Are all "assisted living" apts. set up for "upright" mobile moderately tall people?

Follow
Share

I've looked into assisted living quarters in several facilities - even had my Mom in one briefly - but one thing has universally stood out... My Mom is in a wheelchair, or at best a walker with limited ability to stand independently... She has shrunk (she used to be 5'2", but is 97 years old and now 4'10"), which I don't think is uncommon with elderly people... All the ASL quarters I've seen have regular height (actually pretty tall!) closets, sinks, kitchenette facilities (counters, "mini-fridge" on counter, microwave, cabinets, etc.) Why aren't there options for people who can't reach that normal height counter, closet, etc.? Even I - 5'1" - couldn't reach some of the areas! Why aren't there available units for people in wheelchairs, etc.?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
7

Answers

Show:
I also believe the AS apartments like Mom briefly had are meant to be a home for the occupant - not just a visiting place for family/friends who show up to reach things too high for the resident. Many people don't even get visits from people, but their apartment is their own to set up! So - even for people who aren't in wheelchairs, but have "shortened" - facilities have to think and incorporate lower closet bars, lower counters/cabinets, reachable microwaves & fridges, built in low dress-type drawers, etc. I'll bet people would line up vying for these units!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Freqflyer - I get so frustrated in stores when I can't reach goods... I have actually come to resent waiting around for some taller person to happen by to reach tings for me, and these days employees are few and far between. So - now I just use my cell phone to call the store, and then say "I'm on aisle xx and need help reaching something!" They usually show up quickly!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

ImageIMP, you brought up a good observation on how senior apartments seem to be put together for the averaged height person, with no consideration that we do shrink over the years. When my Dad was 95 he was about 4'10", amazing how much he shrunk. Yet it seems that men who were over 6 foot tall, remained tall. Go figure.

Dad couldn't even reach the shelves in the closets at his senior living apartment.... nor the top shelf in the medicine cabinet.... I unplugged the built-in microwave, which was over the stove, and bought Dad a counter top micro-wave for the kitchen plus Dad could barely reach the the first shelf on the upper cabinets.

Oh well, I use to complain to new home builders that homes were being built for people over 6 foot tall. I was the average height for a woman, but it didn't make sense that mirrors in the bathroom I had to stand on my tip toes. Same with closet racks and shelving. And the shelf in the laundry room for detergent, forgetaboutit, I couldn't reach it. In the kitchen I would need to drag over a kitchen chair to see what was even on the top shelves.

Even in stores, especially grocery stores and the grocery section at Target, I couldn't reach the cans on the top shelf. I was able to use my Mom's cane to get cereal boxes and tissue boxes down from the upper shelves :)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Here in NY, assisted living can only accept patients who independently transfer and are able to get to and from the dining hall on their own. We did NOT get mom an apartment with a kitchen due to serious safety concerns. We chose a small one floor facility (she still got lost) that forbid all irons, hairdryers, toasters, etc. with good reason. She was only 5'1" but did well
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think that the higher cabinets etc are for family to move things around! Does your Mom get all meals the the kitchenette is just for snacks and visitors?
We actually just moved MIL to a different AL and were (pleasantly) surprised to note that the sinks can all have her wheel chair roll right under! But she still can't reach any of the cabinets. Actually at her age (near to Images' Mom) she isn't foraging for food. We just leave some items where she can reach them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

There may be one or two wheelchair adapted apartments in a complex, but the need outstrips the demand. And once a person can no longer stand for more that brief periods of time they may need more assistance than many ALs are willing to give.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Good question!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions