On April 4th we held our 2nd Muster & Mingle in Piqua. We added the second event in order to better capture our northern Miami County and southern Shelby County veterans, who chose not to drive all the way to Tipp City for our original Muster & Mingle. For our event this month, our Director of Development Tamara Hegi made a delicious baked pasta for the veterans to enjoy. We had the pleasure of hosting 2 speakers who talked to the gathered veterans about home accessibility.
Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant / Licensed Brittany Martin spoke first, passing out a list of typical home hazards. As she talked through the list, she made sure to remind everyone that the list was not all-inclusive or a substitute for having an therapist walk through your home. Some general tips included keeping your home well lit, making sure that light switches are located near doors so that you never need to walk into a dark room. An alternative, for the tech-savvy, would be to add a home device like Google, Alexa or something similar to utilize voice activation for lighting. Having caregiver and next-of-kin numbers by the phone in case someone other than yourself needs to reach those people is also a good idea. She reminded us that while home hazards are little, they are mighty. Simple changes like removing the wheels from your bed frame to lower it, wearing short sleeves while in the kitchen working with burners, and installing grab bars in bathrooms can go a long way to keeping your home safe for you as you age.
After Brittany spoke, Emma, an Occupational Therapist and Aging in Place Specialist shared her tips for home modification. She let us all know that home modifications to stay in the home you love don’t have to mean a huge remodel! There are lots of easy fixes that can make your home aging friendly. She told us about new, aesthetically pleasing options for grab bars that can actually be used as towel bars, in contrast to using towel bars as grab bars. Brittany and Emma both talked about seeing towel bars frequently being used as grab bars, and they reiterated how unsafe that is. Grab bars are attached to the wall in a much more secure way, utilizing studs, which allows them to withstand the weight. Emma also spoke about how home modifications for accessibility aren’t always necessarily a side-effect of aging. Injury can strike at any age, as well as circumstances necessitating a family member moving in with you. Everyone can benefit from an accessible home. She is working to compile a list of resources for financial help with home remodeling, so be sure to keep an eye out for that information!
We are so grateful to everyone who came out to join us for this event, and we hope to see you all at our next Piqua Muster & Mingle, Tuesday May 2nd. We will have representatives from the Miami County Board of Commissioners giving a presentation on the State of the County and a performance from the McGovern Irish Dance School. For more places you can catch up with us, check out our Upcoming Events page!