Friday, April 10, 2015

Unisex Lockers, Bring Them On! Hubba, Hubba!

Felix and I made use of something which we sincerely hope is going to be making a very fast appearance in the rest of the country. In our Rec Center it is called the Family Dressing Room. This is a polite way of saying both sexes of any age are entitled to use it instead of the Men and Women's Locker Rooms. Before I had my knee replacement I thought of this solely in terms of parents who needed to take their opposite sex children to the toilet and make sure no one snatched them. Cut off age for a child using an opposite sex locker room is 7. But I was wrong about the sole purpose of this room. If I would have bothered studying it beforehand I would have discovered exactly how wrong.

This room has everything for the handicapped user. There are the push buttons outside which automatically open the exit and entrance doors for the room. There is the fully handicapped shower. There is a fully handicapped bathroom. There is a dressing room with curtains and surrounding the benches are grab rails and pegs (for handicapped persons). This is all great but this is not the best part.

The best part is that someone of the opposite sex can go into the room with you and help you. Yesterday demonstrated in full the necessity of this. After my shower in the handicapped stall, I went into the curtained area. I used those grab bars along with every piece of clothing I put on. Nevertheless, I got stuck. My bra got all twisted around and I could not straighten it out. Further, I had not tried getting on pants before this with slightly damp skin (a towel removes only so much of the damp). I have never worked so hard to get my legs into two holes. I ended up rolling the fabric in my hand so that finally I could see the hole and insert the foot. But the bra was still a mess and I had no energy for my shoes. So Felix had to come in and fix the final parts of my getting dressed or I would still be there.

I have talked to some of you other seniors about surgeries you are facing. Some of you are facing replacement parts on some part of your body while others are facing some other major surgery which involves a fairly lengthy recovery. In many of those cases, it is a spouse who is going to have to do the support work wherever you go for the next couple of months. Without this kind of unisex room with handicapped features, you will just give up in many situations and stay home. If ever there was a need for a senior baby boomer feature, this has got to be it. If not a spouse, then a son or daughter or their spouses may need to assist you and the same problem presents itself.

I cannot stress enough what a blessing such a facility is for those of us in this age range and with facing, shall we say, a lot of medical challenges in the years ahead, or its even worse alternative. We need more of these.

One caveat: There seems to be some hysterical element which believes that teen girls will be showering next to grown men. These family locker rooms have a steady stream of parents, young children and the handicapped going in and out. The teenagers at our rec center avoid it like the plague. It is hard for me to imagine a place less forbidding for some sexual offender to use.

I have two other things I wanted to add onto to my entry today so this is a bit of a grab bag of an entry.

First, I have been trying to get my friend Mary into the water so I keep sending her and her husband David all of this water material. The aqua therapy has helped me so much and even my surgeon agreed that probably no physical therapist could compete with a full water workout for orthopedic problems. I discovered that many of these places have water walkers for handicapped users. These are just like walkers used on land but made of materials which will not rust by water immersion. There are also chair lifts for going in and out of the water. So I put together this chart for Mary and David and emailed it to them in my continuing sales pitch. I thought everyone else should benefit from it as well. The bottom two are humorous but they are real. Horses and people do get in the water and do what you see pictured.

Next, many of you are tired of hearing me rave about apple Ipads and Mac Airs. They are pricey and the new Iwatch even more so. So I have an alternative for you. Google has been steadily invading the computer device market. With these latest entries you can drive over to Walmart and have a new Chromebook for $149. Go $100 bucks more and you can have Google's Chromebook which flips into a tablet. That will not be available until summer though. Chromebooks are heavily slanted towards users who like being on the internet and using software which is on the internet, such as Google's. One grad student who uses Apple for just about every computer device, broke down and bought one of these Chromebooks for campus use. He did this because if someone stole the Chromebook it would be no big deal. So he went all over campus all day long with his Chromebook and just loved it. This was just fine for working on his Master's Thesis all day long too.

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