Right Call – Safe at Home

Bob and Lois learned firsthand that it can be faster and easier to make one’s home more accessible and safe for aging in place than to find suitable senior housing in their city.

It had been 27 years since a stroke compromised Bob’s right side. As he approached his 80thbirthday this year, he and Lois began to explore selling their home. They had built the two-story homestead on Blaine’s Laddie Lake in 1968 and hired Tomco Company to remodel the kitchen six years ago. A Realtor told them they would have no trouble selling with their prime location near Laddie Park. The problem was finding a senior unit they could buy or rent that would provide a pathway to assisted living and skilled nursing if one of them needed it someday.

“We had no idea how long it would take to get into a nice senior community,” said Bob.

In the meantime, the couple again called on Tomco’s Tom Schiebout, this time to make their main bathroom safer, easier to use and more beautiful.  The project turned out so well they now say they are happy to remain in their home as long as it takes to explore their senior living options. Their only regret is that they didn’t remodel the bathroom sooner.

Tom collaborated with interior designer Carol Klein on the project. The original space had a deep combination tub shower, a single sink in a long, standard height vanity, standard height toilet and no fan. Tom replaced the linen closet with a large tile shower that features both vertical and horizontal grab bars and a versatile hand shower.  The taller, double vanity has a central storage tower and both open shelves for towels and closed cabinets below.  The toilet is comfort height. The tub is shallower and includes a hand shower for rinsing their young granddaughter’s hair. An exhaust fan keeps air and surfaces dry. And the floor is easy clean ceramic tile.

Interior Designer Made Selections Easy

Lois credits Carol for making the selections process effortless. “Tom recommended I work with his designer and I thought, ‘I already know what I want.’ Well, that was the best recommendation I received. It took us less than two hours to complete all of the selections because Carol had it all set up and I knew what I wanted,” Lois explained.

They chose classic gray subway tile for the tub surround and the lower walls of the shower and white subway tile for the upper part of the shower. But the pencil tile accents and borders are what make it pop. “Everyone who sees the new bathroom loves the pencil tile detail,” Lois said.

Home Tour Play Leads to Home Run

The couple discovered Tomco Company six years ago when it entered a Blaine kitchen project in a home tour.  “Tom was not the cheapest bid for the kitchen, but he was the best,” Bob recalled. When it came time to update the main bath, they didn’t even seek other bids. “He’s so knowledgeable. To me he’s as thorough as can be. And he’s nice, too, personable,” Lois said.

Bob and Lois are huge Twins fans and proudly display the team’s flag at their home’s front door. For now, at least, the call is “safe at home.” If only they could recruit the Twins’ grownskeepers to help with the grass and snow!