Category Archives: Life

Remodeled Space For Aging In Place | The Daily Oklahoman

*You might have to press pause on the video just below if you want to read everything before you watch it, it seems to be playing automatically.

A quick note before the video/article:

Early in 2017 I found myself in the middle of a transaction that had a very strong thread for all parties involved, aging family members. My sellers were helping their mother sell their childhood home, which needless to say had to be emotionally impactful. Not long after the house went on the market I was approached by a lady saying that her daughter lived a few doors down from the house, and they thought it would be nice to live closer to one another. I later discovered that this very witty and charming person was in the earlier stages of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Long story short they purchased the home after a few bumps in the road, and she and her daughter renovated the home – and it is immaculate…

I’m currently writing this with tears in my eyes next to my grandfather who is on his deathbed. In the last few years I lived for a while with my grandparents as they were getting settled into their final residence. We’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time, and in the middle of taking care of him for his final stage of life I saw this article pop up in The Daily Oklahoman, telling the wonderful story of some of my newfound friends, Deb and Amy on one side and Larry and Sue on the other. I’m so grateful for everyone involved. Being a part of their story makes me appreciate my own even more, and I’m pretty much bursting at the seems already with love and appreciation for my own family.

-Grady

Remodeled Space For Aging In Place

By Dyrinda Tyson For The Oklahoman dyrinda@gmail.com  


NORMAN — Amy Brewer wanted her mother closer, especially when memory issues began to surface. But it took several years and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for things to come to a head.

“In April, she got lost for five hours,” she said. “That’s when I decided that she needed to move.”

Her mother, Deborah Brewer, raised a finger.

“Now I have a different story,” she interjected. She offered her explanation, mostly off the record, possibly tongue-in-cheek. “So I knew where I was,” she concluded with a nod.

Still, her daughter saw it as a call to action. Interstate 35 and major chunk of Norman lay between them. And as unpredictable as Alzheimer’s disease can be, the one thing for sure is it doesn’t retreat.

“I decided I’d put this off long enough,” Amy Brewer said. “For five years, I knew we needed to do something. And I’d been floating the idea and floating the idea.”

Her mother, though, was reluctant, at least until Amy played her trump card: “I finally said, ‘There’s going to come a time when I’m going to have to take your car away, and you’re still going to want to see your grandkids. So you need to be right by us. And, she said, ‘I understand.’ ”

The perfect bungalow came on the market that weekend, just two doors down from Amy’s house in central Norman. Things bogged down, however, as she grappled with the logistics of selling one house while buying another.

The bungalow was still on the market when they finally laid a plan in place. They gave the go-ahead to their Realtor, Grady Carter, of Metro Brokers in Norman. But they worried about trust issues on the seller’s side.

“He must have done some magic on his end, though,” Amy Brewer recalled. “I was in San Francisco about to board a flight to New Zealand.”

That meant many hours in the air cut off from communications, so she laid it out in a phone call to Carter. “I said ‘I’m going to land in 13 hours, Grady. Whatever they need us to pay, we’ll pay. Whatever earnest money, we’ll do cash.’ ”

That did the trick. By the time Amy Brewer came home from her extended trip, the deal was done. Friends had pitched in during her absence to ensure Deborah Brewer made it to closing, then helped her move out of her old home and into her daughter’s house to await remodeling on her new digs.

Oh, yes, the remodeling.

“I was really focused on securing this house, which took a long time,” Amy Brewer said. “And after we purchased the house, I realized I had plans to do a complete remodel and no plans to do a complete remodel. I guess someone who knew what they were doing would’ve had that lined up before they closed. A week or two went by, and I realized I had no idea what I was doing.”

Smooth transition

So she did what almost everyone does in this day and age, namely take her plight to social media. And social media gave back, leading her to Kendra Orcutt and her Home Mods By Therapists team. Orcutt channels her experience as an occupational therapist into designing spaces to accommodate people’s physical challenges.

Orcutt and her team opened up the space inside by getting rid of hallways, allowing the bedrooms and bathrooms to open directly up into the main part of the house.

They widened hallways, repurposed space lost to a heater closet to enlarge the laundry room and installed a sliding barn door on the master bathroom, adding not only a trendy touch but one that saves space and is easier for a person on a walker or cane to open.

Even the color scheme in the kitchen was designed with a purpose. The gray-and-black floor tiles are low-contrast, which is easier to navigate with impaired vision or balance.

“By making this house accessible to memory loss, she doesn’t ever have to move,” Orcutt said. “She won’t have to relearn another space. She knows her daughter is down the street. All of those things are important. So what I did was I made things easier to live in.”

Easier to live in, but not institutional. It’s often just a matter of style. What appears to be a towel rack by the bathtub, for example, is actually a grab bar. Its brushed silver surface matches the faucet and, frankly, it could function just fine as a towel rack.

And that’s the point, Orcutt said. “Everything we did in the house, someone else could live in.”

That was a major consideration as Amy Brewer worked to persuade her mother to trade her four-bedroom home for the bungalow.

“She had a great big house, and I didn’t want her to feel like she was having to give up anything,” she said.

Deborah Brewer finally moved into her revamped home in late November. She gave up two bedrooms and a lot of square feet in the move, but may have gained so much more in return.

Amy Brewer smiled as her tween daughter, Harper Sterr, wrapped her arms around her grandmother. “These two are best friends,” she said.

Deborah Brewer held out a hand to compare their heights. “And she’s almost as tall as me.”

Source: Remodeled space for aging in place | NewsOK.com

Wes Moore to Speak In Norman on Thursday, February 12th! (Video)

Oh Noooo! Wes Moore is someone who I’ve admired for a while, and he will be in Norman, Oklahoma tomorrow!!! However I will have to miss this talk due to a prior obligation to attend a cross-industry event for Real Estate called OwnOK (which I am also very excited about!). Wes will be speaking on Thursday, February 12th at 1:30 p.m., in Meacham Auditorium (which is located on Asp. in the Student Union of OU’s campus). Intellectual conversations are often hijacked by political agendas, and thus not many people can speak to the greater population of our society. Mr. Moore is someone who has proven to be a thoughtful, interesting, and a patriot. If you are capable I encourage you to go to this event tomorrow.

Here’s a powerful TED Talk from Wes on how to speak to veterans about war:

 

Wes Moore

Army Combat Veteran, National Best-Selling Author and Social Entrepreneur WES MOORE to speak on campus

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Education Lecture Series featuring Wes Moore will be Thursday, Feb. 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Meacham Auditorium, Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave., Norman, Okla. A reception will follow.

RSVP to attend the lecture here.

Read more about Wes Moore here.

News & Events.

Tips For Building A Backyard Fire Pit For Your Home – DIY Network

Tips For Building A Backyard Fire Pit For Your Home – DIY Network.

Have you been dreaming of having your very own fire pit? Well it seems like the perfect time of year to get make one! The weather is warming up for working outside on a Saturday, but the nights can still be pretty cold (perfect for a fire!). Why not see if this is something that you can do to add some wow factor to your house, and to your life.

Kyle Got A Seat At The Table!

One of my favorite things about having moved home is that I seem to know people most of the places that I go. I’ve now had 2 friends become members of the Norman City Council – Kyle Allison, and Stephen Tyler Holman. While you’re very different from one another you both share a passion for our home town, and for that I’m even more proud to call you my friends. Congratulations Kyle!

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Kyle Allison takes seat on Norman City Council
FROM STAFF REPORTS| January 22, 2015

NORMAN — Kyle Allison, 28, has been sworn in as the Ward 8 city councilman.

He replaces Dan Quinn, who was appointed last year when Chad Williams resigned to take a job out of state.

Municipal Court Judge David Poarch administered the oath of office Tuesday. Allison ran unopposed for the seat.

Incumbent council members Greg Heiple in Ward 1, Robert Castleberry in Ward 3, and Stephen Tyler Holman, Ward 7, also ran unopposed for their seats but will not be sworn in for their new terms until July 1.

Incumbent Ward 5 Councilwoman Lynne Miller is seeking a second term and will face Bobby Stevens on an April 7 ballot.

Quinn had agreed to temporarily fill the Ward 8 post after Williams left.

2 Years Ago Today I Met David Letterman, and It Was Hilarious…

 
I started this site so that I would have a platform to talk about Real Estate, and anything else that I find relevant to my knowledge of my industry. Oh, and I love talking about my job! However, I thought that it might be fun to share something a little different today. 2 Years ago today I ended up on The Late Show with David Letterman! After I had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes before the show he introduced himself as Norman, Oklahoma to my utter surprise… It was a little too difficult to explain once the show aired, so I decided to write a blog post about it to explain. So, on this day 2 years ago (in 2013) I had the chance to talk with David Letterman, and he mentioned my hometown on his show – and here is the proof!

How David Letterman and I Became Friends… (1-16-13, Kardashians and Buddy Guy)

by gradycarter

How David Letterman and I Became Friends… (1-16-13, Kardashians & Buddy Guy) – YouTube.

So recently I had the chance while in New York City to go to a taping of Late Night with David Letterman, and it was a Great experience. I didn’t actually become friends with Dave, but we did get to chat for about a minute, and I like to think that I’ve never met a stranger (so we are friends now…).

I went to the show with one of my friends who I hadn’t seen in person since summer camp when I was 13 years old (half of my life ago). But thanks to the miracle of social media he and I reconnected and we had some great conversations, and shared a David Letterman experience.

So, before we went to the show I had been warned by multiple people that we should try to dress reasonably well and be enthusiastic, we did both and we had great seats. Before the show started we got to watch a few minutes of standup comedy (which I loved), and then we listened to the band get everyone fired up. Paul Shaffer came out right before Dave, and then we were off for an hour long adventure filled with Kim and KortneyKardashian, and Blues legend Buddy Guy. But, before the show started the audience had a chance to ask Dave questions, and I was ready for it. Right when he asked if anyone had any questions I shot my hand up, not entirely sure what I was going to ask. He asked me my name (I told the truth), and then he asked where I was from. When I told him Oklahoma he acted interested and asked which town. I said Norman, and he started asking about the Sooners (University of Oklahoma, for anyone who doesn’t know), and he seemed to be baiting me to explain to everyone that they were the people who cheated in the land run in the late 1800’s.

So finally I get to ask my question, and I decided on the question that I would forever remember asking David Letterman, and I asked him:

“How old were you when you realized that you were funny?”

The audience laughed pretty hard (which was about the coolest feeling ever), and he seemed to think it was a funny question. Due to a surge of adrenaline I don’t remember exactly what he said back to me, but he said something self deprecating about not being sure if he is really funny.

So he then thanks everyone for being there and heads back stage to start the show, and when he comes back out there is a miscue with the cue card guy, and they have to go again. On the second run something happened that I’ll never forget – he came out an introduced himself as Norman Oklahoma… To the audience this was pretty funny, but it obviously made no sense to anyone who wasn’t in the room 3 minutes earlier. It was a very small blip on TV, and meant nothing in terms of David Letterman’s career, but having a momentary inside joke with the Late Night personality of my adolescence and young adulthood was absolutely priceless.

After that it was a blast to watch how the show was run, and it was great to see such a different spread of guests with the Kardashians and Buddy Guy. So here are some clips from the show that don’t include yours truly.

The Monologue:

The Kardashians:

Buddy Guy:

 

If home is where the heart is I want to help people find the keys to their hearts!

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