Local business helps elderly with shower renovations to create safer space

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — There is a higher risk for the elderly community to experience falls while doing everyday tasks especially from the comfort of their home. 

Dr. Emanuel Martinez, a Physician Associate (PA) at Valley Baptist ER in Harlingen, said every day there are about 10 senior citizens who are rushed to an emergency room because of a fall.

According to Dr. Martinez, the majority of those falls cause severe injuries like hip fractures and take place in the bathroom area. 

“I would say at least 80% of them are in the restroom because of the fact that is such a confined space,” said Dr. Martinez.

Martinez said it is common for seniors wanting to remain independent but unfortunately they do not have the same stability they once had.

When it comes to the health and lifestyle of the elderly Martinez said family members are the biggest support system they have, according to Martinez.

“It can go from making sure they have easy access in and out of the shower from slipping and falling inside the restroom,” he said. 

Alex Del Bosque, the founder of UpHome Renovation, said he is aware of how crucial it is for elders or people with disabilities to have a safe infrastructure in their homes.

Due to the need, Del Bosque said his business is giving back to the community by providing a free shower renovation through their program.

“We know that walk-in showers are relevant for a lot of people but we also understand that’s something particularly important for people that have mobility issues,” he said. 

Del Bosque said each application is evaluated based on need but the type of infrastructure that a bathroom has plays a huge role when it comes to finalizing their decision. 

“Renovations take two days, that’s why we keep it standardized because those are the ones we are able to do in two days,” said Del Bosque.

Del Bosque said the application process is simple and accessible online. 

While there are other ways for people to get their bathrooms renovated, some are partially covered by Medicare or Medicaid and Del Bosque said it is not always an easy route.

He said the UpHome Renovation program is another option for people to apply for a senior citizen or a veteran in need.  

In addition to safer infrastructure, Dr. Martinez said it is important for family members to be aware of the types of medications or health issues that elders have to ensure a smoother process when taken to an emergency room.

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