NWPF

PD Community BlogRead Blog

Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to

Friday March 25, 2016
Floor it

Contemporary or dating back a century, wood floors emit a warm invitation to enter, slip off your shoes, glide in.

Floor 1Those of us with movement disorders, however, don’t ‘slip off’ our shoes. We sit down. We unlace. We tug. And we shuffle more than glide, unless there’s a rug involved. Then we’re likely to trip. That’s when the “hard” part of hardwood floors takes on meaning.

Though the slip-on pumps, penny loafers, and clogs in our closets have been replaced by sensible flats, our floors can have style. We are not destined to wall-to-wall carpeting to help prevent (or at least cushion) falls. There are options.

Cork

For a softer landing, I considered cork flooring. Manufacturers tout that it’s easier to install than tile. Also, it gives and is forgiving. A bit more expensive than traditional oak boards, choosing cork may save the cost of replacing every coffee mug that gets dropped. On tile or wood, pottery busts up into interesting shapes. On cork, it tends to bounce (which, hopefully, so will a hip or elbow).

Underfloor layer

Though a variety of cork designs exist, traditional wood won out for me, as did tile for the bath. Beneath that wood floor, however, is a layer of cushioning with spring to it. It’s ideal for areas where we stand for long periods of time (kitchen, art studio, yoga floor) because it’s gentler all the way up the legs and the lower back.

It also provides an added layer against the cold ground. Place it after the foundation and subflooring before the final floor. The cost is worth considering simply for the warmth, particularly when converting or finishing a basement room.

Another underfloor layer

I could justify the in-floor heat in the bath with some sort of safety tidbit. But, I simply liked the idea of cushy, warm feet.

floor 2 edit.jpg

It didn’t break the budget by any means and it’s straight-forward to install. The insert resembles a heating pad that sets in a thin layer of concrete subfloor before the tiles go down. It’s controlled by a thermostat on the wall.

While tile is undeniably hard, the bath has grab bars throughout. The plan is not to test out the bone-smashing capacity by not falling. (See last post on framing for grab bars. See next post for photos of them in place.)

Thresholds

Not only was the heated floor unit simple to install, the added layering helped bring the floor of the bath even with the wood floor in the adjoining room. Given that I could trip over a dust bunny, level floors that abut make for smoother stepping (and wheeling for any guests with walkers or wheelchairs).

Floor 3Living with PD requires not only a safe approach, but one aware of change. Get used to one symptom and another shows up. Ditto for meds. Triple that for the cycle of ‘on’ and ‘off’ times that can be in continuous flux.

If we’re to be constantly standing on the threshold of change, we can at least design that threshold not to trip us up.

Renee Le Verrier, RYTRenee Le Verrier, RYT
NWPF Blogger

Recent Posts

A Day in the Life of a Parkinson Warrior
Who Needs PAM?
Bicycling through Alaska Winter: Insanity, or Mere Stupidity?
Pay It Forward
Book Review: Dealing and Healing with Parkinson's Disease and Other Health Conditions

Archives

2017 2016
Lies That Parkinson's Disease Told Me
Managing the Holiday Blues 2016
Who Was That Masked Man?
The Rain Is Shining — A Thanksgiving Message
Book Review - H.O.P.E.: Four Keys to a Better Quality of Life for Parkinson's
David Leventhal: Dancer, Teacher, Community Leader, Humanitarian, Movement Specialist
Meet Emily!
Rhonda Foulds, Outrunning Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: The Perapatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease
Staff Stories - Melanie
Snake Oil, the Cure for Parkinson's.
Book Review: Nan Little
Life's a Lot Better with NWPF
Tipping Points
Book Review: Natural Therapies for Parkinson's Disease
Dare to Attend a Support Group
Ten for David
Time After Time: Kim Farmer's Story
The Glass is Half-Full
Book Review: Reverse Parkinson's Disease
Contentment
Parkinson's and Free Will
A positive attitude is everything
Book Review - Lucky Man: A Memoir
Alexithymia, the Parkinson’s Get Out of Jail Free Card
We Make Them Together: Major Decisions in Caregiving
Boxing is cool
Safety with Style: House Renovations you can hold on to
Book review: On My Own
Shaken to the Core
Isolation and Parkinson's Disease, The hiding and the hidden
Camp Brian Interview
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Book review: Shake Well Before Use
Notes on Acceptance
"Advice" to a person with Advancing Parkinson's Disease
Needed: New Parkinson’s Vocabulary
Caregiving: Ken's Story
A Well-Tested Testimonial, or Spin for Parkinson's
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Caregiving: Susan's Story
Rock Steady Boxing: Emily
Book Review: My Degeneration, A Journey Through Parkinson's
The Marble Halls of Power
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
2015
ROCKIN’ AROUND THE GROCERY CART
Managing the Holiday Blues
Book Review: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families
The joke is on Parkinson's
I don't always like groups, but when I do...
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story (Continued)
Rock Steady Boxing: Fred Hyde
Present Moment: A Continued Conversation
Book Review: Navigating Life with Parkinson's Disease
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story
Present Moment
On the scent of Parkinson’s disease
Harold Allen (Hal) Newsom
The 2016 World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, Oregon is Fast Approaching: Make Plans to Attend
Flowers on Dr. Starr's Tie
Leading the life of malicious whimsy
Listen: Unlocking Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: If I Can Climb Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?
The Evolution of HOPE
QUIZ: How well do you know your Parkinson’s Disease?
Living with Hope
Notes on Hope
Tug, tug, tug
Denial on Trial
Flowers in Our Hair
Resilience: Bouncing Back from Adversity
Summer Travel
Tina Sawyer Steps Up Fundraising in Seaside
The uncooperative patient
To be in June
Pressure Sores
Caring for a Spouse Living with PD
Life Lessons
Doc Parkinson - A Eulogy
Boom Go Parkinson’s Costs
From the Depths of the Cupboards: Pumpkin Bars
Doctor's Visits
Get Moving!
Choosing a shared burden
Our Brain's "Negativity Bias" Part 2
Outside of Language
Managing Constipation in Parkinson’s Disease
Replacements
Finding Time for Caregiver Care
The Helplessness Antidote
Examples of living your best
10 exercise tips for people with Parkinson's
Bit on Basketball
Suggestions for the Shaken
Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) Report
Our Brain’s “Negativity Bias”
Living for a Cure
Three Huge Changes for People with Parkinson's
Caregiving, the Next Level
Parkinson's Pundit
Perseverance
Making Spousal Relationships Work
Parkinson’s and Luck
Strength. Courage.
Resolve to be a Better Caregiver!
Update from the Parkinson's Action Network
Strategies to Achieve our New Year’s Resolutions and Goals
Movement is Medicine
2014 2013 2012
Most popular posts of 2012
What are you grateful for this holiday season?
How can I tell whether medications are wearing off or Parkinson’s disease is progressing?
Can a person with Parkinson’s give blood?
When is the right time to start Levodopa?
Can acupuncture help PD symptoms?
Support the Caregiver in your Life
Power of the mind to move treatment further
Top 10 Foods for Parkinson’s (and counting!)
How can I prevent dizziness?
What can you tell me about laser light therapy and Parkinson’s
What is music therapy?
Should I take Coenzyme Q10 for my Parkinson’s?
How do I treat my cough at night?
Parkinson’s fitness programs need to be tailored to the individual to get results
Carrying the Olympic Torch for Parkinson’s today
Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s. What about other foods?
Facts about depression
How can I find a good doctor who is knowledgeable about PD and is caring as well? My doctor does not always listen.
Help for constipation
Sex, Intimacy and Parkinson’s
Does DBS affect speech?
Walking and balance can significantly impact quality of life- but is treatable.
Depression is common with Parkinson’s
Ode to Parkinson’s- Poem from Member
Music Enhances Brain Activity
How does posture change with Parkinson’s?
What is important to you?
Are hallucinations caused by Parkinson’s?
Hot Off the Press – Neupro approved by FDA
How do I find a Parkinson’s physical therapist to keep me exercising?
Does Azilect slow disease progression?
Manage nausea from medicines
Is delaying medication harmful?
Advice for newly diagnosed
Is Parkinson’s Hereditary?
Medication Timing
Is gambling a side effect of medicine?
Medication Assistance
Does stress cause Parkinson’s?
When to see a physical therapist
FDA approves DATScan
Coconut Oil
Protein’s effect on medicine
Restless Leg Syndrome