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Archive for the ‘Home Mods’ Category

Interview with Terry Helland, Part II

Posted on: October 5th, 2011 by Knueppel HealthCare Services No Comments

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.

New Showroom Display of Hospital Bed and Ceiling Lift System

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.

Interview with Terry Helland, Part I

Posted on: September 13th, 2011 by Knueppel HealthCare Services No Comments

Interview with Terry Helland, Home Modifications Division consultant, Knueppel HealthCare Services PART I

Terry Helland, C.E.A.C.

Terry Helland has worked in the rehabilitation and medical services industry for 26 years. He is credentialed as a Certified Environmental Access Consultant (C. E. A. C.).

BLOG: Terry, how long have you worked at KHS?

HELLAND: I have been with Knueppel’s since 2006. I previously managed the Rehab Department, but then two years ago took on our Home Modifications Division. It has been an exciting and challenging change, but I find all my past experience feeds into every recommendation I make to people and every job we do.

BLOG: What are “home modifications”?

HELLAND: “Home modifications” is a catch-all phrase that includes any changes made to a home environment that make it safer and easier to get around in. It’s really all about quality of life. Home modifications might include the installation of assistive equipment or any structural change that allows people to stay safe and independent in their homes as they age. They are primarily meant for people with disabilities and those wishing to “age in place,” as we say in the industry. 


New Home Modifications Display at our West Allis Location

BLOG: How does one go about deciding if a home modification is appropriate?

HELLAND: Well, let’s look at independence and safety. The first goals usually are to maintain the independence of the individual or couple and to prevent injuries. The Baby Boomer population is starting to reach retirement age and whether they want to admit it or not, they are going to need some help around the house. If someone is still living in their own home where they have raised their family and want to stay there as they are getting older, or age in place, they might need to make some modifications, make sure they are safe. They love their home, but can’t get around in it like they used to…or they realize there are areas that have become unsafe for them, that’s where we come in. We have a comprehensive home safety checklist that highlights all the potential safety risks in the home. Sometimes there are areas people may not have considered as unsafe.


BLOG: If someone just needs a little help, what are some economical ways to make things easier?

HELLAND: The first thing we would do would be to try to make the bathroom safer. If one in three adults 65 and older falls each year, and the bathroom is where the majority of falls take place, then let’s do something about it. Grab bars come in all shapes and sizes and are a great way to make people feel more secure as they use the bathtub, shower and toileting area. To make faucets easier to turn on and off we can install lever-operated faucets. Good bathmats and transfer benches make standing and transitioning safer. Even a tub bench can make taking a shower or bath safer and more accessible.


Stylish Options Abound for Bathroom Modifications