Whole Home Blog

Preparing for the first annual ToolBelt Ball

Posted on March 20, 2017 by kim

Our friends at People Working Cooperatively are preparing for the first annual ToolBelt Ball, presented by ATL, on Saturday, March 25. The gala, which runs from 5:30pm to midnight at the JACK Cincinnati Casino, will support one of their most critical programs – Modifications for Mobility. 

The ToolBelt Ball highlights People Working Cooperatively’s mission to serve low-income homeowners, many of whom are elderly or people with disabilities and veterans across Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana. One of their most important programs serving this population is Modifications for Mobility, which makes critical home repairs for clients with mobility issues. After their critical modifications are made, the homeowners, perhaps for the first time in a long time, will be able to move safely through their homes.

Attendees at this black-tie affair will enjoy a cocktail reception, a three-course gourmet meal, raffles, a high-end wine and bourbon pull, silent and live auctions, live entertainment from the Ultra Sonics Band, and more.

New this year, the night will include a juried art exhibit, A Place to Call Home. Thirteen local artists were commissioned to create art from doors, symbolizing what home means to them. The doors will be available for purchase in the silent auction.

Tickets for the ToolBelt Ball are $150 and are still available online. Please consider joining People Working Cooperatively for an incredible evening of dinner, dancing, and raising money to benefit our most vulnerable neighbors. 

Ways to Welcome Family in your Home this Holiday Season

Posted on November 22, 2016 by kim

The holidays are almost here, which means lots of opportunities to gather with friends and family to spend time and share meals. The kitchen is the heart of the home and a natural gathering place, but for some of your guests, moving around and helping in the kitchen might be difficult.

We have a few ideas to help prepare your kitchen for out of town guests so everyone can help make those family recipes:

· Make sure there is plenty of light in your kitchen. Now is the time to replace dead light bulbs and even add under-cabinet lighting. Good lighting is important for cooking, especially if your guests don’t have the best eyesight. 

· Now is the perfect time to add a pull-down shelf like this one from Richelieu Hardware. Instead of grabbing a stool to reach the highest shelves of your cabinet, you and your guests can simply pull the shelf down. It is much safer and easier.

· Similar to adding pull-down shelves, it’s a great time to add pull out drawers to some of your lower cabinets. Storing Tupperware, pots, and pans can get disorganized, and items often fall to the back of cabinets. Adding a pull out drawer makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. Plus you won’t have to bend and stretch as far, a plus for elderly and pregnant guests.

· Instead of adding something to your kitchen for the holidays, think about de-cluttering. Removing throw rugs makes it safer for elderly relatives in wheelchairs and rambunctious children to move around your home.  Think about removing some extra counter decorations – that will allow more space for helping hands.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for the holidays, and preparing your kitchen should be at the top of that list. For more tips on making your home welcoming for all your family this season, call us at (513) 482-5100.

Happy Holidays!



A Bonus Room that Grows with your Family

Posted on October 21, 2016 by kim

If you’ve recently purchased a home with a bonus room, the question you may be asking yourself is what to do with that extra space? It’s nice to have a room that can grow and adapt to the changing needs of your family throughout the years. The experts at Whole Home have a few ideas for ways to use your bonus room.

Guest Room/In-Law Suite
It’s always nice to have a place for guests to stay when then come in town. Turn your bonus room into a guest room so that friends and family can stay in comfort. You could also turn it into an in-law suite for grandparents who can no longer live on their own. Having this room on the first floor is a plus. It means family and friends who can’t easily maneuver stairs can spend their time on the main level with everyone else. It’s also important to have a full bathroom on the same floor. 

Play Room
Having a room for the kids to keep their toys is a great idea. It means you don’t have toys scattered all through the house on the floor and on the stairs, creating tripping hazards. Keeping the mess confined to one room also makes it easier to host guests, especially surprise visitors.

Office/Homework Room
When the kids are older, turn the bonus room into an office and homework room. Having a space where everyone goes to get work done keeps clutter off the dining room table, and means the kids won’t be distracted from studying with everything in their rooms. Add a desk for everyone to stay organized.

It’s important that your home works for you as your family grows and changes. Call the experts at Whole Home to plan your next home renovation to fit your family’s needs.  

Fall Prevention Awareness Month

Posted on September 19, 2016 by kim

Did you know that 1 out of 3 Americans over the age of 65 will fall every single year? These falls can sometimes cause complications to health, wellness, and certainly to enjoying life and they can be costly with 2.5 million falls being treated at emergency rooms every year. Falls are absolutely preventable and are not a natural result of aging, and our friends from People Working Cooperatively have some ideas to help prevent falls in your home.

Make sure you have good lighting in your house. Stairways and entryways are important places to keep bright lights and you certainly don’t want to have to trek across a room just to be able to see where you are going. Additionally, keep a light by your bed that is easily accessible and plug in some night lights throughout your home, particularly in the bedroom and bathrooms.

Handrails and grab bars are easy to install and add safety and security though the house. Giving yourself some added support and help in the shower or bathtub or going up or down stairs can easily be achieved by installing no slip grip bars and even an extra railing on the other side of the staircase.

Get rid of needless tripping hazards. Clutter and objects on the floor can be detrimental and rugs are one of the leading causes to tripping and falling. That rug might add a nice decorative touch, but your safety and well being are so much more important. Make sure furniture doesn’t impede your walking path and always clean up spills or messes as soon as they happen.

Being comfy in your home is important, but so is being safe. Have both by investing in some good shoes and slippers with traction. Slippery floors or outside surfaces can present a hazard that good shoes can help you avoid. During the winter if there is snow or ice on the sidewalks hire someone to shovel and ice and when you are driving somewhere, be sure to carry a bag of salt or even cat litter with you so you can sprinkle on the ground to provide even more traction for yourself.

There are many common causes to falling that most people wouldn’t even think of. Always watch out for pets or small children - they are pretty unpredictable and could potentially run out in front of you. Make sure your eyeglass prescription is up to date or if you notice a change in your vision, schedule a trip to the eye doctor to get everything squared away. Always know the side effects of medication before taking it. A lot of common and prescription drugs can cause dizziness, which can increase the likelihood of falls.

Finally, exercise as much as you can. In fact, Harvard Medical School strongly encourages the practice of Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese mind-body practice that improves balance and muscle tone. It has bee noted that the risk of falls decreases by 55 percent in older adults who took up Tai Chi three times a week.

There’s no need to live in fear or feel like you have to cut back on your day to day life activities as you age. With some simple safety, health, and home improvements you can continue living the life you love without the fear of falling.


Single Story Living Trends

Posted on July 21, 2016 by kim

Ranch style homes became popular in the 1950’s and 60’s and fell out of style in recent years, but one-floor living is making a comeback. There are tons of reasons ranch style houses are ideal for young families, established families, and empty nesters alike.

Because everything is on one floor, space has to be used efficiently. Ranches are as big as they need to be and no bigger, which makes it easy to have just what you need without too many extraneous and unnecessary knick-knacks. The smaller size also makes it easier to heat and cool because of fewer rooms that are more interconnected, allowing for better airflow and lower energy costs. 

One-floor living also makes for easier mobility. In a ranch style home you won’t need to go up and down stairs with toys, toddlers, laundry, and suitcases. Stairs can be troublesome for anyone, so not having to constantly climb them is incredibly convenient and beneficial for all members of your family. Bathrooms, laundry, bedrooms, and living space are all just steps away from each other.

However, for many of us, our dream home simply isn’t a ranch style home. But, there are steps you can take to ensure that your first floor has all you’ll need. This is especially important during times in your life when you’re managing a temporary illness or injury, or have a family member who struggles with mobility.

Adding a full-bath to the first floor ensures that you and your guests don’t have to go upstairs. If you have space, add a first floor laundry room, When possible try to locate it near the bedrooms. Laundry baskets are unwieldy and make it difficult to walk up and down stairs, so avoiding them whenever possible is a plus. Another thing to add if you have the space is a first floor master. There may come a time when grandparents move in, or it’s difficult for you to get upstairs to the bedroom. Having a first floor master means you can live comfortably in your home for a many years to come. 

Whether you have the ranch home of your dreams, or want to renovate your current home to fit your needs, the experts at Whole Home can make it perfect for your family. Call us at (513) 482-5100 for more information.


Kitchen Trends to Fit Your Home

Posted on June 28, 2016 by kim

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s a gathering space, so it should be beautiful and welcoming for family and guests.

The experts at Whole Home have the skills and knowledge to turn your kitchen into a gourmet gathering space that is perfect for your family. Read on for kitchen trends and how to integrate them in your home.

Large islands add storage and prep space, valuable commodities in any kitchen. Most islands have overhangs to add stools for an extra seating area, which are great for giving a boost to smaller helpers. We have another idea: build a lower level on the end of your island. The kids get their own prep space without having to balance on stools, and friends who would be more comfortable sitting in a table-height chair rather than standing for long periods can more easily lend a helping hand.

Gone are the days of plain white or walnut cabinets. Many newer kitchens are being outfitted with gray cabinets and are using different woods to add visual interest in the kitchen. Selecting cabinet color is just part of the challenge, however. While extending cabinets to the ceiling adds storage, it’s not practical. Most people can’t reach the top shelves, and climbing on the counters to reach dishes or ingredients is dangerous.

Local company, Richelieu Hardware, has a unique solution that we love. Their pull-down cabinet systems offer the ability to access hard-to-reach spices and utensils, and they have solutions that can be installed and used with the cabinet doors remaining closed, or open. You can learn more about them here.

One last tip - allow extra space between the counters and island for easy maneuverability. A little extra space is great for when you’re loaded down with groceries, have extra helpers in the kitchen

trying to maneuver around each other, or when friends with mobility challenges come to visit.

Above all, your kitchen should be a place where you and your family are comfortable gathering. Call the team at Whole Home and we’ll help you design your dream kitchen.



Tips for Remodeling Your Bathroom This Spring

Posted on April 22, 2016 by kim

Remodeling a bathroom can seem like a huge undertaking for a homeowner, and there is plenty to consider. From tile to finishes to doors and vanities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed quickly. At Whole Home, our experts know that it’s important for your bathroom to be beautiful and functional, so that your family and your guests can access it easily. Here are a few tips to ensure that your bathroom remodel lasts for years to come. 

Add a pocket door
Pocket doors take up less space allowing more room to maneuver into and around your bathroom. They also look great, and can be found in a variety of styles. This increases your style factor, and your accessibility.

Add a zero-grade shower
Avoiding steps into a shower makes for clean lines and easy entry. Whether it’s young children, expecting mothers or seniors, zero-grade entry to showers makes it safer for the entire family to move in and out. The shower can be an eye-catcher because of the stylish tile and glass door design, and safe for anyone who may use it. 

Add stylish grab bars
Most people think grab bars are eye-sores, and make a room feel too clinical. At Whole Home, we know safety is important, but so is style. That’s why we offer plenty of stylish grab bars that double as toilet paper holders, towel racks, and shelves. If you didn’t know they were there for added support and security, you’d never guess they were grab bars. 

If you’re thinking about remodeling your bathroom, give us a call. The experts at Whole Home will help you design a beautiful and accessible bathroom.  

Home Buying Tips from Whole Home

Posted on March 11, 2016 by kim

Buying a home is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Of course you’re thinking about the location of the home and whether it fits your family’s space needs and style. But what else should you look for that you might not have factored in? The experts at Whole Home have a few other things you might want to consider when buying a home.

Look for homes with no-step entries. Stepless entries are helpful for many reasons. Day-to-day activities such as bringing in groceries, furniture, or strollers are easier when you don’t have to maneuver a bunch of steps. These entryways also help family members and friends who struggle with stairs feel more welcome in your home.

Another thing to look for is a first floor bathroom. Having a bathroom on the first floor is much more important than you might think. You spend most of your time on the first floor, so it’s more convenient to have a bathroom on that level. There are practical concerns to think about too. Going up and down stairs to get to the bathroom could be difficult for expecting mothers, small children or older family members and friends. 

Looking for a first floor laundry room, or space for one, is also a good idea, for many of the same reasons. Doing laundry is a time-intensive chore. Having it close by means you’re more likely to get it done and not forget about it. It also eliminates the potential hazards of walking up and down stairs with baskets full of clothes, especially if the stairs become cluttered with shoes and toys.

Buying a home is a huge commitment. Once you find the right home, you’re going to want to stay there for a long time. These tips can help your home continue to meet your needs no matter where you are in life. If you’re already in your dream home, but need a few updates to make it perfect for your current lifestyle, call the experts at Whole Home. We can work with you to make your dream home even better. 

Join us at Hometown Hollywood

Posted on February 04, 2016 by kim

We’re excited to celebrate with our partners, PWC, at the final Hometown Hollywood gala on Sunday, February 28, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. This year’s theme for the annual Oscars® party is “Back to Black and White,” so it’s sure to be a night filled with glitz and glamour. 

One of the best things about Hometown Hollywood is that all of the proceeds benefit PWC’s Modifications for Mobility Program. The essential home renovations and repairs provided by this program ensure that elderly, low-income and people with disabilities from the Greater Cincinnati community can continue to live safely in their homes. Over the past 18 years, the Hometown Hollywood event has raised more than $1.7 million in net revenue for the Modifications for Mobility Program. 

Those 18 years have seen memorable galas with themes including “My Big Fat Cincinnati Wedding” and a “Salute to the King” Elvis theme; however, the “Back to Black and White” theme promises to be a night to remember by taking guests back to the days of old Hollywood glamour. Guests should dress to impress in black and white. The event will feature themed entertainment, a three-course gourmet meal, silent and live auctions, and, of course, a live telecast of the Oscars®. 

While this year marks the final Hometown Hollywood gala, PWC is ready to deliver a fresh take on its signature fundraising event, and promises this year’s Hometown Hollywood will be unlike any other and will offer guests a brief glimpse of what they have in store for the exciting new event in 2017!

Please join us and PWC for a night of Hollywood glamour for a cause. Tickets for Hometown Hollywood are $150 and can be purchased online at www.pwchomerepairs.org/hth.




Winter Home Renovations

Posted on January 18, 2016 by kim

Winter weather means more time spent indoors, which makes it a great time to do home improvements. Of course, this isn’t the best time for a major kitchen remodel, or to put on an addition, but there are plenty of projects homeowners can take on during the colder months.  These winter home improvements can cover everything from cosmetic updates to safety upgrades.

Probably one of the easiest updates, and most noticeable, is to switch out light fixtures, or add them where necessary. It gets dark earlier throughout the winter, so homeowners are more likely to notice dark areas throughout the house. Adding new light fixtures, whether they be wall mounted, overhead, or simply a standing lamp, makes a home safer. By making sure all areas – especially stairways and hallways – are well lit, homeowners and their guests are less likely to trip over something in their path and fall. If a home is already well lit it’s still nice to change out the fixtures every now and then for a refreshed look.

Another relatively simple project is switching out sliding shower doors for a shower curtain. It can be difficult to get in and out of combination tub/showers, and a shower curtain is actually safer than a sliding shower door because you’ll be less restricted with movement. Removing the door is easy, and a curtain allows for more accessibility to the tub. This could be an advantage for older guests or when leaning into the tub to help toddlers with their baths.

For those up for a more involved project, replacing interior doors is a great winter project. Changing out regular swinging doors isn’t too complex – it’s a matter of deciding if it’s just the door that needs changing or the door and the frame. There are pre-hung doors with directions that explain the process.  A more difficult task, but one that is worth it, is to switch from a swinging door to a pocket door. Pocket doors are great for maximizing the space in a doorway and for maximizing the space inside a room. We like to recommend adding a pocket door to a small bathroom so space isn’t being wasted. There are kits for this as well, but what makes it more complicated is the fact that homeowners will need to cut into the wall to make space for the door.

Winter home improvements can be a simple weekend project, or they could require professional expertise. The experts at Whole Home can help you with your next project to refresh your home before the spring. Call (513) 482-5100 to schedule your in-home consultation with an expert today.  


Whole Home Gift Cards for the Holiday Season

Posted on December 09, 2015 by kim

It’s officially the holiday season, which means that many people are thinking of gifts for loved ones, but it’s also the perfect time to think about ways to give back to the community. Why not combine the two for a gift that gives back? 

Whole Home Modifications offers gift cards that can be used to purchase items from our showroom including bathroom and kitchen products in high-end finishes from brands including Kohler and Moen. They’re perfect for family members who are planning a home renovation or just want to spruce up their home.

By purchasing a Whole Home gift card, you are also giving back to People Working Cooperatively. PWC is a non-profit organization that performs critical home repairs and services to elderly and low-income homeowners in Greater Cincinnati. A portion of all money spent at Whole Home goes directly to PWC to make their work possible.

Please consider purchasing a Whole Home gift card this season. This is a gift that will not only be appreciated by your friends and family, but will also brighten the holidays of PWC’s clients throughout the city. Thank you for your gift. 

Bathroom Trends - Maximizing Style and Functionality

Posted on November 11, 2015 by kim

Safety is an important consideration in any home, but no one wants to compromise style. How do long-term functionality and current trends work together? There are a number of ways, and the experts at Whole Home know how to combine style and safety to design a bathroom that fits all your needs.

Glass shower doors and zero entry showers. Glass shower doors are extremely popular these days. They’re stylish, sleek and add a classic touch to any bathroom. This trend works well with zero entry showers. Zero entry showers have no ledge to climb over making it easier for small children and those with limited mobility to enter.  

Adjustable showerheads. When remodeling a bathroom one of the first things people look at are showerheads. There is such a variety of styles and sprays that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. We like the adjustable showerheads from Kohler. You can adjust the height so that it fits whoever is using it at the time making it perfect for children, taller adults, and everyone in between.

Pedestal sinks. The minimalistic look is in, and pedestal sinks are timeless. Including one in a remodeled bathroom adds a classic style with the added benefit of easy access. Whether it’s a wheelchair underneath or a step stool for a child, everyone can easily reach the sink.

Bathroom safety is important, but so is making sure your bathroom fits your style tastes. The experts at Whole Home can help guide your bathroom remodel to make it safe and stylish. Call (513) 482-5100 to schedule your in-home consultation with an expert today.

Grab bars in multiple finishes. Grab bars add safety to any bathroom, and they can be stylish and functional, too. Grab bars come in popular finishes like bronze and brushed nickel to match bathroom fixtures, and double as towel racks and even toilet paper holders. Even the shelf in the picture above is a grab bar.

Bathroom safety is important, but so is making sure your bathroom fits your style tastes. The experts at Whole Home can help guide your bathroom remodel to make it safe and stylish. Call (513) 482-5100 to schedule your in-home consultation with an expert today.  

Fall Preparation Tips from Whole Home Modifications

Posted on October 06, 2015 by kim

Fall is officially here. Besides falling leaves and hot apple cider, that means it’s time to prepare your home for colder weather. There are several quick updates you can make to the outside of your home to make your family more comfortable this season.

Add lights along your walkways: It’s getting darker earlier, which means guests are more likely to leave your home in the dark. By lighting your path you’re making sure family and friends won’t trip on a stray toy or lose their footing on a curving path. Be sure to install a few lights before your next party or family gathering.  

Repave your walkway: Over the years and through the seasons your sidewalks get cracked and damaged, which can become dangerous for anyone walking and cause them to fall. You have plenty of stylish and safe options when you decide to repave – including concrete, cobblestone, and pavers. Take a look at your home and lifestyle to see which option is right for your family.

Re-seal your driveway: Just like your sidewalk gets cracked from wear and tear, so does your driveway.  Depending on the age of your driveway, you’ll either want to re-seal the driveway, or replace it all together. The new, smooth coat means kids or grandkids are less likely to trip and fall while running around practicing their free throws or soccer drills.

Clean your gutters: It’s important to clean your gutters twice a year to make sure that they are working properly. Now that leaves have started falling, it’s a good idea to check your gutter for debris including animal nests, branches, leaves, and anything else that may have landed on your roof. While you’re at it, make sure your downspout is pointed away from your house. You don’t want to cause erosion to your foundation because of run-off.

Check your windows: Your windows and doors are the easiest places for heat to escape and cold air to enter your home. Start your weatherization process by checking the seal between the window and your siding. You may want to remove old paint and caulking to re-caulk the windows. This creates a tighter seal, keeping your heat inside. After you’ve checked the outside of your windows, move inside and check your weather stripping to see if it needs replacing. All of this should happen after you switch your screens for your storm windows.

These small steps are easy ways to make sure your home is prepared for the change in weather. If you’re considering some or all of these projects, give us a call. Whole Home’s experts offer in-home consultations and custom solutions for your home to keep up with your family’s unique needs and active lifestyle. Call (513) 482-5100 to schedule your consultation with an expert to

Social Enterprise Week 2015

Posted on September 02, 2015 by kim

Cincinnati’s second annual “Social Enterprise Week” is August 31 – September 5, 2015, and Whole Home is excited to join the list of Cincinnati’s Social Enterprise organizations participating in the Week’s events. 

Social enterprises are businesses that exist accomplish a social good either by raising money for a cause or involving a marginalized group. Social Enterprise Week is a time to learn more about what these organizations do, as well as how to give back and get more involved. In our case, Whole Home Modifications supports People Working Cooperatively (PWC), a non-profit that has been helping low-income, elderly, and disabled homeowners make home repairs and modifications for 40 years.

One of the most well-known social enterprises is TOMS Shoes. For every purchase from TOMS, the organization provides shoes, sight, water, safe birth, and bullying prevention services to those in need. To date, TOMS has donated more than 45 million pairs of shoes, restored sight to 325,000 people, and provided 175,000 weeks of safe water worldwide.

We were proud to attend to the Social Enterprise CINCY Summit on Tuesday, September 1, where leading social entrepreneurs and community leaders shared their vision for Cincinnati. The presenters were joined by keynote presenter Sebastian Fries, Former Chief Giving Officer for TOMS.

Other events this week include the Social Enterprise Showcase on September 2 at Fountain Square. More than 30 social entrepreneurs (including representatives from Whole Home) will promote their organizations and the causes they support. New this year is the Cincy Celebrates Social networking event on September 3. The event includes a tour of La Terza coffee roasterie and speeches from local entrepreneurs. Closing out the week is Buy Social Saturday, where consumers are encouraged to buy from social enterprises as a simple and effective way to improve their community.

There are plenty of ways to get involved during Social Enterprise week. Learn more about the participating organizations and Social Enterprise Week by visiting secincy.org. 

Participating Organizations

·      Artifex Promotions

·      Clothing Closet

·      Building Ability

·      Building Value

·      Center Table Catering

·      Cincy Sight

·      Cincinnati Cooks Catering

·      Civic Garden Center

·      Flywheel

·      Gateways

·      Growing Sound

·      House Café & Catering

·      Meals 4 You

·      Nom Nom Nation

·      The Nonprofit Leadership Institute of Greater Cincinnati

·      Portaluca

·      St. Vincent de Paul

·      Whole Home Modifications

·      Writely Sew

Modify or Move: Things to consider before your summer remodel

Posted on June 15, 2015 by kim

Over the years families grow and change but, unfortunately, houses don’t automatically change with them. Needs are different, and issues may arise that you didn’t foresee when buying the house. The next question is whether to remodel and modify your home to suit your needs, or move and find a new house that more closely fits your family’s current needs. We’ve compiled a list of a few important considerations when deciding your next step. 

How long will you be in this home?
Do you see your family staying here for the next 5 years? 15? 50? Depending on your answer, the changes you make to your home could be large or small. If you don’t plan on being in your home long-term, you might not want to make drastic changes. If, on the other hand, you plan on staying for life, you should consider what life changes you might experience in the future. Is it possible that an elderly parent would move in with you, or a married child? Consider adding an in-law suite for them now so it will be ready when you need it. In the meantime, the room can be used as an office, homework room, or rec room based on current needs.

What makes you want to stay in your house?
Do you have a great relationship with the neighbors? Is the kids’ school a block away? Is your life centered around your community? Those are things that you can’t take with you when buying a new house. If you can’t give up the location of your current home, remodeling is probably the best option. We can get creative with space, but we can’t have all your neighbors move with you.

What are the current and future needs of your family members?
Your needs as a family with a toddler are going to be dramatically different than your needs as a family with college students and live in grandparents. That in-law suite you were thinking about? Put it on the first floor. Many things may make stairs difficult or impossible for a short time, or permanently. Having a full bedroom and bathroom on the first floor ensures that everyone in your family will be comfortable no matter what their needs are.

How does your family use the space in your home?
If the biggest reason you want to move is a lack of space, first consider how each room in your home is being used. You may be able to re-arrange and be comfortable and flexible as time passes. If you’re not actually using your dining room you could use it as a playroom while the kids are little, reclaim it for a few years, then use it to set up a home office. If there’s always a battle for the family room television but nobody is ever in the study, think about making it a rec room. Maximizing your space is an easy way to make your home feel like new and work better for your family.

How much will it cost to renovate a house vs. buy?
Last, but certainly not least, consider the financials. Chances are you’ll pay more for a new home than you did for your current home. You also have to add in the out of pocket costs including moving expenses, closing costs, broker commissions, and any redecorating or renovations you’ll need to do in the next few years (no house is perfect!). You should also look at what you can afford to do in a remodel. Compare the two numbers and see what makes the most sense for your family.

No matter what you decide, making sure your home is comfortable for your whole family should be at the top of your list, and we can help with that. Learn about your home modification options with a free in-home consultation with one of Whole Home’s experts. To schedule your appointment, you can call us at (513) 482-5100 or send us an email at info@wholehome.org

Older Americans Month: Get Into The Act

Posted on May 26, 2015 by kim

Older Americans Month 2015Did you know that May is Older Americans Month? We try to show our gratitude and respect for older Americans year-round, but we’re especially excited about this year’s theme: “Get Into the Act”.

This year’s celebration is focusing on how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others. At Whole Home many of the modifications we work on are aimed at helping older Americans live safely in their homes and protecting their health, and they absolutely have a positive impact in all of our lives.

In honor of Older Americans Month we’re encouraging older Americans and their caregivers, family, and friends to think about what they can do to keep seniors safe in their homes. We have a few tips to get you started:

  • Ensure all handrails on stairs are fastened securely to the walls. They offer great support while walking up stairs and it’s important that they aren’t loose or broken.

  • Remove throw rugs from hardwood, tile or laminate floors if they’re likely to slip and slide around. If the floors are still a bit slippery, investing in non-slip hard sole shoes is a good option.

  • Adding extra security in the bathroom is always a good idea, and it can look nice too. Consider replacing regular towel racks and toilet paper holders with grabcessories. They look nice and add a feeling of security.

When it comes to keeping seniors safe in their homes and communities, a proactive approach is important. We encourage older Americans and their families to evaluate their individual needs, and incorporate some or all of these tips in order to keep their homes safe and secure for years to come. 

Questions? We can help. Call us at (513) 482-5100. 

Tips to Celebrate Earth Day 2015

Posted on April 22, 2015 by kim

Earth DayConserving energy and being aware of your energy consumption is good for a lot of things – including the environment and your wallet. In honor of Earth Day, we’ve put together a few easy tips to help you be more energy conscious and environmentally friendly.

1. Make sure your house is leak-free. Many homes have hidden water leaks that waste gallons upon gallons of water. To find out if you have a leak, read your water meter, wait 2 hours (and don’t use any water during this time), and read it again. If the reading is different you have a leak in your home.

2. Take shorter showers or replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow of water without adjusting the water temperature knobs.

3. Don't over water your lawn. Lawns only need watering every 5-7 days in the summer and every 10-14 days in the winter. A hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.

4. Turn off the lights, and open the blinds! You’ll enjoy the natural light and save electricity.

5. Turn everything (lights, TVs, entertainment systems, computers, etc.) off when you leave a room. That way you aren’t wasting electricity powering items you’re not using.

6. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

These easy fixes make a huge difference in energy consumption over time.  Consider incorporating some or all of these tips into your routine this spring and summer to save energy and money. ­

Remodeling Your Home with Walk in/Roll in Showers

Posted on March 18, 2015 by kim

Spring is here and, besides warmer weather and more outdoor activities, that means many homeowners are starting to consider their next home renovation project.  The list for renovations can be long, and bathrooms are generally at the very top of it. Bathroom renovations can be very involved, so it’s important to think about the future when designing your new bathroom.

One of our favorite products is the walk in/roll in shower. These showers are flush with the ground, meaning there is no barrier to enter. They’re also beautiful and come in the high-end finishes homeowners want when making renovations.

There are many benefits to adding a walk in/roll in shower during your next renovation. The zero barrier entry makes it easy for small children and family members with temporary injury to get in the shower without stepping over the tub. Additionally these showers make the bathroom more accessible for older family members who frequently visit, or live with you.

If you do add a walk in/roll in shower, think about including an adjustable showerhead. It can be lowered to the perfect height for kids or family members in wheelchairs.

Learn more about the different options during a free in-home consultation with Whole Home’s experts. To schedule your appointment, you can call us at (513) 482-5100 or send us an email at info@wholehome.org

PWC Celebrates 40 Years of Service

Posted on February 24, 2015 by kim

People Working Cooperatively (PWC) is celebrating 40 years of providing critical home repairs for low-income, elderly, and disabled citizens in Greater Cincinnati, and we couldn’t be more proud to support this terrific organization. As a social enterprise of PWC, Whole Home Modifications’ profits benefit PWC and its programs directly, and our clients benefit from PWC’s 40 years of experience and outstanding service.  

PWC Volunteers

While PWC focuses on critical home repairs for those in need, Whole Home offers an expanded array of services. Looking to remodel a bathroom or kitchen? Hope to increase accessibility and visitability? Need just a few home accessories to help support your family’s lifestyle as it grows and evolves? Whole Home can help – and you’ll be supporting a non-profit that creates positive change right here in your community.

Call us at (513) 482-5100 or visit our store in Northgate Mall (9501 Colerain Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45251) to learn more about our services and products, and how we support the work of PWC. You can learn more about PWC at www.pwchomerepairs.org, or by checking them out on Facebook.


Whole Home Modifications at Northgate Mall

Posted on December 11, 2014 by kim

Home is where the heart is, and for many of us, the place where we create our most cherished memories, year after year. Whether your house is home to small children, empty nesters, or a multi-generational family including an aging parent, Whole Home Modifications has the knowledge and expertise to make sure family members of all ages are safe, comfortable, and have full use of your home’s amenities.

Northgate Mall Whole Home ModificationsIf you’ve considered home modifications, but aren’t sure where to start, we recommend consulting with our staff at Whole Home Modifications. This holiday season, it’s easier than ever to find us. We’ve opened a store in the Northgate Mall (next to Footlocker on the first floor), and will be selling home modification products and offering on-the-spot consultations through the end of the year. 

Thinking about updating your bathroom to make it easier for the kids to reach the shower head? We can help with that. Thinking of widening doorways to accommodate mom’s wheelchair or walker? We can help with that too. 

Some of the many products offered at our Whole Home Northgate store include:

-      Compact Elongated ToilElongated Toiletets

-      Moen Integrated Grab Bars

-      Suitcase and Threshhold Ramps

-      Super Pole and Bar

-      Lighting Solutions

Stop by our store at Northgate Mall to learn more about the products and services we offer, and to schedule your in-home consultation today!

Northgate Mall
9501 Colerain Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45251

Helping Family to Feel Welcome in Your Home

Posted on November 17, 2014 by kim

Home for the HoildaysThe holidays are upon us and families will soon gather to celebrate lives and times together.  For many of us, this means family and friends of all ages, from 2 to 92, coming into our homes. How welcoming is your home this holiday season?

A welcoming home for the holidays means different things to different people. For some, it’s the tree, the lights and the decorations. For others, it’s the ability to move easily through hallways, a no-step entry that accommodates a stroller, or room to maneuver a wheel chair in the bathroom.

When the whole family gathers, each is in need of a different accommodation. There are some easy steps you can take to make your home more welcoming to all. To start, be sure to clear outdoor pathways of ice, snow and debris to prevent falls and the slipping of strollers, walkers and wheel chairs. It’s also important to provide a no-step entry to the home, so that young and old alike can be welcomed inside without barriers. If you don’t currently have a no-step entry, consider renting a ramp for the day.

Are there younger children in your family? Toys can easily become scattered on the floors and in hallways. This can be dangerous for family members of all ages, so keeping an eye out for clutter in high traffic areas is important. Are the pathways through the home clear?  Removal of the extra furniture would make it easier for them to move about and socialize. If you have family members staying overnight, another easy but important modification is to add additional nightlights in the hallways. This is especially helpful for family members who aren’t familiar with your home’s layout.

From all of us at Whole Home, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. For more tips on making your home safe and welcoming for the whole family, visit www.WholeHomeModifications.com.



Modification Tips for Improving Bathroom Safety

Posted on October 24, 2014 by kim

Modification Tips for BathroomsAt Whole Home Modifications, we know that most people want to stay in their homes as long as possible. With aging, illness and injury, sometimes this becomes more difficult. However, we’re here to assist you and your loved ones in making your home safer and more accessible for you, your family and your guests, for many years to come.

One of the most common issues facing aging seniors and those with accessibility concerns is the fear of falling in the home. Each year, 1 in 3 adults 65 and older experiences a fall. Bathrooms in particular can be dangerous to seniors and those with limited mobility. However, there are simple ways to make your bathroom safer and more accessible.

When it comes to bathrooms, common issues include difficulty getting in and out of the tub, standing at the sink, getting on and off the toilet, replacing toilet tissue on the holder, and reaching and cleaning thoroughly. Any of these instances can lead to a fall, but each can be resolved with a few simple home modifications.

Grab bars are one of the easiest home modifications to make, and often the most important. When installed properly (we recommend having them professionally installed), grab bars allow you and your loved ones to safely transition from sitting to standing, they add security when navigating the entry, and make getting in and out of the bathtub easier and safer.

Another helpful bathroom modification is to install a curbless shower or a walk-in tub, both of which can significantly decrease the risk of falling and increase independence for anyone with mobility challenges 

When you are ready to move towards modifying your bathroom, we can help. Whole Home’s Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) are happy to visit your home and provide you with a free in-home evaluation. Our CAPS will evaluate your home and make suggestions for modifications based on your unique situation that will help to prevent falls and increase accessibility and visitability.  To schedule your free in-home evaluation, give us a call at 513.482.5100 or send us an email at info@wholehome.org.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week - Keeping Loved Ones Safe

Posted on September 22, 2014 by kim

You may not realize this, but falling is a serious health risk among older adults. Each year, roughly one out of three Americans over the age of 65 experiences a fall. For adults over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations. These emergency room visits and hospitalizations result in $30 billion a year being spent in the U.S. treating older adults for the effects of falls. 

Not only are falls expensive to treat, but the pain and injury they cause can have negative effects on a person's quality of life and drastically reduce an older adult's independence. Once a first fall has occurred the apprehension level rises because we are afraid it will happen again.  We also become concerned with the actions others might take to help us.  All of this can lead to further physical decline, depression, isolation and feelings of helplessness.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week is important because we want to send the message to families that falling is not a natural part of aging, and in many instances, falls can be prevented.  

So what can be done to prevent falls? Plan Ahead. Begin with a conversation between the senior and caregivers. Listen to one another. Do not assume you know the answers. Be open with one another. Ask what challenges the person is facing each day with the daily activities. Ask them to show you how they do certain routine activities. Include any nurse or therapists involved in the daily health care plan.  This may take a few conversations to build or rebuild trust.  It is important to be open-minded to options and possibilities. 

Families can also take steps to make their home safer. Some of the most common locations for falls are doorways, cluttered hallways, areas with heavy traffic, bathrooms and stairs. Simple steps to prevent in-home falls include removing throw rugs or ensuring floor coverings are secured with a non-skid backing and installing lighting at the top and bottom of staircases. It’s also important to secure electrical and phone cords out of walkways, and to remove tripping hazards like paper, boxes, toys and clothes from stairs and walkways.

For additional support and to increase safety for seniors who may have already experienced a fall or have been injured, home modifications may become beneficial. For example, grab bars can be installed in kitchens and bathrooms, doorways can be widened, and step-free entrances can be constructed. 

The important thing to remember is that falling does not have to be a part of getting older. There are easy steps that can be taken to prevent falls, and to make your home, and your loved one's home a safe place.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider calling one of our Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS). We offer free in-home consultations and we come prepared with a Fall Prevention Checklist. Let us help guide you in the best direction to ensure safety and prevent falls. Give us a call at (513) 482-5100.


Celebrating Social Enterprise Week: September 8th – 14th 2014

Posted on September 02, 2014 by kim

Buy SocialSocial Enterprise Week Cincinnati is September 8-14, and we are excited to share that Whole Home Modifications is participating in the celebration! Social Enterprise Week is a time to recognize the valuable impact that social enterprises have on job creation, economic development and the community around them. Throughout the week we’ll be working to help increase awareness of local social enterprises, like Whole Home Modifications, and to showcase other social enterprise retailers in our community.

By definition, a social enterprise is a business where company profits are used to support a nonprofit organization. Social enterprises help nonprofits in expanding their good works, while reducing their reliance solely on government grants or donor support. Well-known social enterprises include Girl Scout cookies, Newman’s Own salad dressings and TOMS shoes. In our case, Whole Home Modifications supports People Working Cooperatively (PWC), a nonprofit that has been helping low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners make home repairs and modifications for more than 39 years.

So how can you help celebrate Social Enterprise Week? First, you can join us at the Social Enterprise Showcase. It will take place on September 10 from 11:30am to 1:30pm on Fountain Square. A twist on your typical lunch-and-learn, the event will highlight 24 local social enterprises and the causes they support. Entertainment, samples and demonstrations will be featured and Whole Home and PWC will have a booth where you can visit us and learn more about our products and services.

Then, you can participate in BUY SOCIAL! Saturday, on September 13. BUY SOCIAL! Saturday encourages consumers to buy from social enterprises as a simple and effective way to improve the community around them.  Local social enterprises will be hosting special events and promotions.

Participating organizations for Social Enterprise Week Cincinnati include:

- Artifex Promotions
- Building Ability
- Building Value
- Center Table
- Children, Inc.
- CincySight
- Cincinnati Cooks Catering
- Civic Garden Center
- The Clothing Closet
- FeedingWorks
- Gateways, A Recovery Center
- Growing Sound
- House Café & Catering
- Lawn Life
- Meals4You: Home Delivered Diabetic Meals
- NomNom Nation
- Non Profit Leadership Institute of Greater Cincinnati
- Portaluca
- St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores
- Whole Home Modifications
- Writely Sew
- The Center for Ethics at the Better Business Bureau
- Social Venture Partners
- Social Enterprise Alliance of Cincinnati
- Leadership Council of Human Services Executives
- Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub

Want to learn more? For more information about Social Enterprise Week, visit flywheelcincinnati.org.

Incorporating Universal Design into Your Home

Posted on August 11, 2014 by kim

Universal Design BathroomIf you’re thinking about building your own home, or have begun the planning process, you know there are plenty of considerations when it comes to the design, from room size and ceiling height all the way to kitchen cabinets and finishing touches. Building a home is a labor of love, and applying the principles of Universal Design can help to ensure you live comfortably in your home for many, many years to come.

Universal design is a framework for the design of living and working spaces and products benefiting the widest possible range of people in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Universal Design means convenience for all lifestyles and life stages. That means a family can live comfortably in their home longer. And although Universal Design was created as a standard for new construction, it can also be incorporated into existing homes. Incorporating these principles into your home makes it more welcoming to any and all visitors, and carries a family through multiple life stages.

There are seven principles of universal design, which can be incorporated into the design of a new home:

1. Equitable Use: the design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

2.  Flexibility in Use: the design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

3. Simple and Intuitive Use: use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.

4. Perceptible Information: the design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.

5. Tolerance for Error: the design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

6. Low Physical Effort: the design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.

7. Size and Space for Approach and Use: appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.

In an article featured in Homecare Magazine, Karen Braitmayer of FAIA architectural consulting firm said that the principles of Universal Design are not always apparent. “At first glance, there isn’t much difference,” says Braitmayer of this architectural concept. “If you look closely, you will see at least one no-step entry, wide hallways, doorways that are a bit wider than standard residential construction (to allow wheelchairs, walkers and scooters to pass through) and one bath and bedroom on the main floor; the main floor bath will have a bit more clear floor space. These are subtle Universal Design features that make the house usable by a broader range of people over a longer lifespan.” While these details make aging in place a priority, they don’t mean the house won’t be livable—or pretty—now.

 “As our lives change, a house that is flexible allows us to remain in the same home over time,” Braitmayer points out. “Having a no-step entry means that baby strollers can roll inside, new appliances and suitcases can be rolled right in, and if friends or family use a mobility device, they can visit independently. A main floor bath that has extra floor space allows someone with a broken leg or who is recovering from surgery to be at home comfortably rather than moving into a rehab or nursing facility. As we age, moving to a main floor bedroom allows senior members of the family to remain at home once climbing stairs becomes a challenge.” 

For more examples of Universal Design, view the complete Homecare Magazine article here. (http://homecaremag.com/universal-design/feb-2014/understanding-universal-design#sthash.GwJ2Bpoz.dpuf) 

To learn more about how to make your home accessible for all, call Whole Home Modifications and speak to one of our Certified Aging in Place Specialists, at 513-482-5100. 

Should I stay or move?

Posted on August 04, 2014 by kim

Like many people at the empty nesting stage of life we find ourselves evaluating whether to continue living in our current dream home with its charm and character, or downsize to something more suitable for the foreseeable future.  We love our home, its historical architecture and each nook is filled with special memories with family and friends.  However, it does have more space than we need most days and some of the features may require alterations.

We have observed friends go through the downsizing process by spending more money on a new place.  Others actually gained square footage in a new floor plan.  What home features are the most important to us?

And then there is the dilemma of how much space should be retained for the two annual visits from out of town family.  It is not solely a financial decision but rather one of lifestyle and hospitality.

Would our friends be willing to share your thought processes which helped you the most?  What were the most important factors for you in the decision?  What was the eventual outcome?  Any regrets? 

Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor

Posted on July 14, 2014 by kim

Choosing the Right ContractorWhether you're remodeling your bathroom, refinishing the basement or redoing your entire house, getting a good general contractor is imperative. He or she will not only make sure you have the result you want, but also get the right materials and keep you within your budget - and time frame. 

Hiring the right contractor is even more important when planning for home modifications to improve accessibility and safety for yourself or a loved one. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure you're satisfied with the results of your project, and can feel confident in the expertise of your contractor:

Prepare in advance as much as possible
You'll avoid untold misunderstandings if you're able to carefully explain to a potential contractor exactly what you want, and any special needs you and your family have. Having vague ideas can mislead the people you want to work for you, and cause myriad potential problems in future. Do your homework and know what you want done, your budget, and an estimated time frame in which you want the job completed.

Shop around
Interview at least three candidates, either from happy customers, reputable firms like the Better Business Bureau, or online sources. Word-of-mouth is an excellent way to make sure you're getting the right person. Be wary of contractors who seem desperate for work, who go door-to-door looking for jobs, or who offer you materials that are ridiculously cheap. Value is important, but quality is more important, especially when making modifications to increase accessibility or keep a loved one safe in your home.

Insist on seeing credentials
This is especially important when looking for a contractor to complete a specialized project. Not only should you ask to see a potential contractor's license and certifications, you should also make sure they are insured for worker's compensation, property damage and personal liability.

Check references
Try to get references from their suppliers as well as past customers. Ask how many similar types of jobs they have done in the past, and what potential difficulties they encountered. You may even want to view some of their work to get an idea of their style and how they do things. When working with Whole Home Modifications, the showroom in Dent, Ohio, is an excellent resource for choosing materials, viewing their work and talking face-to-face with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, a contractor that has been certified in making home modifications for those choosing to age in place.

Always remember—you don’t know what you don’t know
If you’re hiring a contractor, it’s probably because you’re not an expert in home renovations. You can do all the research you want, but often times hiring an expert in a particular type of home remodel will make your experience that much easier.  Our Certified Aging in Place Specialists are trained to assess the home and recommend alternatives (yes, you do have choices!) to you and your family about ways your home can be modified to be a safer place based on your specific need, the duration of your situation and budget. 

Hiring a good contractor isn't brain surgery, but it can be a daunting task, especially if it’s the result of a loved one’s injury or illness. Finding a trusted professional who understands your needs is extremely important. If you do your homework properly, investigate a myriad of options and have everything down in writing before you begin, you'll encounter far fewer problems than if you jump into business with the first contractor you meet.

Whole Home Modifications offers a free in-home assessment. Our professionals are licensed and bonded and Certified Aging in Place Specialists. Call us today at (513) 482-5100!

Are Grandparents Coming to Your Home on the 4th?

Posted on June 25, 2014 by kim

July 4th has always been a big gathering time in our family to celebrate the nation’s birthday and catch up with one another’s life happenings.  There is a parade in our community and the grill will be hot with hamburgers, brats and chicken, and the yard filled with games played by all ages.

How easy is it for the seniors to get in and out of your home?  Those steps do not present a big challenge to some of us but other may not feel as comfortable and it is embarrassing to ask several big guys to lift up our powerchair or give us arm support.

EZ Access portable suitcase ramp from Whole Home ModificationsOne solution to make our homes more welcoming to all is to keep an EZ Access portable suitcase ramp available in your garage for these special occasions.  They are available in lengths from 2’ to 10’ depending on the number of steps.  What a great message it sends to your guests with special needs to see your thoughtfulness with the ramp addition.

Falling - How to Prevent Future Accidents

Posted on June 16, 2014 by kim

Had a Fall?

Chances are, you or someone you know has fallen.  One of every three seniors over the age of 65 will experience a fall in the next year.  A trip to the emergency room alone carries a price tag of about $1,800, and the expense can easily increase to ten times that amount if the patient is admitted to the hospital.  Even if the doctors and nurses manage to fix the patient up as good as new, the effects of a fall far outlast the physical injury.  Such an event can and often does result in an erosion of confidence and increased embarrassment about the situation.

Although this statistic about the frequency of falls is indeed a cause for concern, many individuals will not dwell on the possibility for severe injury until either they or someone they love experiences a fall, thus forcing them to take action.  What resources are available now for you to prevent a serious accident from occurring?

Now What? 

The good news is there are indeed resources available for you to increase your personal safety without compromising the character of your home.  Manufacturers of safety and home modification products have developed new devices that are functional, attractive, and affordable, so you can choose what works best for you and your family’s needs and budget.

To begin your journey of environmental improvements, contact a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) who has been trained to assess the situation alongside your medical professionals, caregivers and family members, and to offer a choice of short and long-term remedies.  He or she will visit the home, usually at no charge, to guide you through the process.  Fortunately, there are many choices available for individuals to continue living safely in place while preventing future accidents.

Accessible Bathroom with Grab BarsSince the majority of falls occur in the bathroom, changes may be needed here to make bathing easier and a more pleasant experience.  The solution may be as simple as installing a couple of safety bars in your bathroom.  Grab or safety bars now come in a variety of colors and styles, so many do not have the institutional appearance. 

Beyond grab bars, other products are available to increase mobility.  Perhaps you will want to look into items that can provide support when getting in and out of bed or your favorite easy chair.  As for safe access into and out of the house, portable and temporary modular ramps are an effective solution.  These can be purchased or rented, depending on your needs.  Be sure to follow the local building code when installing any access ramp.  

Don’t wait until a crisis event, like a fall, happens.  Explore your options now so you can make the best decisions with and for your loved ones.

Whole Home Modifications, a service of People Working Cooperatively, is backed by more than 25 years of experience helping seniors age in place, and can help seniors and their loved ones make the needed adjustments in order to remain safely living at home.  Whole Home offers free in-home assessments, led by Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists, to help determine if modifications are necessary, and which modifications would be to the homeowner’s benefit based on individual situations.  For more information, visit www.wholehome.org or call 513-482-5100


Whole Home Modifications offers ramps for sale or rent

Posted on June 02, 2014 by kim

For many people, accessibility becomes a priority after accident or injury occurs. For some, a temporary solution is all that is needed. For others, long-term accessibility becomes necessary. Whatever the cause, many find that in a time of need, their homes are not accessible for themselves or their loved ones. Whole Home Modifications can help you!

Ramp Rentals from Whole Home ModificationsWe are committed to helping you maintain your mobility and independence. Our team works hard to listen to and understand your unique situation so that we can provide you with the perfect wheelchair ramp that suits your individual needs.

We offer two types of ramps for sale or rent.

1. Portable ramps: Portable Ramps are lightweight, compact and versatile. They are designed to be used anywhere you may need access. These are a great solution for short-term needs.

2. Modular Ramps: Modular Ramps are durable and long lasting. These ramps are typically used for mobility needs beyond the range of a portable ramp and are a great solution for long-term home care. Modular ramps are quick to assemble and can be set up for almost any site. Their efficient design uses less hardware and no pre-assembly is required.

We also offer full installation services for our ramps. We stock a full inventory of EZ-Access products and we have an experienced staff of installers ready to assist you. We are committed to providing excellent customer service and quality products.

Call us today at 513-482-5100 to talk to one of our experts. We’ll make sure your needs are addressed effectively and efficiently. 

Older Americans Month: Keeping Loved Ones Safe

Posted on May 08, 2014 by kim

Older Americans Month_Whole HomeThough you might not know it, every May is Older Americans Month. Started in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, Older Americans Month is a time to recognize the contributions seniors make in our communities. This year’s theme is Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow, a message that fits with the Whole Home mission.

Because we are dedicated to providing the knowledge, services, products, and advocacy that help people live better, more productive lives at home, a month dedicated to encouraging seniors to focus on injury prevention makes us very happy.

When you think about keeping an older loved one safe, you may think about making modifications to their home, however keeping their home safe isn’t always enough. We encourage you to think about how you can make your own home safer for when older friends and family members visit, whatever their mobility.

So where to start? You of course want to make the inside of your home as comfortable and safe for your loved ones as possible, so the first thing you should do is de-clutter. Remove any shoes, cords, and children’s toys from hallways to make sure all pathways are clear. Think about also removing any unnecessary throw rugs or welcome mats. While they can add to the charm of your room, they can shift easily and result in slips and falls.  Another thing to consider would be rearranging furniture in your main rooms.  Consider adjusting if there are obvious pinch points in the room, or to widen paths, making the room more accessible to wheelchairs or walkers.  

In addition to the inside of your home, you’ll want to also consider how you can make the outside of your home safer and more welcoming. Simple things you can do include saving the spot closest to your door for their car so they don’t have to walk as far. If your loved ones are coming or going in the evening, make sure the path to the car is lit. If you can’t add lights be sure to follow with a flashlight so they know where the path is. You should also sweep your porch and whatever path they’ll take to make sure there is nothing that could cause them to slip or trip such as sticks or other debris.  Lastly, if steps are a challenge, consider renting a portable ramp.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to ensure your next visit from a senior or person with limited mobility goes smoothly and is stress free.    

Would you like to read more posts on this topic?

Whole Home Special!

Posted on April 11, 2014 by kim

Whole Home Special

Note to Caregivers: Take Care of Yourself

Posted on April 03, 2014 by kim

by Director, Corporate/Community Partnerships at People Working Cooperatively, Inc.

Whole Home_Caregivers

Caring for a loved one can be quite challenging and no matter how much you think you are prepared, no one is ever completely prepared for the job. Your role as caregiver is often a long-term responsibility that may become more difficult over time.

Care for yourself by remembering to:

- Explore caregiver support groups- they can often provide information, insights, discuss challenges and assist in problem solving.

- Take time out for your own exercise, nutrition and to get enough sleep- being in great shape yourself, mentally rested and physically, will help you better care for your loved ones.

- Take advantage of workplace benefits- more and more employers are offering support to their employees who are caregivers, support can be offered such as flextime or alternative scheduling along with access to wellness programs for yourself.

The most important thing to remember: "It's okay to ask for help when you need it" Don't wait until you are overwhelmed or fatigued to reach out for assistance. Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience but be creative about enlisting support !!!

A CAPS can help you plan for the future - the Whole Home difference

Posted on February 13, 2014 by kim

Showroom Shower SeatA Certified Aging in Place Specialist can make the difference when planning for your modification needs. At Whole Home, we have four CAPS ready to help you when you need to modify your home. An example of how we can make the difference: a customer agreed to have two grab bars installed in his bath, but saw no need to also have a seat installed. He throught it would unnecessarily raise the price for something he wouldn't use. Instead of trying to upsell the client or forgetting the seat altogether, the Whole Home CAPS representative wrote into the contract that he would install proper support blocking for a future seat, just in case. Now, not even a year later, our customer has suffered a major stroke and would benefit greatly from a folding seat for his shower.

Thanks to Whole Home’s standard practice of always installing seat blocking, this customer will only need to pay for the seat and no extra demolition and reconstruction. This the level of professionalism you can expect from Whole Home. Please call us today at 513-482-5100 to see how we can help you plan for the future!

Preventing falls at home!

Posted on January 09, 2014 by kim

One of the missions of Whole Home is to enable the elderly to age in their homes. A key to being able to remain in your residence is safety and health. One of the biggest risks to older adults is falling and fall related injuries. Last year, nearly 300,000 Ohioans 65 years and older had a fall and one third of those falls resulted in injuries. Use the checklist below from Eldercare.gov to fall proof your home and help you continue to live an independent and mobile life.



- Make sure all handrails are not broken and are securely fastened.

- Both sides of the steps should have handrails.

Floors and rugs

-  If your floors are hardwood, tile, or laminate, invest in some non-slip shoes.

-  Make sure all floor boards are even and rugs, including area rugs, are secured to the floor with tacks, non-skid pads or double-sided tape.

-  Use non-skid floor wax.


-  Be sure that you can move safely in bathroom area, and in and out of the tub or shower.

-  Remove soap build-up in tub or shower on a regular basis.

-  Place non-slip strips in bath/shower.

-  Install adjustable height shower heads.

-  Mount grab bars at the toilet, bath and shower on walls with secure reinforcements, to prevent the bars from coming loose.

-  Secure bath mats with non-slip, double-sided rug tape.


-  Items that you use frequently, such as dishes and food items, should be easy to reach.

-  If you have to use a step stool, make sure that it has a bar at the top to hold on to.


-  Place nightlights in hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms and stairways.

-  Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs.

-  Place a lamp (and telephone) near your bed.

-  Keep lighting uniform in each room and add lighting to dark spaces.

We are all susceptible to injuries sustained from falls, but the injuries worsen as we age. The key to reducing your fall risk is prevention; if you need help modifying your house to prevent falls, please call Whole Home Modification at 513-574-4950.

Winter safety tips

Posted on December 05, 2013 by kim

Winter is fun time for young people with endless imagination of what all they can do with snow. For the elderly and disabled, snow can bring about more obstacles and potential hazards. It is important for all of our seniors to be safe at all times when out in the snow with the family or just strolling through it as a daily routine. Here are some tips for seniors, especially those who are disabled, to stay safe during winter.

1. Make Sure the Home is Prepared: If health or mobility issues prevent you from doing the more grueling home tasks like shoveling, make pre-arrangements to have some neighbor kids, family, or friends help you out. Getting to the mail box or the car can be nightmare for someone with a walker or wheelchair in two feet of snow so make sure the driveway and walkways are cleared often. Also make sure the house is properly arranged to get around efficiently, re-arrange furniture, install grab bars, etc.

2. Stock Up: Make sure all appropriate prescriptions are filled and that there is plenty of food in the house. If snow closes down on certain roads or affects the power supply in your house, you will want to be prepared. Stock up on batteries, as well as wood if you have a fire place. Staying warm is essential during winter, especially for the elderly.

3. Keep your Cellphone Charged at All Times: In case of a severe storm or catastrophe, keep a cell phone fully charged whenever you are at home. This way if you do get snowed in or your power goes out, you will be able to call for help, if needed. This one cannot be stressed enough as one of the leading causes of death during the winter is lack of communication. If you rely on electric heat to keep you warm and have no fireplace, call for help IMMEDIATELY when you are snowed in.

4. Move Slow, Move Light: When you’re walking on the snow, whether it’s to the mailbox or around the block to see a friend, walk slowly and maintain your balance. Those who require walking aids, make sure the bottom of your walker or cane have the rubber tips on so that when you put weight on them they won’t slip out from underneath you. It is not a very good idea to use rollators on the snow so be sure you have the proper walking aid.

5. Counteract “Cabin Fever”: Nobody likes to be cooped up at home with nothing to do for a such a long period of time. If you or your elder loved one is alone, give them a call once in a while to see how they are doing, if nothing else just to chat. Make sure there are books, games, anything to stimulate the mind in the house. Boredom can lead to anxiety which can lead to unwanted stress during the winter. Have a hobby to keep your mind away from the potential hazards of the season.

As we get older we all grow more vulnerable to nature. The key is simply preparation and taking the necessary precautions to ensure you’ll be able to enjoy the winter rather than dread it! If you need help with modifications for winter, please call Whole Home Modification at 513-574-4950.

Giving the Gift of Safety this Holiday Season

Posted on November 22, 2013 by kim

Whole Home_Grab Bars

If you’re like many Americans, you’ve started thinking about what to buy your loved ones for the holidays. For those of us with elderly parents, it can be particularly challenging to select the right present.

Many of our parents have accumulated items over time and are now at a point of downsizing from a large two-story home to a condo or ranch. Considering they’re parting ways with items they’ve held onto for years, it’s difficult to select a gift they’ll truly appreciate.

At Whole Home, we spend almost every day talking with elderly residents across the Tri-State about what they need in their homes.  We see homes that need slight adjustments to make them safe havens for people who don’t have the mobility or stability they once did.

This holiday season, why not consider giving your parents the gift of safety within their home? A member of our Whole Home team can do a site inspection at no cost and make recommendations on what changes would best benefit your parents. With our Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists, you’ll be at ease knowing we professionally trained to assess one’s needs and design the best solutions uniquely tailored for that particular space, budget and health care goals.

And if the act of opening a gift is a must, stop by our showroom to pick out  grab bars that blend in with the home’s décor. We’ll be happy to show you the growing selection and talk with you about small steps for safety in the home.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!

Holiday safety tips

Posted on November 12, 2013 by kim

Although seniors are especially vulnerable to falling, all age groups are at risk, particularly during the holidays. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season presents an increased chance of falling as people climb ladders or stools to reach decorations, hang lights, ornaments and other decorations.

Whole Home is here to help with holiday safety to prevent falls, adapted from the Centers for Disease Control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Falls Prevention Tips

• Recognize the possibility of falls.

• Use safe ladder practices.

• Use safer alternatives such as step stools instead of furniture when hanging decorations.

• Increase your awareness of seasonal fall hazards, like decorations on the floor.

Ladder Safety

• Make sure the ladder is on a secure and level footing before climbing.

• Space the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall for every four feet it reaches up.

• Stay centered between the rails of the ladder. Do not overreach—move the ladder.

• Do not stand on the ladder's top two rungs.

• To reach a roof, extend the ladder at least three feet beyond the edge of the roof.

• Keep the area around the top and bottom of the ladder clear.

• Make sure step ladders are securely locked open. Never use a folding step ladder when it is closed

Whole Home Now Part of Greater Cincinnati Health Council

Posted on October 23, 2013 by kim

Health Council logo

Whole Home was announced as a new special offering from People Working Cooperatively just three years ago, much has changed. Whole Home opened a showroom in Dent, Ohio, created an informational exhibit at Northgate Mall and has helped hundreds of aging neighbors throughout the Tri-State who wish to live comfortably in their homes.

And Whole Home is taking the next step. Whole Home is now part of the Greater Cincinnati Health Council. The Health Council provides a unique forum where hospital and health care leaders partner to create a stronger health care community.

As Whole Home works one-on-one with homeowners, it’s becoming apparent that our work is part of a bigger picture of health. The physical changes that Whole Home makes in one’s home can directly relate to reduced falls, increased mobility and increased independence. With Whole Home’s Certified Aging in Place Specialists, you’ll know that your specific needs are being addressed with the right solution for you.

To see the experts at Whole Home in action, give us a call at (513) 482-5100.

Plan Ahead – Be An Informed Consumer

Posted on October 07, 2013 by kim

Whole Home Team- Certified Aging in Place SpecialistsAs we grow older we need to be reminded of the importance of planning ahead – have a financial plan, a will, powers of attorney, etc.  We are often not an informed consumer when a crisis like a fall or illness happens.  The consequences can be great.

We baby boomers love to develop plans for the seniors in our lives when dramatic changes occur. Yet, we are in denial about those same changes to be considered for ourselves.  The greatest generation, our parents, could also be called the “make do” generation because they adjust to their circumstances as best they can without any changes.

But then a crisis occurs, maybe a fall, disease or hospitalization, we often do not know what we need but do know we need it now because someone is coming home from the hospital  tomorrow or in a few days.  The items needed to modify the home environment can be significant and may not be covered by insurance.  These are not items we shop for everyday.  We are not familiar with what options are available or what they should cost.  Our need is immediate for the loved one and there are many decisions to be made in a short period of time. 

Where do we turn?  The National Association of Homebuilders with assistance from senior groups has created special training and a designation called a Certified Aging in Place Specialist.  These professionals are trained to assess the home and recommend alternatives (yes, you do have choices!) to you and your family about ways your home can be modified to be a safer place based on your specific need, the duration of your situation and budget.  Most will provide free or low cost assessment visits to your home to help you understand the risks and short and long term options.  Many will also be aware of assistance programs to help share the cost.  To locate a CAPS professional in your area, go to http://www.nahb.org/directory.aspx .

Jere McIntyre is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and Director of Whole Home Modifications in Dent. He lives in Ft. Mitchell, KY.

Fall Prevention Week Sept. 22

Posted on September 17, 2013 by kim

Did you know it's National Fall Prevention Week Sept.22? Whole Home is now a member of the Greater Cincinnati Health Council and is actively working to prevent falls in the homes of local seniors. Here are some tips from the State of Ohio that may be useful!

Did you know...?

  • 30 percent of adults age 65 and older living in the community fall each year.
  • An older Ohioan falls every two minutes and sustains a fall-related injury every five minutes, resulting in two hospitalizations each hour, an emergency room visit every eight minutes and three deaths each day.
  • Falls and fall-related injuries cost Ohio more than $4.2 billion each year.
  • Falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented!

Here is a quick video with more tips!


Helping someone with an invisible illness

Posted on September 09, 2013 by kim

Suggestions for caregivers and other friends, family and support.

Fall Prevention and Home Safety

Posted on September 04, 2013 by kim

Fall prevention and home safety

The majority of falls for adults age 65 and older happen at home. Regular activity and exercise along with a healthy diet are important in helping to reduce your risk of falling. Improving your living environment and reducing your risk factors will also lower your chances of experiencing an injury from a fall.

Simple home improvements you can make to reduce your risk of falling:

• Install and secure appropriate hand rails and grab bars in your bathroom

• Place bath mats or have “non-slip” surfaces in your bathtub or on your shower floor

• Clear your hallways, walkways and exits of clutter and obstacles

• Secure all rugs to the floor properly; do not use throw rugs as they can cause you to trip

• Make sure that all rooms in your home have proper lighting, including night lights in the bathroom and hallways

• Ensure that your furniture is intact and sturdy

• Make sure that stairways are well lit and have at least one handrail

• Install at least one working telephone that is reachable from the floor

• Store commonly-used household items at safe reaching heights

• Make sure that the outside entrance to your home has appropriate lighting

• Keep walkways clear of debris and obstacles, and check to ensure that steps are intact and appropriate hand rails are installed

ADA Bathroom Requirements

Posted on August 27, 2013 by kim

Toilet Stall Requirements
The ADA requirements specify that a toilet stall must have a rear wall grab bar that is a minimum of 36 inches long and extends from the centerline of the toilet at least 1 inch on one side and a minimum of 24 inches on the opposite side. For the wall to the right or left side, a grab bar that is a minimum of 42 inches long must be located no more than 12 inches from the rear wall and extend a minimum of 54 inches horizontally. In all cases, the grab bar height can be no lower than 33 inches nor higher than 36 inches from the floor surface.

Shower Stall Requirements
For standard roll-in type shower compartments, where a seat is not provided, grab bars must be provided on three walls, installed at a maximum of 6 inches from the adjacent wall. In standard roll-in showers that have a seat, grab bars must be provided on the rear wall and the side wall opposite the seat, installed at a maximum of 6 inches from the adjacent walls. In transfer shower stalls without wheelchair access, grab bars must be provided across the shower control wall and across the back wall to a minimum of 18 inches from the adjacent control wall. In either case, where a transfer seat is available, grab bars cannot be installed above the seat. The grab bar height cannot be installed lower than 33 inches nor higher than 36 inches from the shower floor surface.

Requirements for a Bathtub With a Permanent Seat
For a bathtub installation that include a permanent seat, two grab bars must be mounted on the rear wall, one located no higher than 36 inches about the floor surface adjacent to the bathtub and the second positioned a minimum of 8 inches and maximum of 10 inches above the rim of the bathtub. Both of the rear wall grab bars also must be installed no more than 12 inches from the end wall with the faucet and controls. In addition, a 24-inch grab bar must be installed on the control end wall, with the outside end flush with the edge of the bathtub.

Requirements for a Bathtub Without a Permanent Seat
The same rear wall double grab bar configuration applies as in bathtubs with permanent seats. Both of the rear wall grab bars must be at least 24 inches long and installed no more than 24 inches from the head end wall and a maximum of 12 inches from the control end wall.

The same 24-inch grab bar requirement applies to the control end wall, with the addition of a minimum 12-inch grab bar installed on the head end wall at the front edge of the bathtub.

If you are looking to update your bathroom to make it accessible, call Whole Home at 482-5100!

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/list_6574075_handicap-grab-bar-requirements.html#ixzz2dClzHXEX

Helpful tips for home care

Posted on August 22, 2013 by kim

Is there anything more heart-wrenching than an adult child watching her mom decline to a point where she needs to help with toileting? Or more awkward than a son having to coax his dad into a shower and help him wash? These personal care tasks can be hard for a senior’s family member to take on, and just as difficult for seniors who feel their dignity slipping away.

There are ways to make personal care tasks easier, though. As a senior care professional, you’ve likely learned to overcome those awkward situations with your patients as well. Here are seven suggestions you can recommend to family caregivers.

Think differently. It might help to tell family members to think of the tasks in medical or scientific terms to help take the emotional heat out of it. Instead of a daughter changing her mom’s diaper, she’s changing her incontinence briefs to keep her clean and healthy.

Maximize their abilities. If the senior can handle part of the task, see if he or she is capable of doing the things that are most difficult for both parties, like washing private parts.

Distraction is your friend. There is an old episode of MASH in which Hot Lips Houlihan, the gorgeous nurse, has to give a sponge bath to a bashful young soldier. She explains that the way to get it done quickly, efficiently, and with little embarrassment is to carry on a normal conversation and look the patient in the eye. Other distractions can also help, like reminiscing about shared good memories or singing favorite old songs.

Make it as much fun as possible. Bubbles, spa-like soaps, a few flameless candles and some soft music can turn a dreaded routine into something the senior can look forward to. Suggest the caregiver start with a good back scrub to ease into the bathing process. Who doesn’t love that?

Take the easy route. Use bathing wipes between full baths and dry shampoo for between wet washes. Try wet wipes when toileting for better (and faster) cleaning.

A time for everything. Create a regular routine for the senior’s hygiene tasks, especially if the senior has dementia. Make regular bathing something that happens before church, for example, and always brush teeth before breakfast. Encourage family caregivers to help senior loved ones with personal care tasks when they are most alert. Avoid personal care tasks during difficult times, like evenings for those Alzheimer’s patients who experience sundowning.

Ask for help. If the family member is having trouble doing these tasks or the senior is too combative, let them know there is no shame in asking for assistance. Overwhelmed families can benefit from respite care offered by churches and community groups, or the VA, which offers benefits for veterans. You can also call Whole Home for caregiving modifications and tips, 513-482-5100.

While these suggestions can make personal tasks less awkward for family caregivers and seniors alike, seeing a parent or aging loved one’s abilities decline can still take an emotional toll. Try recommending these Emotions of Caregiving articles and videos to help family caregivers manage their emotional stress.

Hiring a good contractor

Posted on August 09, 2013 by kim

Whether you're remodeling your bathroom, refinishing the basement or redoing your entire house, getting a good general contractor is imperative. He or she will not only make sure you have the result you want, but also get the right materials and keep you within your budget - and time frame.

Most of us don't have the experience, skills or expertise required to do the work ourselves, which is why we hire a professional else to do it for us. But without this knowledge, how can we make sure we're getting the right person - someone with not only the right talents and skills, but who also won't rip us off?

Here are a few tried-and-tested tips to ensure you're not only not out of pocket, but also that you are satisfied with the results of your project - and don't pull out all your hair in the process:

- Prepare in advance as much as possible. You'll avoid untold misunderstandings if you're able to carefully explain to a potential contractor exactly what you want. Having vague ideas can mislead the people you want to work for you, and cause myriad potential problems in future. Do your homework and know what you want done, your budget, what type of materials you want used, and an estimated time frame in which you want the job completed.

- Shop around. Interview at least three candidates, either from happy customers, reputable firms like the Better Business Bureau, or online sources. Word-of-mouth is an excellent way to make sure you're getting the right person. While Bob may sound as experienced as Mort, you may find that he has a reputation for being less than trust-worthy, honest and reliable. Be wary of contractors who seem desperate for work, who go door-to-door looking for jobs, or who offer you materials that are ridiculously cheap.

- Insist on seeing credentials. Not only should you ask to see a potential contractor's license, you should also make sure they are insured for worker's compensation, property damage and personal liability. Certain states have certain requirements: in Washington state, for example, general contractors submitting bids or advertising in the state must be registered with the L&I, or Department of Labor and Industries, carry general liability insurance and post a $12,000 bond.

- You might also want to make sure that your contractor is up-to-date with what's going on in the building world. Someone who is continuing their education by participating in seminars and courses to keep up their qualifications may be more on the ball than someone who last sat in a classroom way back in 1933.

- Check references. Try to get them from their suppliers as well as past customers, and learn about their payment history. Ask also how many similar types of jobs they have done in the past, and what potential difficulties they encountered. You may even want to view some of their work to get an idea of their style and how they do things - if they are reluctant to pass on names, you should be equally reluctant to hire them. Also, ask if they have the necessary permits required to do the job.

- Discuss potential problems in advance - and how your potential contractors will deal with them. Think about what will happen if you go over budget or experience clean-up problems, and see how they will act. Also, ask if they will use sub-contractors and what their general style is when they come to managing others. Insist that everything be as transparent as possible to avoid any nasty surprises. You might want to put an agreed-on plan for resolving disputes in your contract.

- Get involved in a bidding war before finally committing. It's always recommended to have at least three bids for each project. Insist on formal, written bids and not informal, verbal ones, and go over the fine print carefully before agreeing to anything.

- Go with your gut instinct. When all is said and done, there is nothing like going with your gut. If the two of you have wildly different tastes or just plain old don't like each other's personalities, stay far, far away. A great guy who just doesn't shut up or who has an offensive body odor, for example, may not be someone you want in your home every day for the next six months. Even if you think they wouldn't do a bad job, do you really thin you could stand having them around?

Hiring a good contractor isn't brain surgery, although at times it may feel as difficult and even more tricky. Find someone whose style you think you like, then look into the details. If your do your homework properly, investigate a myriad of options and have everything down in writing before you begin, you'll encounter far less problems than if you jump into the proverbial bed with the first contractor you meet.

Whole Home Modifications offers a free in-home assessment. Our professionals are licensed and bonded and CAPS certified. Call us today at 482-5100!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3942963

Quick tips to prepare home for persons with a disability

Posted on August 05, 2013 by kim

One of the biggest concerns when having guest over is making them comfortable. A question often presented to us is how to make the home more accessible to family and friends with various disabilities. Many people with disabilities have their homes modified to accommodate their needs but face significant challenges when they go out.

- So what are some basic things you can do to accommodate their needs:

- Buy/rent a portable ramp for those who use wheelchairs or have difficulty navigating stairs.

- Ensure that there are clear pathways to be able to navigate through the main areas of the home that guest will need to access (bathroom, living area, kitchen...). Aisles that are 28-32" wide should accommodate most walkers/wheelchairs.

- Remove rugs that are not securely attached to the ground. These can be tripping hazards or can get caught under a wheelchair and even tear.

- Since many bathrooms are not accessible to wheelchair users provide another private area for the visitor to use. Have hand sanitizer or wet napkins on hand as a substitute for hand washing at the sink if it is not  accessible. 

- Purchase reaching aids for every room. Many home healthcare equipment manufacturers make reaching aids that are lightweight, easy to use and feature rubber grips and simple squeeze handles to make it easier for disabled people or senior citizens to reach items on high shelves or out of their reach.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_2072629_how-home-disabled-accessible.html#ixzz2b7bkOxke

How is Whole Home connected to PWC?

Posted on July 31, 2013 by kim

As a service of People Working Cooperatively, Whole Home provides the experience and expertise to handle any modifications project for anyone above PWC's income level. Whole Home can help you with everything from renting or purchasing ramps, installing grab bars to universal design modifications. Your safety, comfort and satisfaction are our number one priority!

Money earned by Whole Home goes right back to People Working Cooperatively - helping low income elderly and disabled homeowners with the critical home repairs they need to stay in their own homes. Supporting Whole Home helps PWC!

Certified Aging In Place Specialists

Whole Home is led by Certified Aging in Place Specialists (a designation awarded by the National Home Builders Association), Fred Von Allmen and Jere McIntyre with support from a group of skilled trades people experienced with the mobility needs of customers. PWC has provided home repairs, weatherization and mobility modifications to low income homeowners for 38 years and is now extending its mission by serving the needs of all persons in the community.

Photo below: Your Whole Home Team, Fred Von Allmen and Director Jere McIntyre.

The Whole Home Showroom

The Whole Home showroom is located at 6543 Harrison Ave. in Dent, call us at 513-574-4950. It features products, displays, and practical mobility solutions designed to teach community members how to safely care for themselves and loved ones, including:

- A wheel chair-accessible kitchen.

- An automated pocket door.

- A full-body air dryer.

- Walk-in tubs display centers.

- A roll-in shower.

- EZ Access Ramps.

- Remodeled bathrooms.

- Grab bars that blend in with the home’s décor.

All showroom products can be installed by one of Whole Home's trained professionals.

“The Whole Home Showroom is an education center and showroom where you can experience products that can make your home or the home of the person you care for safer and more adaptive to changing needs,” said Whole Home Director Jere McIntyre. “We are pleased to offer the showroom as a resource for the community.”

The showroom hours are:

- Monday- Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

- Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also stop by our new Whole Home Information Center in Northgate Mall near Applebees!

Tristate Care Partners.

Posted on July 17, 2013 by kim

Ever need help with a service for an elderly parent or loved one and you don't know who to call? Maybe TriState Care Partners can help! Whole Home is a member of TriState Care Partners, a collaboration of healthcare professionals with a mission “To provide access to a comprehensive referral network of quality services, promoting community advocacy, health, independence and self-sufficiency.” The partners work together to provide a complete healthcare referral system.

The partners include:

Home Helpers


Pro2 Respiratory Services


Visiting Nurse Association


Vitas Innovative Hospice Care


Wesley Community Services


Wood & Lamping LLP


Whom Does Caregiving Really Affect?

Posted on July 15, 2013 by kim

Whom does caregiving really affect?

Caregiving Affects Families
Most older persons with long-term care needs (65 percent) rely exclusively on family and friends to provide assistance. (National Alliance on Caregiving)
Approximately 60 percent of family caregivers are women. The average caregiver is a 48 year old woman caring for her widowed mother who does not live with her. (AARP, 2009)
Nearly one in three family caregivers caring for seniors are themselves age 65 or older. (Dept. of Health and Human Services)

Caregiving Affects the Workforce
Family caregivers comprise 13% of the workforce (U.S. Administration on Aging)
More than three out of five workers have had to make some adjustment to their work life, from reporting late to giving up work entirely. (AARP)

Caregiving Affects the State
The estimated economic value of caregiving in Ohio is about 20 percent more than the state's total Medicaid spending, and about 10 times as much as the state currently spends on home and community based care. ( AARP Public Policy Institute)

Caregiving Affects the Nation
Unpaid caregiving nationwide was valued at 450 billion in 2009. The economic value of caregiving exceeded total Medicaid long-term care spending in all states. (AARP)
The number of people age 65 and older is expected to increase three times faster than the number of family members available to care for them in the coming years. (Georgetown University)
How about a really big figure: Nearly $3 trillion, or $2,947,636,000,000. That number represents the lost wages, Social Security benefits, and private pensions for men and women ages 50 and over caring for their parents!!! (Metlife Market Institute)

 - From Ron Henlein

All about grab bars!

Posted on July 09, 2013 by kim

The most common grab bar that you will find on the market is a standard bar that is made of stainless steel. There are plenty of sizes for you to choose from. Starting out as small as twelve inches, these bars are handy additions to any kind of shower. If you need a bigger one, you can find them up to six feet, depending on your needs. For showers, the recommended length is twelve to eighteen inches, although larger can be more beneficial. Again, it is all in what the user needs. While some attach directly to the wall by their own two ends, others come on a single bar that attaches to the shower and a grab handle protrudes from that. There are even grab bars that are designed to wrap around corners and provide complete safety coverage. Remember that grab bars are small enough to go anywhere and can be placed on the wall in front of your toilet or beside it. Since there are several diameters, you can try and get one that will fit in the tightest spaces for compact and durable safety.

Whole Home Grab BarsIf your greatest fear is that the grab bar won't match what's in your bathroom, there is something for you too! Grab bars don't have to be just plain old stainless steel, nor do they have to be plain on the ends or attach so coldly into the wall. Available for user enjoyment are other colors, such as white or bronze, and there are some styles available that are very pretty and pleasant to look at as well. These kinds of grab bars are wonderful additions to your home and best of all, the beauty of the items do not take away from the safety they provide. If you are able to get something nice that will add value to your home, why not pick one up and try it?

Grab bars are simple to find. You can pick them up in a number of styles at Whole Home or other home improvement stores. What to look for? Holding dead weight up to two hundred and fifty pounds, one or two should be all that you need to accent your home and provide independence where assistance would otherwise be needed. A grab bar can be a beautiful accessory or a functional assistant. These priceless items will add the safety of stability and the beauty of your decorating tastes to your home or bathroom and will not cost you an arm and a leg.

We are a home safety modification company run by a CAPS certified team. Our team has installed thousands of wheelchair ramps for Whole Home and People Working Cooperatively and renovated hundreds of bathrooms to meet the unique needs of our  clients. Please, call us today at 513-482-5100 to discuss your home modification needs!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6154297

PWC educates elderly homeowners on fall prevention

Posted on July 02, 2013 by kim

 One out of three Americans 65 years and older fall each year.  In the city of Cincinnati alone, 2,300 calls were made to 911 reporting a fall.   And in Hamilton County the number of falls from 2004 to 2011 has risen 23% and that number is constantly increasing. With 48% of these falls happening at home, People Working Cooperatively is looking for ways to make prevention a household name.

PWC is a 38-year-old non-profit that offers home repairs, weatherization and modifications for low income elderly and disabled homeowners. Its for-profit social enterprise, Whole Home, offers home modifications and aging in place solutions for anyone at any income level.

White Oak resident Ron Henlein of People Working Cooperative has been researching local and national fall rates and is putting together a plan to reduce falls in the tri-state area. Some of the groups PWC is collaborating with for the new program include Hamilton County Fall Prevention Task Force, the City of Cincinnati, Mercy, TriHealth, Greater Cincinnati Health Council, Visiting Nurses Association and others.

“Specifically, PWC is heavily involved in developing a “Fall Prevention” program for seniors; this will include an in-home safety checklist and recommendations to assure the individual is aware of the high “fall risk” areas throughout the home,” Henlein said. “Falls are not a natural part of aging and changes such as grab bars in the bath, banisters on all steps along with proper lighting, elimination of area rugs which are in poor condition, night lighting from the bedroom to the bathroom all can substantially reduce your chances of experiencing a fall”

PWC’s social enterprise, Whole Home, offers seniors tips on how to keep fall free. And PWC offers low-income homeowners home modifications to help them live safely in their home, where they want to be.

“PWC and Whole Home have been engaged in a huge amount of outreach to help keep elderly people safe… over 1,000 people year to date that we’ve educated on fall prevention so far,” Henlein noted.

“People need to understand that there is a huge tsunami that began to hit this country in 2011 as the baby boomers began to turn 65 years old. This tsunami will gain enormous momentum throughout the upcoming years as 10,000 boomers turn 65 every day through 2030,” he noted. “The shift in the age of our population will bring major reform in healthcare and governmental programs to support these individuals as over 20% of all citizens in the United States will be over 65.”

“The need for fall prevention is growing and becoming a large issue for our community.  PWC and Whole Home are working to keep our elderly family members, friends, and neighbors safe in their homes.”  

The Myths of Fall Prevention

Posted on June 25, 2013 by kim

Myth 1: Falling happens to other people, not to me.

Reality: Many people think, "It won't happen to me." But the truth is that 1 in 3 older adults—about 12 million—fall every year in the U.S.

Myth 2: Falling is something normal that happens as you get older.

Reality: Falling is not a normal part of aging. Strength and balance exercises, managing your medications, having your vision checked and making your living environment safer are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.

Myth 3: If I limit my activity, I won't fall.

Reality: Some people believe that the best way to prevent falls is to stay at home and limit activity. Not true. Performing physical activities will actually help you stay independent, as your strength and range of motion benefit from remaining active. Social activities are also good for your overall health.

Myth 4: As long as I stay at home, I can avoid falling.

Reality: Over half of all falls take place at home. Inspect your home for fall risks. Fix simple but serious hazards such as clutter, throw rugs, and poor lighting. Make simple home modifications, such as adding grab bars in the bathroom, a second handrail on stairs, and non-slip paint on outdoor steps.

Myth 5: Muscle strength and flexibility can't be regained.

Reality: While we do lose muscle as we age, exercise can partially restore strength and flexibility. It’s never too late to start an exercise program. Even if you've been a "couch potato" your whole life, becoming active now will benefit you in many ways—including protection from falls.

Myth 6: Taking medication doesn't increase my risk of falling.

Reality: Taking any medication may increase your risk of falling. Medications affect people in many different ways and can sometimes make you dizzy or sleepy. Be careful when starting a new medication. Talk to your health care provider about potential side effects or interactions of your medications.

Myth 7: I don't need to get my vision checked every year.

Reality: Vision is another key risk factor for falls. Aging is associated with some forms of vision loss that increase risk of falling and injury. People with vision problems are more than twice as likely to fall as those without visual impairment. Have your eyes checked at least once a year and update your eyeglasses. For those with low vision there are programs and assistive devices that can help. Ask your optometrist for a referral.

Myth 8: Using a walker or cane will make me more dependent.

Reality: Walking aids are very important in helping many older adults maintain or improve their mobility. However, make sure you use these devices safely. Have a physical therapist fit the walker or cane to you and instruct you in its safe use.

Myth 9: I don’t need to talk to family members or my health care provider if I’m concerned about my risk of falling. I don’t want to alarm them, and I want to keep my independence.

Reality: Fall prevention is a team effort. Bring it up with your doctor, family, and anyone else who is in a position to help. They want to help you maintain your mobility and reduce your risk of falling.

Myth 10: I don't need to talk to my parent, spouse, or other older adult if I’m concerned about their risk of falling. It will hurt their feelings, and it's none of my business.

Reality: Let them know about your concerns and offer support to help them maintain the highest degree of independence possible. There are many things you can do, including removing hazards in the home, finding a fall prevention program in the community, or setting up a vision exam. 

How to take care of YOU!

Posted on June 20, 2013 by kim

Sometimes caregiving can feel like a tug-of-war. Your loved one’s needs may pull you away from fulfilling your own needs, but at some point you have to pull back to stay on your feet. You may relate to these caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias who feel that pull and are struggling:

“I used to go to yoga five times a week. Now my mom pleads with me to stay home. How can I make time for me and my own health when her demands are so great?”

“Everyone keeps asking me if I'm looking after myself and that's a very difficult challenge.”

“I am always so busy caring for my father that I never stop to take care of myself. I have developed poor eating habits and am starting to get concerned about my health.”

Given these caregiving challenges, it’s hardly surprising that Alzheimer’s caregivers may suffer negative health effects, which new research by the National Alliance for Caregiving confirms. While the findings may paint a grim picture for Alzheimer’s caregivers, take heart. Becoming aware of the health costs and taking advantage of resources designed to help you maintain your well-being will help to set you on a path toward healthier caregiving.

The High Cost of Caring
An 18-month study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving titled Declining Health in the Alzheimer’s Caregiver as Dementia Increases in the Care Recipient, compared the health status of non-caregivers to a diverse group of family caregivers across the country. Some of the significant findings.

- Emergency room use was twice as high for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

- Physician visits were nearly triple compared to non-caregivers.

- The average annual cost of healthcare for Alzheimer’s caregivers was $4,766 higher than for similar-aged non-caregivers. (US only)

As Dementia Progresses, Caregiver Health Declines
As the cognitive and physical abilities of dementia care recipients diminish, the health of those caring for them tends to decline also. According to the study, the caregivers’ own health declined steadily as their loved one’s need for assistance increased.

- Caregivers’ use of all types of medical services increased 25 percent over the 18-month study.

- Caregivers whose own health at the beginning of the study was only fair to poor were most vulnerable to the effects of increasing dependence of the care recipient.

How to Maintain Your Own Health
An important conclusion of the study suggests that caregiver assessments are important to identify those who may be at risk. Good places to start are the Family Caregiver Stress Assessment Scale, a helpful tool for evaluating your own situation and stress levels, and an annual visit to your physician. Then, follow these tips to help stay healthy and relieve stress.

1. Keep moving! While 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended, going to the gym or getting away for a run isn’t always practical. Fit in what you can—ride a stationary bike, do an exercise video or stretch while your loved one naps—even if you only have 10 or 15 minutes.

2. Eat better. You don’t have to undertake a major diet plan. Try small changes: don’t skip breakfast, drink plenty of water, have healthy snacks of fruits, vegetables and nuts on hand.

3. Gather support. Even if you don’t have friends or family nearby, there are communities and online resources to help you understand dementia, find answers to your questions, share ideas and even talk with experts and other caregivers.

4. Give yourself a break. Take time for yourself by looking into respite care. For short trips like shopping or getting a haircut, and longer ventures like a much-needed vacation, relaxation breaks are critical for your long-term well-being.

By paying close attention to your own fitness and state-of-mind, you can help maintain your health and feel better prepared to deal with the demanding challenges of caring for someone with memory loss.

Quote from a happy Whole Home client...

Posted on June 18, 2013 by kim

Customer satisfaction is a top priority for Whole Home, and we take pride in a job well done. A recent customer shared her experience with our staff members below.

"Jere was an answer to our prayers. Took away our safety fears and despair (during) an emotional time of failing health in our family...Wade was also exceptional - willing to complete additional tasks as requested...polite and efficient. Thank you so much!"
- Mary

Stop in Whole Home today to see how we can meet your needs! Call 482-5100 today!

Who will serve you at the Whole Home Showroom?

Posted on June 11, 2013 by kim

Walk into the door at the Whole Home showroom and you will be greeted by our CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialists) Jere McIntrye and Fred Von Allmen. Each have more than three decades of business experience helping you keep your home liveable and safe. As CAPS, they have special training to help you plan for your current and future modification needs. And please remember we offer free home assessments - so don't hesitate to call with any questions, 513-482-5100!

Below: please meet our CAPS, Fred and Jere!

Fred and Jere

Warning signs an older family member may need help

Posted on June 05, 2013 by kim

Nearly 230,000 Ohioans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease per year, and the number is steadily growing. The U.S. population is aging, and Ohio is estimated to reach 250,000 Alzheimer’s cases by 2025, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The best way to keep your loved ones safe is catching Alzheimer’s early. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, early warning signs can include: memory loss, challenges in planning or problem solving, difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place and changes in mood and personality. If you notice a loved one experiencing these symptoms, it’s recommended to see a doctor immediately.

Once Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, keeping a loved one safe is a day-to-day concern. These simple tips will help you provide proper care for those loved ones in need:

- Identify possible areas that could be dangerous for someone with Alzheimer’s, such as the kitchen, bathroom, stairways or basements.

- To prevent wandering, install deadbolts either high or low on exterior doors. You can also use signals, such as a bell or home alarm, to alert when someone leaves the home.

- Place objects such as photos, paintings and other mementoes in clear view to continue refreshing your loved one’s memory.

- Entries, doorways, stairways and hallways should have extra lights and auto-on lighting to increase the area’s familiarity and prevent fall-related injuries.

If you need a local resource that can assist with altering a home for someone with Alzheimer’s, consider visiting Whole Home, a unique home modifications service offered by Cincinnati nonprofit People Working Cooperatively. Our Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) work with medical professionals and can help provide answers to your questions.

As a CAPS, I know firsthand that taking precautionary measures to treat those affected by Alzheimer’s can be lifesaving. For more information, please visit www.WholeHome.org or call (513) 482-5100.

Jere McIntyre is a certified aging in place specialist and the director of modifications for Whole Home. If you need help building your plan and want to discuss aging in place options, stop by the Whole Home Aging in Place Showroom off I-74 Exit 11 or visit www.wholehome.org.

The Benefits of Home Modifications

Posted on May 28, 2013 by kim

Whole Home Kitchen Modification

The Benefits of Home Modifications

A home modification adapts a living space so that occupants can live safely, perform tasks better, and live independently, despite their physical limitations. A home modification can be as simple as adding a grab bar in the bathroom or can involve extensive structural changes like replacing a stairway with a wheelchair ramp.

Older people are often in particular need of home modifications. The majority of seniors live in homes that were built long before architects and builders thought about designing spaces that are accessible and livable for everyone. Stairs and narrow doorways might have worked when a homeowner was 30 but, at age 80, those things can pose a hazard. Problematic house design can force many elder homeowners to leave their homes -- due to the danger of falling in the shower or bathtub, difficulty preparing meals when cabinets are out of reach, or inability to take the stairs to get to a bedroom on the second floor.

When planned and carried out properly, home modifications can meet the particular needs of an older occupant so that they can continue to perform the tasks necessary to caring for themselves and safely navigating their home.

Figuring Out What Home Modifications You Need

Assessing the home to determine what modifications are necessary is the first step in the home modification process. The senior or their relatives or friends can go through the home, room by room, looking for areas of improvement. You can download one of the many good home assessment checklists from the Internet to aid in this process. And sometimes it's worthwhile to turn to specialists for ideas and help in planning for home modifications.

Room By Room Assessment

Go through each room with an eye towards the following:

Safety. Does anything pose a safety hazard in the room? Can the senior move around the room and perform tasks safely?

Accessibility. Is everything accessible to the senior? Can they reach things and work switches, doors, cabinets, and plugs? Can they perform necessary or desired tasks in this room?

Adaptability. Are there things in the room that could be adapted so they are easier for the senior to reach or use or so that the senior can get around more easily and safely?

Here's an example of things to look for in a kitchen:

- Are cabinets easy to open?
- Are dishes easily reached?
- Can the senior sit while preparing meals?
- Are counter tops at a comfortable level?
- Are stove controls easy to see and easy to manipulate?
- Are there kitchen rugs or mats that pose a slipping hazard?
- Can the senior reach and easily turn on the faucet?
- Is the water temperature low enough so that it doesn't scald?
- Is there enough light?

Online Checklists

Several organizations publish comprehensive lists of questions to ask and things to look for when assessing a home for possible modifications. For example, Rebuilding Together publishes an online Home Safety Checklist at www.rebuildingtogether.org (click "Resources," "Home Modifications," and then look for the checklist.) The American Association of Retired People (www.aarp.org) and the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence (www.homemods.org) also have online checklists.

Getting Help From a Specialist

If you're considering a home modification, sometimes it makes sense to get assessment and planning help from a specialist.

Occupational therapists. Many occupational therapists work with the elderly. They are good resources for evaluating seniors' homes for hazards and for identifying ways to make the home more user-friendly. If the senior has a particular physical limitation -- such as failing eyesight or cerebral palsy -- consider contacting an occupational therapist that specializes in that particular condition.

Certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS). The certified aging-in-place program was developed by the National Association of Home Builders along with the AARP. Certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS) have been trained to anticipate and meet the needs of seniors. They learn strategies and techniques for identifying barriers in a home, planning, and sometimes performing home modifications so seniors can live in their homes longer as they age. You can find CAPS in your area by visiting the AARP's website at www.aarp.org (click "Family," then "Housing & Mobility," and look for the CAPS Locator in the Resource section.)

Call Whole Home today at 513-482-5100 to see how our professionals can help you or a loved one safely live at home!

Check out Jere McIntyre on WLWT's Issues!

Posted on May 14, 2013 by kim

Our own Whole Home Director Jere McIntyre was on WLWT's Issues which will air several times this month. He and Heather Sturgill from our partner CILO were talking about Visitability - a hot topic! Check it out!


Whole Home is an approved VA contractor!

Posted on May 10, 2013 by kim

People Working Cooperatively/Whole Home Modifications has been accepted by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs as an approved contractor/service provider to do work under the eligible grants that they administer. Whole Home Modifications is approved to perform work under both the Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant (HISA) and the Specially Adaptive Housing Grant (SAH) which are administered through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Currently Whole Home Modifications works with The Cincinnati and Dayton VA Hospitals, as well as the regional offices for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs located in Cincinnati and Louisville, Kentucky. Any veteran who has questions of eligibility for housing modifications, vertical platform lifts or wheel chair ramps should go to http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/HISA2.asp or call 1-800-827-1000 for complete information. After your application is approved, just call Whole Home Modifications at 513-574-4950 and one of our CAPS certified specialists will walk your home to ensure your home is remodeled to your complete satisfaction, sharing all the latest products and innovations in the industry.

Stan veteran

What home modification benefits can Veterans receive?

Posted on May 07, 2013 by kim

From the Dept. of Veteran Affairs website:

Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans

The VA provides grants to Servicemembers and Veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities to help purchase or construct an adapted home, or modify an existing home to accommodate a disability. Two grant programs exist: the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant and the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant.

Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant

SAH grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment. SAH grants can be used in one of the following ways:

  • Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired
  • Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing
  • Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing
  • Apply the grant against the unpaid principal mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant

Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant

SHA grants help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities adapt or purchase a home to accommodate the disability. You can use SHA grants in one of the following ways:

  • Adapt an existing home the Veteran or a family member already owns in which the Veteran lives
  • Adapt a home the Veteran or family member intends to purchase in which the Veteran will live
  • Help a Veteran purchase a home already adapted in which the Veteran will live


If you are a Servicemember or Veteran with a permanent and total service-connected disability, you may be entitled to a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. Call Whole Home today at 513-482-5100 to learn how we can help you with home modifications for veterans!

Call a professional

Posted on May 03, 2013 by kim

We first see it with our parents or other seniors in our lives – the need for some changes to the home to make it a safer place for them to live.  It is easy we think to make a list of the changes we think should be made, and then brace ourselves for the resistance from the beneficiary.  All the while we deny any application to us.  This role reversal thing is quite funny when you think about it.

Or maybe you resist when it is suggested to you because of the fear of high pressure salespeople trying to sell us what we don’t want or need.  What to do, what to do?

One solution might be found in a fresh pair of trained eyes of a Certified Aging in Place Specialists or Occupational Specialist.  These professionals will usually come to your home at little or no cost to perform a safety and environmental assessment of how well your home meets your current and future needs.  They will interview you and your caregiver, survey your home and take some pictures and measurements.  In the end they will show you a list of some changes to consider and you choose which ones are most comfortable for your budget and specific needs.  You control the choice with a better understanding of the risks of falling and the advantages to your Living in Place with some new options.  You may decide to take the changes in phases, and many times that is a very appropriate option.

The engagement of a trained professional will give you and your family an independent look at the options available.  New improved, safer and attractive products are being developed each week because the percentage of people over age 60 is growing rapidly because there are more of us and we are living longer.  This means we have choices to help us live safely in our homes as long as we wish.  Check out the new options for yourself.

Visit us tonight at the Horseshoe Casino!

Posted on May 02, 2013 by kim

Whole Home was at the OKI Case Managers’ Event yesterday and the TriState Care Partners UC Health Expo at the Horseshoe Casino on tonight. Stop by and say hi!

A tip from a customer

Posted on April 30, 2013 by kim

One of our customers shared a good tip about a product they purchased from us so we share it with you.

Many times products are developed for those of us who have a temporary or special need requiring an assistive product for use to conduct the activities of daily living.  Frequently the activities are centered in  the bath tub or shower to help us with bathing, shaving (faces for guys and legs for the ladies), drying off afterwards etc.  There are a number of hard plastic and rubber stools and transfer benches available to assist the person with a special or temporary need.  That is great but what about the spouse who doesn’t share the need?  For those companions the bench must be relocated elsewhere for comfortable use of the facility, or we just learn to “deal with it”.  Usually there is not safe place to temporarily relocate the bench, and in turn the abled one is placed at greater risk as they perform the daily activities.  Have you had this experience?

Moen Home Care offers a solution with it Folding Mesh Shower Seat which weighs only 4 pounds and folds to a 2 inch width for storage.  It has rubber feet for stability in any standard size bath tub.  The seat is a quick dry mesh to resist mold and mildew.  In addition there is a shower wand holder attached to the bench frame.  This product is designed for persons weighing up to 250 pounds.

Our customer bought it for use both at home and in hotels/motels when they travel because a fully accessible bathroom is not always available.  She uses it in the tub to bath and shave her legs, and then at the sink to sit while applying makeup.  The folding nature and weight of the product make it a great travel companion at a retail cost of $60-70 depending on the merchant.

She enjoys the combination of traveling with the comforts of home.  Thanks for the tip.



Wine and Cheese Event

Posted on April 23, 2013 by kim

Whole Home will be hosting the League of Women Voters at the Whole Home Showroom tomorrow! They will be enjoying wine and cheese, while learning about the grab bars, aluminum access ramps, accessible bath, kitchen and other necessary modifications and repairs Whole Home can perform to create a safe environment.

Should I rent or buy a ramp?

Posted on April 19, 2013 by kim

I might need a ramp...should I rent or buy?

Ramps are not cheap purchases regardless of the construction materials.  They can be built from wood, steel or aluminum and must comply with the local building codes to be safe for users and caregivers.  The general standard is to measure the height of the steps being spanned and design the length of the ramp one foot for every inch of rise.  For example a porch with two steps up from a level sidewalk is about 15” and would require 15 feet of ramp as a minimum requirement.  Depending on the physical condition and prognosis of the patient, the ramp may need to be longer.  Also remember to account for the changes in elevation of the landing area to avoid the creation of a too steep and unsafe ramp.

We hear “my friends and neighbors” can just build me a ramp.  Good friends are a valuable resource but may not be familiar with local building codes or your medical situation.  Too often a “ski slope” ramp is the result without adequate railing.

Whether to rent or own the ramp depends on the length of time you expect to need it, and may be influenced by local codes.  If the need is relatively permanent and you plan to remain at this address for a long period of time, then the purchase of a modular ramp or the construction of a wooden ramp may be the best option.  Do comparison shopping among product offerings and contractors or dealers.  Include the eventual resale value of the product you choose.  Wooden ramps have no residual value and aluminum ones are very marketable and designed for reinstallation.

If your need for a ramp is temporary because of surgery, short term illness or condition or hospice at home, then renting a ramp can make the most financial sense.  The breakeven period for rentals over purchases is about six to nine months.  With a rental the vendor is responsible for installation and removal.  They also have the risk of ownership and resale.  Your cash cost is less.  Our goal is to get in and out of our house, not to become a ramp dealer.

Explore your options based on the medical situation and the physical environment of your home to make the best choice for you and your family.

If you have ramp questions, please call Whole Home at 513-482-5100!

Where did you get that cool doormat?

Posted on April 11, 2013 by kim


One of the products offered at Whole Home is a rubber threshold ramp from EZ Access.  Place it in front of the door to provide a smooth ground/porch to sill transition.  Made of recycled rubber the slip resistant ramp is designed for either outdoor or indoor use to address slopes up 2 1/2 inches.  An optional riser kit can increase the maximum height to 4 ¾ inches.  The base threshold can also be trimmed down for use at sliding doors to patios or decks.  This product is beveled on the edges for safer use with scooters and wheelchairs.

One of the important features for many users is the way it blends into the house décor without drawing attention to the special needs of the occupants.  It looks like any other doormat except for the slight slope.  The ramp mat is sturdy enough to stay where you put it but can also be moved to other locations as needed.  We use this ramp mat at our retail showroom for customers to transition from the asphalt parking lot to the sidewalk.  It blends in so well, we leave it out 24 hours a day.

The product is so popular that we are featuring it at several senior events in the next couple of weeks with special discounts.  As always we carry this and other ramp products in inventory at all times.  No need to wait for an order to arrive. Call Whole Home today at 482-5100!

Whole Home at MobilityWorks fair!

Posted on April 09, 2013 by kim


MobilityWorks of Cincinnati will be hosting the area’s largest Mobility Expo and Vendor Fair -- with food, fun, raffle prizes and lots of useful information from local and national vendors. Consultants, including Whole Home, will be on hand from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 18 at 12117 Princeton Pike to demonstrate and discuss accessible vehicles and home modifications. Professional representatives will also be there for questions and answers about rehabilitation, therapy services, adaptive driving and veterans services. Register to attend here!


Below is a great example of Whole Home's quality work!







Volunteers needed!

Posted on April 04, 2013 by kim

Whole Home needs Community Outreach volunteers for Northgate Mall!

Friendly, outgoing individual needed for Whole Home’s Northgate Mall community education showroom (located facing the food court, near Applebee’s restaurant).

Seeking volunteer advocates that want to make a difference in the lives of seniors. Share safety information, inform individuals of People Working Cooperatively’s services and Whole Home Modifications showroom; maintain literature and materials within the Northgate Mall showroom. Flexible two or four hour shifts available throughout the week or weekend. Contact Ron Henlein at 513-482-5111. 

Why a good ramp is important

Posted on March 12, 2013 by kim

A wheel chair ramp is almost as important as a wheel chair itself. Without this ramp, people with disabilities who are using wheel chairs don't have the accesses to most places where they wish to go. If there is just one stair, they cannot pass them. That is a huge problem for people who are in that situation. That is not the case just with public buildings, that do not have proper ramps, but that could be right in front of their houses. Without help, they cannot go anywhere.

That is why a wheel chair ramp is so important for normal life of people with disabilities. No matter what kind of ramp someone chooses, and we will mention few of them, it is important that it provide a solid and safe surface for driving. It is also important, for adequate stopping distance, that ramp have a 5' straight and level surface at the bottom.

A wheel chair ramp made of lightweight, heavy-duty aluminum material is perfect because they are made of sections, which are easy to set up, to expand if needed and to tear down, too. These aluminum sections are very easy for storing because they take small space and that is why you can easily transport them wherever you need them. Aluminum surface is non-slip and non-rusting surface, which is important for safe use.

Wheel chair ramps made of steel sections and platforms that simply bolt together is usually for permanent installation but you can replace them from one place to another, if needed. Because, the steel is strong and rust resistant material, it is for permanent use, and designed to withstand water, freezing and thawing, impact and fire, it makes this type of ramp the best solution.

Ramps that are very important and are for placing the wheel chair into and out of the van are made of aluminum or expanded metal, which are strong and durable construction. The way that they are folding adjusts to the door on the van, side or rear door.

A portable ramp is another kind of ramp that is specific and made to be lightweight and easy to carry with you. They are maybe light weight but still strong and can be used permanently or temporarily. They are available in single fold style, multi fold, track style and ramps for traveling.

Be aware that all this types of ramps built for easy access to your house, office and other places, came with handrails systems or are sold separately but anyway, they are simple to install and remove and recommended for ramps that are over 6" in height. It is for your safety, so think about it.

When you are buying a ramp it is important to look for those approved by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) because that way you will know that you are safe. Call an Aging in Place expert at Whole Home to find out your best options!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3412639

Jere McIntyre of Whole Home on CitiCable

Posted on March 05, 2013 by kim

Tune in to CitiCable in March for a great interview with Whole Home Director Jere McIntyre!

CitiCable airs on Time Warner Cable Channel 23.  It also streams at http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/media.

Here is the link to the Citicable CHD Health Matters segment with Rocky Merz.

The segment is a half hour long, and it will air weekly in March during the following times:


·         Monday: 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

·         Wednesday: 5 p.m.

·         Thursday: 12 p.m.

·         Friday: 9 a.m.

·         Sunday: 3 p.m.

Here is the link with the full Citicable schedule for your reference.

Panel for Staying Safe

Posted on February 21, 2013 by kim

Last week, PWC’s very own Jere McIntyre was a panelist for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The “Panel for Staying Safe” on Feb. 13 was centered on how local organizations can help those with Alzheimer’s age safely in their homes.

 As director of Whole Home and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), Jere was eager share his institutional insights and tips for keeping loved ones with Alzheimer’s safe in the home. Some of Jere’s tips include:

 ·         Assess the home and identify areas that could be dangerous for someone with Alzheimer’s, such as the kitchen, bathroom, stairways or basements. If you need help, Whole Home’s Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) are trained to guide you through this process.

·         To prevent wandering, install deadbolts out of sight – either high or low on exterior doors. You can also use signals, such as a bell or home alarm, to alert when someone leaves the home.

·         Place memory-cuing objects, such as photos, paintings and other mementoes within sight to continue refreshing your loved one’s memory.

·         Ensure walkways are well-lit. Entries, doorways, stairways and hallways should have extra lights and auto-on lighting to increase the area’s familiarity and prevent fall-related injuries.

·         Furnish the home simply to improve mobility and lower the risk for accidental falls. It’s also smart to keep recognizable furniture, such as a favorite chair, in clear view to increase familiarity.

For more advice on helping those affected with Alzheimer’s age safely at home, please visit www.wholehome.org or stop by the Whole Home Showroom at 6543 Harrison Ave. in Dent today.

Are you Linkedin? This week's discussion!

Posted on February 06, 2013 by kim

Did you know that Whole Home/PWC have a Linded In discussion group? Here is the link to become a member or to follow the discussion: 



This week, the discussion is around spotting the signs of dementia:


Aging Signs to heed and when to talk to your loved one's doctor.

Whether we want to admit it or not, it happens to all of us- growing older. There are many signals that might alert us when paying attention to behavior changes as one ages. One or two may not necessarily be cause for alarm, but if a person exhibits several of these changes, consider talking to his or her doctor. Your loved one may be exhibiting the early signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

* Difficulty completing familiar tasks:
Forgeting how the microwave works or rules to a favorite game.

* Time and place confusion:
Being unable to identify the day of the week or season of the year.

* Sight and space issues:
Difficulty judging the size of a room or the distance to a wall.

* Memory changes:
Telling the same stories time and time again, forgetting recently learned information.

* Trouble with solving problems:
Inability to balance a checkbook or pay regular bills.

* Losing things:
Misplacing items in the house or placing in unusual places, unable to retrace steps.

* Social withdrawal:
Lacking interest in friends, relatives, and hobbies.

*Mood or personality changes:
Displaying anger, fearfulness, mood swings or changes in personality.

*Problems speaking or writing:
Having trouble following or participating in conversations


Meet our CAPS!

Posted on January 23, 2013 by kim

The majority of Americans over the age of 55 want to continue to live in their own home, a familiar environment, throughout their maturing years. According to AARP, older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to age in place, which means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. When modifying your home or remodeling to live independently, there are many things to take into account... and this is where a CAPS (certified aging in place specialist) can help. At Whole Home, we have five CAPS on our team, including director Jere McIntyre and managers Fed Von Allmen and John Hay!

The National Association of Home Builders in conjunction with many other organizations, such as AARP, developed the CAPS certification program. These individuals have been trained far beyond common building codes and standards. CAPS graduates pledge to uphold a code of ethics and are required to maintain their designation by attending continuing education programs and to participate in community service. In short, there are many reasons to consult a CAPS professional, including: 

They provide solutions to problems "before" they arise for the aging homeowner

They are trained in the unique needs of the older population

They are informed on the latest product innovations

They are familiar with the specifics of detailed home modification remodeling projects 

At Whole Home, we are proud that we have five CAPS certified specialists on staff to consult with you on all of your home modification needs. Feel free to call us at 513-482-5100.

Below...meet Fred Von Allmen, Jere McIntyre and John Hay!

Meals for You Jan. 24 information session!

Posted on January 18, 2013 by kim

Meals for You Jan. 24

Great Story about Whole Home in the Community Press!

Posted on January 09, 2013 by kim

 Mom would like to remain in her home, but you worry about her getting in and out of the tub. Dad doesn’t want to move out, but it’s difficult for him to continue doing the day-to-day things now, such as laundry or cooking.

 You could make some changes to the house that would make it possible for aging parents to remain at home, but what do they need? Can they afford it? And will they be ripped off or get a contractor who doesn’t really understand the needs of older homeowners?

Enter Whole Home, a home modifications service offered by local nonprofit People Working Cooperatively. The service has a new showroom at 6543 Harrison Ave. in Dent that provides modification solutions and products to make homes safer and more accessible for people with temporary or permanent mobility needs.

From grab bars to universal design modifications, the showroom is also an opportunity for people to view and test the latest products for any modifications project.

Whole Home’s services are led by a team of certified aging-in-place specialists – a designation awarded by the National Home Builders Association – who work with medical professionals and their families to assess the needs of the homeowner and then design solutions uniquely tailored to the space, the budget, and health care goals.

Whole Home Services has been helping clients with modification projects since January 2012. The showroom is open Monday-Fridays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Learn Home Energy tips 1/10!

Posted on January 08, 2013 by kim

Weatherization info session

Wellness screenings at Northgate Mall 12/27

Posted on December 17, 2012 by kim

Whole Home brings you our Information Series at Northgate Mall

HEALTH SCREENINGS sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Association

Join us for coffee!

When: 10:00 to 11:00 am Thursday, December 27 

Where: Whole Home information Center in Northgate Mall

What: VNA Nurses on site for the following screenings:

Blood Pressure - No Charge

Body Mass Index (BMI)  - No Charge

Flu Shots  - Accepts Medicare Part B or $27.00 cash 


How accessible is your home this holiday season?

Posted on December 11, 2012 by kim

 - by Jere McIntyre

The holidays are a wonderful time for festive gatherings to celebrate the joys of the season. But for someone with a disability or mobility issues, it can become challenging and stressful time as they consider whether or not they will be able to safely and comfortably attend the party.

For example, they may need to consider the number of steps they will they have to climb, if the home can accommodate a wheel chair or walker, and find out if there’s a restroom on the first floor.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 36 million Americans are classified as disabled. In Hamilton County alone, it’s estimated that 12% of the residents (not in a nursing home or other institution) have a disability.

There’s a growing trend nationwide called “Visitability,” which essentially refers to housing designed in a way that it can be lived in or visited by people who have trouble with steps or who use wheelchairs or walkers.

A house is considered “visitable” when it meets three basic requirements:

 - One zero-step entrance.
 - Doors with 32 inches of clear passage space.
 - One bathroom on the main floor you can get into in a wheelchair.

Obviously you aren’t going to be able to make major construction changes to your home before the holidays. But, as you add the finishing touches to your holiday décor, take a moment to consider how visitable your home is to someone with a disability. There are things you can do to help guests with mobility challenges easily and safely get in and out of your house. These include:

1.      Make sure the entrance is well lit.

2.      Identify a safe, flat outside place where the guest can be dropped off to allow for easy access to the home.

3.      Remove obstacles to clear paths of travel through doors and hallways.

4.      Consider renting a portable ramp to allow safe access to the home.

5.      Make sure there at least 32 inch aisles for essential wheelchair maneuverability for comfort and freedom. During the party, you may need to omit some furnishings to prevent congestion.

6.      Make sure you table heights aren’t too low. It is important that a person’s knees and thighs fit comfortably under a dining table.

7.      Rugs and area carpets can cause extreme hardship for a wheelchair user. Chair tires sink into rugs with thick padding, making pushing and turning the chair difficult. If possible, pull up scatter or area rugs — they become tangled in the smaller front chair wheels.

8.      Install grab bars for support – consider for your older relative who visits not during the holidays, but throughout the year. This is easier than it sounds.

Some of the changes you consider now can also give seniors and their caregivers a head start on home modifications they may need later in their lives. After all, the aging population in Hamilton County is increasing. In less than eight years, Hamilton County will have nearly 25% of its population over 60.

Jere McIntyre is a certified aging in place specialist and the director of modifications for Whole Home. If you need help building your plan and want to discuss aging in place options, please call 482-5100 or visit www.wholehome.org

Have elderly visitors this holiday season?

Posted on December 04, 2012 by kim

If you have elderly visitors this holiday season, here are some suggestions from the Visiting Nurse Association and AARP on how to keep them safe and comfortab;e.

• Take a walk around the house to assess hazards such as loose rugs that could cause trips and falls. Put the rugs away or make sure they are securely tacked down.

• Remove ground clutter -- toys, shoes, even animal beds. The stuff you may be accustomed to walking around may cause guests to tumble.

• Ask if your elderly guests mind dogs or cats. If they don't, let the animals into common areas after your elderly visitors have settled in.

• Consider whether the arrangements of sofas, chairs and tables make walking around difficult. Use clear, plastic furniture bumpers over sharp edges of furniture to prevent injury, and remove unsteady chairs or tables from the room.

• Make sure lamp cords or wires from appliances are taped down or secured against baseboards or under rugs.

• Stairs are often a concern for those with mobility issues. Clear outside steps of snow and ice. Then throw down some salt to keep the frozen stuff under control. Inside, consider if elderly guests must climb steps to use the bathroom or bedroom for overnight stays. They may feel apprehensive or embarrassed to ask for help, so offer it in advance.

• Consider installing grab bars in bathrooms near the toilet and around the bathtub or shower for support. Also in the bathroom, install nonskid strips in the bathtub, shower and under area rugs.

• Overnight guests unfamiliar with your home may appreciate night lights to illuminate the path from the bedroom, down the hallway to the bathroom and near stairs. Night lights in the kitchen area may also be helpful for those in need of a late-night beverage or snack.

Tips for an accessible home interior

Posted on November 27, 2012 by kim

A Handicap-accessible Interior
Clear paths of travel through doors and hallways are integral to providing a livable space. Many of the laws and recommendations for doors and hallways are based on the needs of those in wheelchairs. For this reason, it's important to have doors with at least a 32-inch (approximately 813-mm) wide opening. Just as on the entry door, thresholds should be rounded and no more than one-half inch (approximately 13 mm) higher than the floor [source: Bode]. High thresholds can be difficult for not only wheelchair users, but those with canes and walkers.
Hallways should be at least 36 inches (approximately 915) wide [source: U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act]. If a hallway requires a wheelchair user to turn sharply, it may need to be wider.
All homes have doors and hallways, yet some have another potential limitation: stairs. To make stairs more accessible, all treads, or horizontal parts of the stairs, should be at least 11 inches (almost 28 centimeters) wide, and the edges should be rounded [source: U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act]. Handrails offer added stability; it's recommended to have handrails on both sides of the stairway and for the rails to extend beyond the first and last stair [source: Bode].
Walk-in closets should have doorways of at least 32 inches (approximately 813 mm) in width, similar to doorways to other rooms [source: Fair Housing Accessibility First]. Inside the closet, adjustable rods can offer the homeowner more options for storage. Pull-down rods on hydraulic hinges allow the homeowner to store clothes high, but bring them down to a lower level easily [source: AARP].
Extra plush carpeting might seem like a great idea, but a wheelchair user can have difficulty maneuvering on it. The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design recommends that pile should be no more than one-half-inch (approximately 13 mm) thick. Throw rugs aren't recommended because of their ability to shift [source: AARP].
Along with correct flooring choices, tweaks to the electrical workings in a home can offer residents more independence. Outlets should be placed at least 15 inches (381 mm) above a finished floor, while light switches and thermostats should be placed no higher than 48 inches (approximately 1,219 mm) above the floor [source: Fair Housing Accessibility First].

What are the most important tips for an accessible living space?

First and foremost is a clear path of travel through doors and hallways. Many of the laws and recommendations for doors and hallways are based on the needs of those using wheelchairs. For this reason, it's important to have doors with at least a 32-inch (approximately 813-mm) wide opening. Just as on the entry door, thresholds should be rounded and no more than one-half inch (approximately 13 mm) higher than the floor [source: Bode]. High thresholds can be difficult for not only wheelchair users, but those with canes and walkers.

Hallways should be at least 36 inches (approximately 915) wide [source: U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act]. If a hallway requires a wheelchair user to turn sharply, it may need to be wider.

All homes have doors and hallways, yet some have another potential limitation: stairs. To make stairs more accessible, all treads, or horizontal parts of the stairs, should be at least 11 inches (almost 28 centimeters) wide, and the edges should be rounded [source: U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act]. Handrails offer added stability; it's recommended to have handrails on both sides of the stairway and for the rails to extend beyond the first and last stair [source: Bode].

Walk-in closets should have doorways of at least 32 inches (approximately 813 mm) in width, similar to doorways to other rooms [source: Fair Housing Accessibility First]. Inside the closet, adjustable rods can offer the homeowner more options for storage. Pull-down rods on hydraulic hinges allow the homeowner to store clothes high, but bring them down to a lower level easily [source: AARP].

Extra plush carpeting might seem like a great idea, but a wheelchair user can have difficulty maneuvering on it. The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design recommends that pile should be no more than one-half-inch (approximately 13 mm) thick. Throw rugs aren't recommended because of their ability to shift [source: AARP].

Along with correct flooring choices, tweaks to the electrical workings in a home can offer residents more independence. Outlets should be placed at least 15 inches (381 mm) above a finished floor, while light switches and thermostats should be placed no higher than 48 inches (approximately 1,219 mm) above the floor [source: Fair Housing Accessibility First].

Your best bet is to consult a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) who can create a design to fit your needs. Stop by the new Whole Home Showroom at 6543 Harrison, and we can help you with ideas to custom tailor your home to your changing needs!

Whole Home Grand Opening Nov. 17th!

Posted on November 14, 2012 by kim

Please join us this Saturday, Nov. 17, for the grand opening of Whole Home's new showroom! If you are up early, make sure to watch Whole Home's Director Jere McIntyre on television Nov. 17 at 7:15 a.m. on WLWT Channel 5! Jere will also be featured on WLW radio Sunday Nov. 18th at 8:30 p.m..

The new showroom is located at 6543 Harrison Ave. in Dent. We will have showroom tours, prizes and refreshments, so come on out! We'll be open on the 17th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and hope to see you there!

Whole Home Ad

Northgate Mall Opens Nov. 23

Also, if you are close to Northgate Mall, you will be pleased to know that Whole Home is opening a new display in the mall in a store front near the food court, next to Lady Footlocker and Cincinnati Bell. This space will not be staffed, but will have displays and lots of information, so make sure to check us out after the Thanksgiving Holiday, when we open this new space!

More fall prevention tips

Posted on October 18, 2012 by kim

We can't talk enough about fall prevention!

There are four simple, yet important things to do to prevent or at least minimize the risk of falling (from http://www.accessibleconstructionblog.com/barrier-free-accessible-home/fall-prevention-seniors-older-adults/):

1. Have a Regular Exercise Program

Regular exercise imporoves balance and mobility, improves bone and muscle strength, and generally makes you feel better. It shouldn’t be anything too strenuous – things like walking or Tai Chi are low-impact and are some of the best exercises.

2. Have Your Vision Checked Once a Year

If you don’t wear glasses you may need them. And if you already have glasses the prescription may need to be updated. The eyes change as we age and ensuring you can see well will decrease your chances of falling.

3. Review Your Medications

Have your doctor or healthcare provider review your prescription and non-prescription medicines regularly to make sure everything is working properly. Over time, new medications may be added or removed from your regimen and this can effect how they all work together. The wrong medication combinations can cause dizziness or drowsiness which increases your risk of falling.

4. Make Sure Your Home is Safe

We perform hundreds of home safety evaluations each year and many times we find simple things that can be changed to make the home safer. Here are some tips that will help:

*Ensure proper lighting throughout the house both inside and outside
*Clear unnecessary clutter from any walking areas inside and outside the home
*Use non-slip shower strips in the tub and shower
*Install a fold-down grab bar next to the toilet
*Add grab bars in or next to the shower
*A padded shower bench can give you a place to sit if you feel dizzy while in the shower
*Use a step stool with a handle to reach in cabinets
*Keep frequently used items in a drawer or easy to reach area so you don’t need to reach up high to retrieve them
*Install a Toilevator to raise your toilet
*A Super Pole can be used in the bedroom for getting in and out of bed safely
*Remove loose carpet or rugs that can cause you to trip
*Install handrails at stairways or an Advantage Rail – make sure current handrails aren’t loose or broken
*Use a Couch Cane near sofas or chairs to make standing and sitting safer and easier
*Furniture Risers can increase the height of chairs and sofas and also make sitting and standing easier and safer
*Riser Recliner Chairs make it easier to to stand and sit
*A Handybar makes it safer and easier to get in and out of a car
*Place a Bed Cane Bed Rail near the bed so you have something sturdy as you rise out of bed
*Have a telephone in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom in case you do fall so you can call for help


Call a Whole Home Certified Aging in Place Specialist today for your free home assessment to see how you can prevent falls in your home!

Fred,Jere and John

Whole Home Showroom opens!

Posted on October 15, 2012 by kim

Whole Home Opens Aging in Place Showroom

State-of-the-art educational showroom offers unique products and solutions


CINCINNATILocal seniors and families seeking practical modification solutions to make their homes accessible have a new resource: the Whole Home Aging in Place Showroom.

The showroom, located at 6543 Harrison Ave. in Dent, is the next phase of growth by Whole Home, the new unique home modifications service offered by People Working Cooperatively (PWC). Whole Home has been providing clients in the Greater Cincinnati region with quality home modification services since January 2012.

“The Whole Home Showroom is an education center and showroom where you can experience products that can make your home or the home of the person you care for safer and more adaptive to changing needs,” said Whole Home Director Jere McIntyre. “We are pleased to offer the showroom as a resource for the community.”

From grab bars to universal design modifications, the showroom is also an opportunity for people to view and test the latest products for any modifications project. “More than anything, the showroom is a community destination to learn more about how to make your home safer for your changing needs,” McIntyre said.

According to McIntyre, Whole Home provides home modifications to people with temporary or permanent mobility needs as well as helping seniors age in place. “We are here to provide a solution to an urgent, unmet need in our community,” he said. “We have the expertise in place to serve people faced with a sudden disability who need quick and reliable home modifications such as a ramp, expanded doorway and bathroom modifications.”

As a service of PWC, Whole Home is backed by 25 years of experience helping seniors age in place and assisting those with disabilities with safely living in their own home. Whole Home’s services are led by a team of Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (a designation awarded by the National Home Builders Association) who work with medical professionals and their families to assess client needs and design the best solutions uniquely tailored to their space, budget, and health care goals.

Universal design experts are taking notice of the new showroom, citing it as wonderful needed resource in the community. “Life can change at any moment and the showroom has the tools, resources and experts in place to help people navigate the process of modifying their home to fit their changing needs,” says Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.  

Rossetti, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, is a nationally-recognized expert in home design who will deliver the keynote address at PWC’s annual meeting on October 18.  “It’s important to design your home to be more versatile and inclusive for everyone, including those who are aging and people with disabilities,” she says.

The Whole Home Showroom features products, displays, and practical mobility solutions designed to teach community members how to safely care for themselves and loved ones, including:

-        A wheel chair-accessible kitchen.

-        An automated pocket door.

-        A full-body air dryer.

-        Walk-in tubs display centers.

-        A roll-in shower.

-        EZ Access Ramps.

-        Remodeled bathrooms.

-        Grab bars that blend in with the home’s décor.

All showroom products can be installed by one of Whole Home’s trained professionals.

Whole Home is an extension of PWC’s mission to provide low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners with critical home repairs and modifications to help residents stay safely in their homes. “The showroom is a center for people of different generations to come together and learn new mobility solutions that could improve their or a loved one’s quality of life,” said PWC President Jock Pitts.

The Whole Home Showroom is located at 6543 Harrison Ave. The showroom hours are:

-        Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

-        Thursday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

-        Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information on Whole Home, please visit: http://www.wholehome.org/ or call (513) 482-5100.

What is Visitability?

Posted on October 02, 2012 by kim

Visitability is an international movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new homes, whether or not designated for residents who currently have mobility impairments, offer three specific accessibility features. 

 Three key features are important:

  1. At least one zero-step entrance on an accessible route leading from a driveway or public sidewalk,
  2. All interior doors providing at least 3134 inches (81 cm) of unobstructed passage space and
  3. At least a half bathroom on the main floor[1]

If a goal is to remain in the home if a mobility impairment occurs, two additional basics are necessary: a full bathroom on the main floor, and a bedroom or space that could be converted to a bedroom.

Visitability is similar to Universal Design in general intention, but is more focused and more specific in requirements.

Why is it important? Visitability features make homes easier for people who develop a mobility impairment to visit friends and extended family rather than having to turn down invitations, or not be invited at all. These features also provide a basic shell of access to permit formerly non-disabled people to remain in their homes if they develop a disability, rather than forcing them to do expensive renovations, relocate to a different house, live in an inaccessible home which endangers their health and safety, or move from the community into a nursing home. In short, Visitability keeps people in their home, and makes their home accessible to all.

What are the overall benefits?

  • Residents in the community can welcome guests who use wheelchairs or walkers, or have some other mobility impairment. When Visitability is in place, mobility-limited people are not socially isolated by architecture.
  • If a family member develops a disability though illness, accident or aging, the person and their family are more likely to be able to remain in their existing home, rather than having to do major, expensive renovation—or move to another house, or a nursing home.
  • All residents find it easier to bring in baby strollers, grocery carts, or heavy furniture.
  • Visitable homes enhance sale and re-sale in an era where the both the number and the percent of older people are growing rapidly. Non-disabled buyers are attracted to well-designed homes that welcome their aging relatives and friends and provide easy-use convenience for themselves.
  • Temporary disabilities, i.e. broken leg, surgery, etc., can require use of a wheelchair or other mobility device during the recovery/rehabilitation period. This can be a major inconvenience in most existing homes lacking these basic accessibility features.
Whole Home can help you or your loved ones have a home with increased Visitability. Just stop by our new showroom at 6543 Harrison Avenue and talk to one of our Certified Aging in Place Specialists!

Whole Home Helps with Fall Prevention!

Posted on September 21, 2012 by kim

September 22 marks Falls Prevention Awareness Day, and our team here at Whole Home is standing together to prevent falls. Fall prevention and awareness is an important part of our service!

Whole Home serves elderly clients and their caregivers who may have a fear of falls happening in their home. The services we provide can help prevent those falls from occurring. It is a real fear for many: in Ohio, falls are the leading cause of injury-related ER visits, hospitalizations and deaths for Ohioans age 65 and older. On average, 2.3 older Ohioans suffered fatal falls each day in 2009.

The National Council on Aging alongside the state of Ohio and 45 other states are recognizing September 22 as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. The day hopes to spur discussion on falls prevention and the NCOA's Falls Free© Initiative has shared six steps to prevent falls. 

6 Steps to Protect Your Older Loved One from a Fall 

1.      Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe.

2.      Discuss their current health conditions.

3.      Ask about their last eye checkup.

4.      Notice if they’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if they appear to have difficulty walking or arising from a chair.

5.      Talk about their medications and their effects on their health.

6.      Do a walk-through safety assessment of their home.

Our five Certified Aging in Place Specialists are there to help you or your loved one accomplish the sixth step. Our specialists work with medical professional to assess client needs and design the accessible solutions with space, budget and health care goals in mind.

We understand what is needed for each client – be it as simple as adding a grab bar or as complex as replacing the entire bathroom – and can show you solutions.

Whole Home clients can receive a free home assessment of their needs. Our clients will likely feel good knowing that the dollars they spend with Whole Home will also benefit People Working Cooperatively and our entire community by maintaining safe housing for our elderly and disabled neighbors.

Call Whole Home today at 513-482-5100 for your free home assessment that may save you or a loved one from a fall. 

grab bar


Whole Home makes an impact at CiTiRAMA®

Posted on September 19, 2012 by kim

This year’s CiTiRAMA® featured an impressive array of old and new homes at Virginia Place, a development located in historic Northside.  And one local organization, our own Whole Home, wanted to make sure the homes were accessible to handicapped and disabled individuals.

Whole Home, which also offers ramp sales and rentals, installed entry ramps at five of CiTiRAMA’s display homes.

According to Jere McIntyre, Certified Aging in Place Specialist and director of Modifications for Mobility, Whole Home was pleased to make the homes more accessible with entry ramps. “This was a great event and we were proud to be working with the Home Builders Association to make the event accessible to everyone,” McIntryre said.

Whole Home ramps helped people gain entry access to the homes, but McIntyre emphasized many of the homes had a second-floor, and the homes did not have elevators or stair lifts.

Some fast facts according to McIntyre:

-          About 3,000 people attended thanks to the big push and nice weather on the final weekend.  One third of the attendees came on the last day. It was a great opportunity for Whole Home!

-          Most builders and the HBA said they were appreciative of the Whole Home ramps on site.  The best estimate is that 12-15 people with walkers or wheelchairs came because the ramps were there. 

Whole Home’s donated booth was shared with the Center for Independent Living (CILO) who were very good advocates for “visitability” (what makes a home easy to visit for those with disabilities), accessible home environments and universal design.  Whole Home was seen as a positive solution to those facing aging in place decisions.  Heather Sturgill from CILO was in the booth every day of the show and also served as a great advocate for Whole Home’s aging in place solutions. Thank you CILO and Heather for introducing Whole Home to the community!

Quick Tips for Universal Design

Posted on August 28, 2012 by kim

Universal design is the creation of environments and products which are meant to usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialization.

The intent of universal design is to enhance the quality of life for all of us, regardless of age or ability.

The elegance of universal design is that it’s invisible and non-stigmatizing. The design is so intuitive the experience is often effortless. Next time you walk through an automatic door, think “the universal design effect.”

Universal design is about access and inclusion as well as an added margin of safety. This is why universal and aging-in-place design is so closely matched. The stigma is no longer “hospital-like”, as grab bars and bath seats are now taking on a new look.

Five quick tips for universal design (from http://aginginplace.com):

1.          Adapt main floor of the home for one level living: No-step entry, bathroom and bedroom / Kitchen and laundry on main floor

2.          Widen doorways to 36″ w/ offset hinges on doors: Doorways are often too narrow for walkers and wheelchairs (or someone carrying packages) so widening them is a plus for all

3.          Install hand-held shower heads and grab bars: Hand-held shower heads and grab bars are some of the least expensive changes you can make and are a great help to those with balance problems

4.          Use lever handles on doors and plumbing fixtures: Hand strength can be an issue with all ages–using a simple lever eliminates the struggle with operating doorknobs and faucets

5.          Use “comfort height” toilets: Many people suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis, or temporary injuries and find it hard to stand up from a normal height toilet–a higher toilet (or toilet chair that fits over the existing toilet) helps fix  this challenge

Whole Home’s Certified Aging in Place experts can help you create a beautiful universal design to compliment your home plus give you the support, stability and comfort you need to safely live in your own home.

Watch for the opening of our new state-of-the-art show room at 6543 Harrison Avenue which will display the latest in universal design while helping you plan for your current or future needs. Have questions? Call one of Whole Home’s Certified Aging in Place experts at (513) 482-5100!

Bathrooms can be tricky - grab bars are important!

Posted on August 14, 2012 by kim

Bathroom grab bars make one of the most dangerous movements that the elderly make - stepping into and out of the bathtub - safer.

Seniors standing on one leg can be dangerous at the best of times, but particularly when having to stand on one leg while raising the other leg up and over a high tub wall - wow!

Getting into and out of the shower is not quite as risky but still comes with hazards for getting off balance.

The elderly often have to stand on one leg while getting their other leg up and over a small (or big) lip or end up holding onto a moving surface (such as the swinging or sliding shower doors).

Bathroom grab bars are one of the bathroom safety products that we recommend the most for preventing falls and you can see why.

If elderly people are having any difficulty with mobility or balance, grab bars are a must!

Who Should Use?

Seniors with any issues with mobility or balance would benefit from shower grab bars or bathtub grab bars.

They even come in a brushed metal that is quite nice looking and can compliment other bathroom decor.

Even the elderly who are not originally keen to get bathtub safety bars or shower handles end up finding them very handy.

Often a bathroom grab bar is put in for one person in a couple, but the spouse later says “I always use it too!"

Whole home offers a multitude of grab bar products ready to keep your home safe. 

Here are some types to consider:

  • Permanent (versus Non-Permanent)

    When it comes to installing bathroom grab bars onto the walls of a shower or bathtub, we always recommend permanent installation.

    There are suction cup grab bars, but we have heard of instances of the suction cup not sticking properly, which can cause a fall (the opposite of the purpose of the bathroom grab bar!).

    If your landlord ABSOLUTELY will not allow the installation of a bathroom grab bar, then you could consider the suction cup grab bars as they may be better than nothing.

  • Clamp-on Bathtub Safety Bar

    bathroom grab bars

    The one type of non-permanent bathroom grab bar that we recommend often is a clamp-on bathtub safety bar.

    This type of bathroom grab bar is secured onto the side of the bathtub with a dial that clamps down securely onto rubber pads.

    The grab bar extends up from the clamp (usually in a U-shape) and provides a stable surface to hold onto.

    They can be purchased in a height adjustable version.

    If they are tightened well, they are effective for holding onto when stepping into and out of the bathtub.

  • Two stable surfaces

    We always recommend that a person have two stable, sturdy surfaces to hold onto when stepping into and out of a bathtub or shower (ie. two grab bars).

    We prefer if the elderly person is able to reach both surfaces from outside the tub and can hold onto both prior to stepping into the tub. This is the most effective way to prevent falls.

  • Non-slip surfaces

    Try and find bathroom grab bars that have a non-slip surface as part of the grab bar. The metal types will have a "knurled" surface, a set of ridges to help with getting a firm grip.

    Hardware stores often sell white powder-coated metal grab bars but these do not usually have a non-slip surface. A non-slip decal can be applied after the fact but isn't as good an option as getting bathtub safety bars with the non-slip surface already built in.

    For more information on the solutions we offer, please call 513-482-5100!



  • Eight steps toward independent living

    Posted on July 17, 2012 by kim

    The great majority of older adults say they'd prefer to live out their days in their own home. The likelihood of making independent living work is much greater, though, if everyone involved does some conscious planning -- the earlier the better. These eight steps will set you on your way.

    1. Have a group or family meeting.

    This is the first step toward building what Ann Cason, author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders, calls a "circle of care." This network may include paid caregivers, health care providers, friends, and neighbors as well as family members. With planning, you can all work together to provide a web of support for older adults as they continue to age.

    Such a meeting is also a good opportunity get clear early on about what care-giving duties the older adults in your care may -- perhaps unconsciously -- expect you to assume as they get older, and what you and other caregivers or siblings are (and aren't) willing or able to take on. A frank conversation about this upfront can help avert potential resentment or disappointment down the line.

    2. "Future-fit" their home for independent living

    Take a tour of their home, perhaps with them, and think about how to make it safer and more navigable. Everything from a grab bar in the bathroom to a variety of new high-tech gadgets aimed at helping elders live independently at home safely are worth a look. This is where the Certified Aging in Place Specialists from Whole Home can help. Please give us a call at 513-482-5100!

    Your local Council on Aging or a private geriatric care manager can refer you to an occupational therapist who can help identify hidden hazards and ways to make their home easier to navigate as they get older. The occupational therapist may also be able to recommend companies or tradespeople who can make necessary renovations.

    This is also the time to think about downsizing -- helping them get rid of decades of accumulated belongings that can make their home harder to maintain as they age.

    3. Observe and then put together a plan

    A family member or caregiver should start by spending a day with them, suggests Cason, writing down their daily routine. This will let you know when they are most alert and active, and also when they're most likely to be tired, depressed, or anxious. Then you can help plan activities for when they're at their best and perhaps extra care during the low points of the day, when they may be more vulnerable to accidents or just feeling blue.

    Practical needs to consider might include:

    - Transportation Do they plan to continue driving? What are the options in their area if they need to stop driving at some point?

    - Finances Do they have the income to cover their needs, including in-home care if they could use it? If not, what public or private resources can they or their family draw on to help? Do they plan to manage their own finances, or do they need or want help? If they do, how do they find that help?

    - Health care Do they live near their doctors and a hospital? What do they plan to do if they have a medical problem on the weekend or on a holiday?

    - Household maintenance Which tasks can they still handle, and which do they need help with? Who is available -- volunteer or professional -- to help out?

    4. Explore all the options

    Options for independent living have changed just as much in recent years as those for out-of-home care. As you plan, consider some of the less-obvious solutions, such as a home share, putting in a specially designed backyard cottage called an ECHO, or helping them turn their neighborhood into a naturally occurring retirement community, in which older neighbors organize, sometimes with the help of a community agency, to provide collective services.

    5. Learn about in-home care resources for independent living

    Independent living doesn't have to mean going it alone. In-home care options run the gamut from basic services such as housekeeping and meal delivery all the way to live-in nurse's aides.

    6. Make a contingency plan

    Don't get caught unprepared by an illness or sudden change in health in those you're caring for. Get to know local senior communities and skilled nursing facilities. Ask the older adults in your care where they'd prefer to go should the need arise. If possible, visit those communities and keep a file with information about eligibility requirements, costs, and application processes.

    7. Re-assess regularly

    Age -- and the decline in ability that often comes with it -- happens gradually, so those closest to an older person can sometimes miss signs of deterioration. Jot down some baseline notes about how they're doing -- physical mobility, capacity to take care of themselves and their home -- and then reevaluate every six months or so to make sure you aren't missing a new need or issue.

    8. Build in joy

    Sometimes, says Ann Cason, we spend so much time worrying about protecting older adults' health and keeping them safe that we forget to help them plan their lives around the things they enjoy. They chose to live independently for a reason. Find out what pastimes and pleasures are most important to them -- whether it's a meal with the grandchildren, a drive in the country, or a weekly card game with friends -- and try to find ways to help them continue to pursue those things they enjoy.

    Source: Caring.com


    Planning key for Aging in Place

    Posted on June 25, 2012 by kim

    Aging in place planning for quality of life

    The focus of aging in place is to help seniors ensure they can live where they choose and get any help they need for as long as they can. It is more than that, though. The goal of an elderly person (or anyone) wanting to age in place should be to maintain and/or improve their quality of life. In order to do that, a good plan that focuses on your quality of life and covers your self, home, finances, care and other items should be created as early as possible. This plan should be maintained over time as your situation changes. Whole Home's Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) can help you with this plan and connect you to other services and partners you may need while in the planning process.

    Aging changes

    When do you start planning? It's never too soon to think of your golden years, but many people wait until their circumstances suddenly change. It is important for to consider and plan for the changes that will happen and what impacts these changes will have on your life or the lives of your loved ones. As we age, our bodies and capabilities change. Examples of changes you might experience are:

    • Reduced vision
    • Decreased muscle strength or endurance
    • Reduced mental processing capabilities
    • Increased risk of falls due to balance
    • Increased risk of illness
    • Reduced hearing
    • Decreased mobility

    Planning early as possible means you will have a greater chance to control your quality of life and independence. Connecting to resources such as Whole Home also presents you with an opportunity to lessen the burden on your family by outlining how your needs are met.

    What does it mean to my family?

    Issues that families will continue to have to deal with include home remodeling (accessibility, universal design), personal support (balancing work and family responsibilities of caregiving), and common problems like budget, finding resources, caregiving solutions and more. All of these issues will need to be dealt with in a way that empowers those aging in place and their caregivers, so everyone can make informed decisions about their lives and care. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist can help!

    Aging in place is a choice

    To age in place at home, some of the decisions you will need to make include:

    • how long you plan to remain at home
    • if you need major home remodeling or just a few changes, like ramps or grab bars
    • the quality and price of the home modifications you may need
    • what your wishes are for major life events like sudden illness or disability (permanent or temporary home modifications, financial decisions, caregiver decisions)

    Making these choices gives you control over your independence, quality of life and dignity. Most importantly to note, aging in place does not mean you have to do everything yourself; that’s where the plan and an Aging in Place Specialist can help! Whole Home has five Certified Aging in Place Specialists ready to answer your universal design questions and help you to plan the perfect accessible home.

    If you haven’t retired yet, you have time to think about your needs, research your options and put together a plan that is good for you and your family. If you have retired, putting the time in to building a plan will help keep you in control of your life. Building a plan will help you deal with issues you will encounter down the road and ease some of the burden your loved ones will experience. If you need help building your plan and want to discuss your aging in place options with a Whole Home CAPS professional, please call 482-5100.

    CAPS can help boomers age in place successfully

    Posted on May 29, 2012 by kim

    Aging baby boomers are determined for successful aging in place. They are so determined to reach their goals; the boomers have created an entire new home remodeling industry. The hopes of the aging baby boomer generation are to avoid being institutionalized and to live out the life in the comforts of their own home. In order to reach that goal, baby boomers are finding support and guidance with Certified Aging in Place Specialists.

    It is important that aging boomers realize that their bodies will change and our ability to maneuver our physical environment with ease may change.

    An aging boomer must realize that successful aging in place requires planning, support and guidance from many different areas. The first step, for success, is to make your home your partner as you age. Most homes were built for young growing families. A young body can maneuver stairs, stand at the kitchen sink or stand on a stool to get out of reach things. As we age, these activities can become difficult or even impossible. Balance can become a problem and falls rob the aging body of independence. In spite of all the exercising, vitamins and nutrition, we cannot help from falling and breaking a bone.

    Mobility, such as going up and downstairs, getting off the toilet and in and out of the shower becomes a problem. Many aging seniors develop fear of falling and avoid showering for fear of falling.What is the best tip for successful aging in place? Make home remodeling plans to adjust your present environment to meet your future care needs. There are simple inexpensive changes that can make your home livable for your future care needs. For example, lever type handles should replace all door knobs for ease of opening.

    Shower doors should be replaced by shower curtains for safety. Installing grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet. If you are planning remodeling or home improvements seek the advice of a certified aging in place specialist. These specialists utilize the basic concept of universal design to meet the needs of everyone: the young, the aging body or the individual that is physically challenged. These specialized professionals will assist you in making the right choices for your present needs as well as your future care needs.

    There are several factors to consider when making changes to your home.

    Safety is the first consideration. Although we are unable to prevent accidents, you can create an environment that will lessen the chances of an accident happening. Physically maneuvering in our homes can become a factor as we age. We may require some assistive device, such as a cane or wheelchair. Entering and leaving the house can become problematic. Using stairs and food preparation can become problematic due to arthritis of circulatory problems.

    Falls in the entrance ways of a home is second only to the bathroom for falls for aging seniors. Lowering profile thresholds will make for easier access to your home.

    The bathroom is a key room to make changes for future care needs. Safety and easy accessibility to promote independence for as long as possible is the goal for this highly utilized room. Simple changes as suggested above, along with held shower heads and scald guards on the faucets are safety benefits for everyone in the family.

    Installing a "comfort high" toilet can allow an individual to get up with ease. As we age, the present standard toilets can be difficult to get up with out assistance.

    For more ways you can make your home more functional for yourself or a loved one, call Whole Home's Certifiled Aging In Place Specialists at 482-5100!

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2990858

    Whole Home, Whole Service.

    Posted on April 25, 2012 by kim

    Whole Home is not just about its services, its about what we give our clients – a chance to live longer independently and safely in their homes. Whole Home provides over 25 years of experience and expertise for any modification project, but our services do not give insight to the depth and character of Whole Home.

    Whole Home is truly a whole service. Whole Home begins with a consultation and assessment of our client’s home environment, followed by suggestions for adapting it to better meet their needs. Our clients are our number one priority. Personalizing Whole Home separates it from other comparable services. Every project is personally designed and executed to meet the needs of our client. Aging in Place specialists work with our client’s medical professionals, to assess their needs and determine the best design solutions tailored specifically for the client’s space, budget, and health goals. Whole Home assists with things such as installing grab bars to making Universal Design modifications.

    This new social enterprise service allows for the aging and elderly to continue living independently and safely in their homes. Whole Home is dedicated to help our clients stay in their homes for as long as they wish. To learn more about Whole Home, call 513.482.5100 or visit our services page. Follow and like us to get regular updates on PWC and Whole Home.  


    Social Media Examiner:


    Aging with Parents

    Posted on April 18, 2012 by kim

    A recent article in the LA Times examined the changing atmosphere and responsibility of the baby boomer generation and their aging parents. Here are some helpful tips about talking to parents about lifestyle changes as they age.  

    “We’re not parenting out parents, we’re parenting with our parents”

    It is important to remember the agendas, needs, and wants of those being cared for. Rather than considering the new position as caregiver as a parental, remember most of the time parents know or at least have an idea about things they may not be best suited for anymore. Remember they were once parents, and they too know what’s best. Taking the time to listen, understand, and communicate clearly can help establish a healthy productive environment for the caregiver relationship to flourish. The aim of the conversation may vary from persuading parents to see a doctor, or talking about driving, and there is no specific script to follow, but keeping these helpful tips in mind will help kickoff the talk.      

    The continuous development of Universal Design, especially in home modification, has helped remove the stigmas that plague aging and the feeling of relinquished freedom. Through creating safe living environments designed for life-span living, aging parents can live independently longer, and more importantly safely. Universal Design products make talking to parents about aging easier, as it provides options and alternatives to improve aging lifestyle. Whole Home offers a variety of modifications and related services to ensure the safety of those who staying in their own homes, call 513.482.5100, or visit our services page for more information. 


    LA Times:


    Help Prevent Dangerous falls with these tips!

    Posted on April 11, 2012 by kim

    Did you know that every year aging adults are seriously injured by falling, and most of the time it happens in their own home? 
    Making simple changes in the home can reduce and prevent this from happening. Accessibleconstruction.com has great fall prevention tips, including home modifications that minimize the risk of falling.
    1. Exercise: Regular exercise improved balance, mobility, bone and muscle strength, and your overall health. Low impact exercise, like walking, is best. 
    2. Vision: Our eyes change as we age. If you already have glasses, you prescription may change. If you don’t have glasses you might need them. Seeing clearly decreases the chance of falling. 
    3. Medicine: Regularly review your medications, both prescription and non-prescription. As medications are added or removed, they way they work together changes. Wrong medication combinations can cause symptoms such as dizziness, increasing the chances of a fall. 
    4. Home Improvements: Simple things can be changed to make your home safer. 
    Lights: Make sure there is appropriate lighting both inside and outside your house. 
    Non-Slip Shower Strips: Use in both the tub and shower to avoid slipping and sliding.
    Grab Bar: Install next to the toilet and shower. 
    Telephone: Have telephones in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom to call for help incase of a fall. 
    Whole Home offers these services and more. Call 513.482.5100 to schedule your free consultation, or visit our website to learn more!
    For more tips visit:

    Did you know that every year aging adults are seriously injured by falling, and most of the time it happens in their own home? Making simple changes in the home can reduce and prevent this from happening. Accessibleconstruction.com has great fall prevention tips, including home modifications that minimize the risk of falling. Tips include:

     1. Exercise: Regular exercise improved balance, mobility, bone and muscle strength, and your overall health. Low impact exercise, like walking, is best.

     2. Vision: Our eyes change as we age. If you already have glasses, you prescription may change. If you don’t have glasses you might need them. Seeing clearly decreases the chance of falling. 

    3. Medicine: Regularly review your medications, both prescription and non-prescription. As medications are added or removed, they way they work together changes. Wrong medication combinations can cause symptoms such as dizziness, increasing the chances of a fall. 

    4. Home Improvements: Simple things can be changed to make your home safer. 

    Lights: Make sure there is appropriate lighting both inside and outside your house. 

    Non-Slip Shower Strips: Use in both the tub and shower to avoid slipping and sliding.

    Grab Bar: Install next to the toilet and shower.

    Telephone: Have telephones in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom to call for help incase of a fall. 

    Whole Home offers these services and more. Call 513.482.5100 to schedule your free consultation, or visit our website to learn more!

    For more tips visit:Accessibleconstruction.com http://www.accessibleconstruction.com/resources/senior-fall-prevention.html

    Whole Home in this Sunday's Enquirer

    Posted on March 23, 2012 by kim

    PWC and Whole Home will be featured in this Sunday’s business section of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Reporter Val Prevish recently interviewed PWC’s President Jock Pitts and Jere McIntyre, Director of Modifications and Whole Home, to find out what’s in store for the first year of Whole Home.

    Whole Home is PWC’s newly launched social enterprise providing quality home modification services for people above PWC’s current income limitations. Money earned through Whole Home will benefit PWC’s Modifications for Mobility program, which has a waiting list of 130 clients.

    Whole Home features these modification services:

    Ø Ramp sales and installations of EZ Access Aluminum portable and modular ramps. The construction of wood ramps is also available where it is the preferred option.

    Ø Short term aluminum ramp rentals following surgery, hospice at home, etc.

    Ø Fall prevention sales and installation such as grab bars to assist the customer and complement the décor of the home.

    Ø Bathroom and kitchen modifications to create a safe and accessible environment to accommodate changing lifestyles and circumstances.

    Ø Other home modifications include: Automatic door openers, grip safe flooring, lighting improvements, handrails, chair lifts and stair lifts.

    To request a consultation or assessment of Whole Home’s services, please call (513) 482-5100 or visit wholehome.org for additional information.

    Aging in Place and Universal Design

    Posted on March 21, 2012 by kim

    Source: aginginplace.com


    Aginginplace.com has a great article on aging in place and the importance of Universal Design. The article is timely. Aging in Place has become the trending topic of 2012, and is an especially important concept for People Working Cooperatively’s new Whole Home Services. Aging in Place is the desire and ability to stay in one’s home, independently, comfortably and safely. Universal Design incorporates concepts designed for “life-span” living, compatible at all stages in life. This dynamic duo makes safe living at home a reality for anyone facing mobility obstacles. Here are five tips for a Universal Design home:

    ·     Adapt main floor of the home for one level living: No-step entry, bathroom and bedroom / Kitchen and laundry on main floor

    ·     Widen doorways to 36″ w/ offset hinges on doors: Doorways are often too narrow for walkers and wheelchairs (or someone carrying packages) so widening them is a plus for all

    ·     Install hand-held shower heads and grab bars: Hand-held shower heads and grab bars are some of the least expensive changes you can make and are a great help to those with balance problems

    ·     Use lever handles on doors and plumbing fixtures: Hand strength can be an issue with all ages–using a simple lever eliminates the struggle with operating doorknobs and faucets

    ·     Use “comfort height” toilets: Many people suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis, or temporary injuries and find it hard to stand up from a normal height toilet–a higher toilet (or toilet chair that fits over the existing toilet) helps fix this challenge

    “…The elegance of Universal Design is that it’s now invisible and non-stigmatizing (and) that wasn’t always the case,” the article notes. Universal Design is a key component in Aging in Place, as exemplified by Whole Home. Whole Home is led by Certified Aging in Place Specialists, who work with medical professionals to assess needs, and design the best solutions uniquely tailored for the client’s space, budget, and health care goals.

    The concept of Whole Home is to extend the mission of PWC by providing home modifications to persons in need of these services with the ability to pay or partially pay. Whole Home services are based on the principles and guidelines of Universal Design, ranging from ramp installation (both short and long term available), to fall prevention and remodeling. Call 513.482.5100 for more information or a free estimate!

    Caregiver Heroes

    Posted on March 05, 2012 by kim

    Caregiver Heroes

    Each week we have the good fortune to meet another heroic caregiver who is making a personal sacrifice to care for a loved one or friend. Sometimes it is a spouse like my friend Howard caring for his long time partner because that is what they promised to do so many years ago. The service rendered now is automatic without regard to the personal inconvenience. It is a part of their character and in recognition of the shared love, knowing the level of care would be the same if the tables were reversed. Loraine trusts him to honor her wishes and meet her needs. 

    In other situations it may be the child, niece or nephew who is providing the care or assistance with the daily living activities for a senior in their life. Larry says it is not payback for the past activities of his mother Rose, but rather the right thing to do in the circumstances. He gave up his job and put the rest of his life on hold for now to care for Mom.

    So today’s heroes are the caregivers who regularly give of themselves to offer care and dignity to a senior or disabled person in their life. They could use your words of encouragement and some occasional help from each of us to sustain them.

    Welcome to Whole Home!

    Posted on February 20, 2012 by admin

    Welcome to Whole Home! Whole Home is People Working Cooperatively’s unique new home modifications service available to the general public. We provide quality home modification services for people above PWC’s current income limitations. Whole Home provides services and products such as fall prevention aids, aluminum access ramps, accessible bath, kitchen and other necessary modifications and repairs to create a safe environment.

    The Business Courier featured Whole Home in January, http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/print-edition/2012/01/20/whole-home-startup-to-generate-support.html.  PWC President Jock Pitts sat down with reporter Lucy May to explain the new service and how it creates additional funding for PWC’s nonprofit Modifications for Mobility program, which has more than 125 clients on the waiting list.

    Whole Home is a way for PWC to support an underserved population in need. And it supports PWC’s overall mission of keeping people safe in their homes.

    Take a minute to learn more about Whole Home by checking out our new website or by calling our Whole Home line at (513) 482-5100. We are here to help you!

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