Sunday, January 25, 2015

Clever Contraptions

Good design is such a thing of beauty, it gives me hope for humanity. 

This doohickey for holding spools of thread, for instance. > > >
(Do you know what it's called? I don't.)

[Later: It's called many things: a wooden spool- or thread- rack, holder, or organizer.]

I got it at the Thrift Store, and while I'd never seen one, they must be fairly common because the women in the Sewing Group all knew what it was. 

One woman arranged the spools by size---biggest on the bottom row, smaller going up, and, like all (?) good design, the end result was beautiful.
It's also a perfect tool for my work because filling it up offers low difficulty, high satisfaction, and I can easily take the spools off and give it to another person, or to the same person again, if she has short-term memory loss. (Not everyone does.)

Bad Design, Clever Solutions

Alas, the place I work, while designed only three years ago, was––bizarrely–– not designed with people with physical limitations in mind. Narrow doors and tight turns,
for instance, are hard to navigate in a wheelchair. 

Some of the windows in the dining room lack blinds because hardware blocks the way, and at certain times of day, the sunshine can be blinding, and especially hurtful to old eyes. 
The aides sometimes crawl up on a chair and jerry-rig a tablecloth to provide shade. 

< < < Best of all, I love this resident's solution. 

I went to the maintenance crew and asked if they couldn't find a permanent solution. The other day I saw one of them measuring the windows, so I have some hope... The guys in maintenance are pretty cool.

The building's worst flaw, though, from a health perspective, is the design of the sinks: you can only reach them to wash your hands if you're standing up, which half the residents cannot do. 

A wave of intestinal disorders hit last month, and when I expressed concern to nursing about the hand washing facilities, I was told it was too expensive to provide hand wipes. 
I have taken this to my boss, but expect little will be done. I carry alcohol goop with me and dispense it liberally. It's very drying to old skin, but it's better than dysentery.


Zhoen said...

The spool rack looks like something made for a shop display.

Plastic films to block glare on windows might help.

Handwashing is essential, wtf indeed. There has to be a regulatory agency to appeal to, or at least to families. But then, I knew a cook at a nursing home that didn't know that undercooked eggs could cause problems - and we all had food handlers permits that spelled that out. Sheesh.

Fresca said...

Hey, you're right---it's called a "spool rack"! I googled it and it seems it's just a regular sewing item.

Plastic film! So easy, so inexpensive! I'll mention it the maintenance guys, who are very receptive to practical solutions.
(I appreciate the kind of humans they are.)

You know, I might just take a stand on the hand-washing thing---go to a higher authority, as you suggest...
It's in MY best interest too---I don't want to get these oral-fecal-route nastinesses either!

Zhoen said...

Or, try with your nurse, who might know right where to put pressure?

Fresca said...

It was the nurse who told me hand wipes were too expensive!

Frex said...

Oh, wait, you must mean the nurse who told me Activities are more important than paperwork.
Yes, that's a different person, you're right. Hm. I might indeed ask her.
--Frex = Fresca

poodletail said...

Gawd, Fresca. I hope you get the hand wipes. You work in a Petri dish.