Interview with Terry Helland, Home Modifications Division consultant, Knueppel HealthCare Services PART II
BLOG: For people looking to make home modifications, what other typical changes can be done around the house?
HELLAND: People need access to the things they do everyday, like preparing meals: adding sliding or revolving shelves on cabinets in the kitchen can be a big help. In the bathroom we can outfit the shower area as a walk-in shower or tub. In the bedroom we can install a ceiling lift to assist with patient transfer between the bed and, say, the bathroom. For wheelchair users, replacing traditional door hinges with offset door hinges is a great way to add extra clearance through a doorway without having to do any major remodeling.
BLOG: How do I know if I need more extensive work done?
HELLAND: Well, that’s a determination we can come to together; we evaluate the unique circumstances for each individual situation. We evaluate you and your home with our comprehensive home safety checklist. If you are having trouble getting into and out of your home, we can install ramps or even platform lifts to make that easier. If you use a wheelchair and are having trouble navigating doorways, and the offset hinges aren’t enough, we can widen them. We have a full-color resource guide that we go through with customers which offers ideas for any rooms you might want to consider for modifications, and we often go through the entire home with them, making sure to do it right the first time. We assess stairways, the kitchen, doorways and windows, bathrooms, floors, hallways, lighting and even closets. Based on our conversations and the results of our pre-home modification checklist, we can come up with a solution to satisfy your needs for greater safety and independence.
BLOG: Tell us about your new showroom display.
HELLAND: We are very proud of our new simulated showroom display where we can give live demonstrations of the latest in home modification technology. We have two model rooms, really a bedroom-bathroom-stairway combination suite that has a ceiling lift system, a walk-in tub and several bath safety products and a stair lift. You really have to see it; it’s like a mini home on display. The ceiling lift takes the patient (in our model it’s a giant teddy bear) from the bed to the bathtub through a door with an automatic door opener. It’s nice to have this up and running so people can really see what it would look like in their home.
BLOG: Are there any other special products you provide?
HELLAND: Definitely. If you like to travel, or just get around town, and need to take your wheelchair or scooter with you, we install special interior vehicle lifts. For safer access to residences we also do a lot of work with ramps: portable, modular and threshold ramps. These are also on display and can almost instantly create better access and safer maneuvering for those who use wheelchairs. The last point I’d make is that – for the products going into the home – these are all good-looking, well-designed and well-crafted products so the consumer doesn’t have to sacrifice the looks for functionality. These are not your typical institutional products (think chrome); these are sleek, modern products that may even constitute an upgrade in how your modified home will look!
BLOG: Any last words?
HELLAND: I think it is only natural to want to stay in your home for as long as you can; I hope we can make that true for anyone wishing to do so.Tags: automatic door opener, ceiling lift, comprehensive home safety checklist, interior vehicle lifts, live demonstrations, modular and threshold ramps, offset door hinges, patient transfer, platform lifts, portable, remodeling, scooter, sliding or revolving shelves, walk-in shower or tub, wheelchair