The Setting, Part 8

The (modern) old folk’ home, while it rather looks like any ordinary apartment building (to an extent probably like other specialized housing but if one looks closer there’s a sort of institutional air) does have some qualifying features that may (or may not) be present in “ordinary” places.  Some are small things that might be considered “niceties” in a house.  Others are things also found in otherwise likely places.  Whatever it is, however, did add to the original cost of construction (or renovation from what was once some other practical  use).  Much is probably a legal requirement and some is probably requirement before the government will sign a backing contract. 

If the bathroom has an actual bathtub (some places don’t), it probably has grab bars attached.  One need not be elderly or disabled to find such useful, but they aren’t that common in houses or in many public places.  They can be bought; but, they are not something one would ordinarily expect.  And, they aren’t particularly expensive unless one plans to buy and install a hundred (or two).  Other things around include a railing of some sort the length of a hall (yours truly hangs on for dear life).  There’s likely to be at least one emergency pull cord that’s directed to the fire department so they can send an ambulance.  Various doors such as the apartment doors are “fire doors” (one needn’t run screaming out of the place). 

The safety features are meant to cut down on the mortality rate, and in many cases they probably do; but, that doesn’t mean residents should feel they are especially secure.  Neither does it mean what’s to use is especially made for the purpose.  The former hotel in downtown Cincinnati was still as glitzy as in it’s heyday; but, the railing in the halls was made out of 2’” x 6” boards nailed to something like 2” x 4” boards (so there was a two-inch indentation on the up side when it was nailed to the wall).  It didn’t look particularly “professional,” but it served the purpose and may even have been more secure than a “professional” thing held up by little holders. 

What one needs can be surprising.