build and how far you'll need to dig before installation of footings. Improper attachment to your home can cause wood rot and water intrusion into the living space.
- Basement Waterproofing. Do your homework before attempting to solve your water problems. While minor issues can be temporarily fixed with waterproofing paint, the results are sure to fade after one or two heavy rainstorms. For a permanent solution hire a professional who will troubleshoot and recommend the best solution.
- Tree Removal. Forget that you'll need to figure out what to do with the tree once you've knocked it down and consider the time you'll spend measuring and preparing for the fall. There are a lot of factors at play here that a professional tree remover will be much better equipped to handle, oftentimes at a relatively low cost.
- Tile Work. Especially in ‘wet’ areas like the tub surround or kitchen backsplash. Improperly installing tile in these areas can lead to water intrusion and mold, mildew and wood rot issues. Tile can be expensive so having it installed properly by a professional is your best value.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
These tips are designed to help you choose effective ways to reduce your energy bills. The average home spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs. But you can lower your energy bills and help save the environment at the same time!
No cost savings – use your appliances wisely!
* Use the microwave and grill more. If needed use the stove and oven less and when it is cooler out.
* Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes in the sink. Run it only when full and select the air-dry feature!
* The more food in your freezer and refrigerator the more efficient it is. Keep them stocked. It keeps from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool.
* Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold water to rinse clothes.
* Line dry clothes whenever you can.
* When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each use. Clean the whole dryer vent ducting
* Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use.
* Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use-most new electronics use electricity even when switched "off." Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
* Unplug or recycle that extra refrigerator or freezer in the garage if you don't really need it. This will save you up to $150 per year!
Monday, June 3, 2013
To learn more about our new program or to sign up please give our office a call at 402-502-5212. We would be happy to get started this season for you. Read our reviews on Angie’s List, Systino - right hand top) and Home Advisor.