I just finished with a client whose spouse returned from the rehab hospital. When I met Rita, she was extremely stressed out due to the dramatic change which was happening in real time to her and her husband. Her husband had some ongoing health issues which he wasn’t paying attention to, sound familiar? He suffered a significant stroke which was the game changer. Everything changes, how do I get out bed? How do I walk across the room and not fall? How do I use the toilet, shower, bath tub? Can I get up stairs or do I need to sleep downstairs? How do I get into the house with four steps and a landing? Not to mention all of the other daily things which were automatic now are not.
Her husband required a ramp, a stairlift and some grab bars installed in the shower. She had called my office and I met with her within a day to assess their home and provide a plan to address the various accessibility issues. She was reluctant at first, no one has a crystal ball. She questioned, what if he recovers fully without an impairment? What will his progress be in 6 months, a year? All legitimate concerns. I reviewed with her different options for renting a ramp vs. permanent installation. Also, what was involved with the stair lift. Could he climb a few steps or was he completely incapacitated? We came up with a plan that fit her budget and time frame. Rita said that the service we provided could not be duplicated by another contractor and she felt a decreased level of stress and was at ease that Avenue Medical Construction was taking care of these concerns.
These questions are the same questions thousands of people ask every week when a significant other has medical emergency. I meet many families facing similar circumstances. It may not be a medical emergency but a need that has gone ignored. I am currently working on a job in Honeybrook, PA. A therapist I met at a rehab center in Wilmington contacted me after I had completed a presentation to the team of therapists. His grandmother loved taking baths but could no longer get into and out of the tub. He asked me if I would meet with him and his grandmother. His mother warned me that the family had been trying to get her to purchase a walk-in tub or shower but she didn’t want to spend the money. I met with the family and talked to them about my other clients who were in a similar situation and why the walk-in tub made a difference for them. I explained that, the tubs were not for everyone. Her husband opened up, that he was experiencing pain in his legs and backs. We talked about the therapeutic benefit of the tub and how it could help relieve pain by soaking and having the jets improve circulation in those problem areas. After speaking with them, some additional concerns surfaced, the flooring needed to be replaced also the toilet was too low.
Avenue Medical Construction started with a recommendation from a friend. He was a paraplegic and worked for the State of Delaware in the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. He told me that he had contractors who could build walls and lay tile but they didn’t understand how people with a mobility limitation need to move around in their homes. I am an ATP,Assistive Technoloigy Practitioner, credentialed through the Rehabilitation Engineers Society of North America and I owned a complex rehab equipment company. We were already installing stair lifts but we did no other construction. So, I took a few courses from the National Association of Home Builders and received my CAPS, Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation. Avenue Medical Construction was born.
There are many companies that sell walk-in tubs, walk-in showers and do bath remodeling. Why is Avenue Medical Construction different? I personally meet with every client to discuss and help develop a plan to address their accessibility concerns. I listen to their concerns and I am mindful of the stress these situations can cause. I put myself in their shoes. How would I want to be treated if I was going through the same situation? I provide a detailed summary of what the scope of the job will be and how long it will take. My crew is employed by me. I take great care in training and developing the crew. They are respectful, honest and dependable. The work is completed in the time frame stated not weeks afterward. I set realistic expectations in the beginning of the job so that the homeowner knows what to expect. I update the homeowners daily or weekly depending upon the scope of the project. Unexpected problems do arise. The difference is how you handle the problem.
We were completing a walk-in shower for a client. The floor was ¾” out of level in a bathroom that was 5’ x 8’. That is a huge problem which was unable to be detected in the initial evaluation. After the old tub came out the floor required significant attention. I informed the homeowner that instead of 2 days for the bathroom to be completed it would be 4 days. I explained the reason why and showed him the bracing that was required to get the sub floor to level. He was not happy with the delay because his wife was coming home before Christmas. We got the floor level and finished the install in time for his wife to take a shower upon her return home.
The goal at Avenue Medical Construction is to provide solutions to a multitude of accessibility issues. The experience and knowledge of disease progression combined with years of working with hundreds of families and clients makes Avenue Medical Construction the only choice when looking to complete an accessibility modification to your home.
Adam Samuel, ATP, CAPS
President and Owner of Avenue Medical Construction