The biggest obstacle to aging in place? Dad.


After being threatened with a walker, my dad has finally begun using (occasionally) a cane. Not always successfully. He tends to carry it, which kind of defeats the purpose. The cane is not from your local DME or pharmacy. It came from the attic (or shed) and apparently belonged to a grandparent, which explains why he hasn’t learned to use it properly.

I was talking to HME providers in early January to see whether they have any after holiday sales, kind of like white sales. I figured the answer was no (it was) but it still made for interesting conversation.

One thing that does drive a bit of retail traffic after the holidays: Adult children who, upon visiting their parents, get a chance to look around and see what their parents might need.

I found myself doing exactly that at Christmas. Where, for example are the grab bars I thought they were planning to have installed in the bathroom? Hell, even I worry sometimes about falling in that hazard pit (bathrooms in general, not my parents’ in particular).

I suppose it would be impractical to put grab rails all around the house.

My mother has also added an extra cushion to the easy chair my father sits in to make it easier for him to stand up (and sit down). Methinks it’s time for him to consider a lift chair, which it turns out is an item that providers definitely promote. 

I think the very idea of a lift chair will make him feel old (uh, dad, you are).

It shouldn’t, providers tell me.

“A lot of people just want a comfortable chair,” said Kevin Brown, owner of All Star Medical. “If they can buy a La-Z-Boy, why not a chair from Golden?”

Why not, indeed?

Still, with all the talk about aging in place, the biggest obstacle in this case would be the age-ee himself—a not uncommon problem, I surmise.


Not uncommon indeed!  Looks like you have done well to gently navigate the waters of making life easier for your parents.  I woder if something that either came as a gift and looked like regular furniture or maybe was installed "to help your mom" might be better received by your dad?  Having said this, I had a home heath care patient who actually installed wooden railngs along long hallways and at exit/entry doorways!  Sometimes judicial placement of heavy furniture provides a decent handhold when nothing else will do!  Take care, :J

Hi Julie, my mom has gotten very good at working certain furniture into certain places for this very reason. Whatever works for dad, works for us all! Thanks for your kind words.