A few days ago, Community for Life-Talbot volunteer handyman Jack Donahue, and Stacey Woodworth, the organization’s service navigator, sat down for a brief discussion about a unique service it provides to help seniors living in place with home repair.
Downsizing and simplifying our homes as we age is certainly a trend gaining momentum across the country. In addition to needing help with transportation, seniors are also facing the daunting task of home repairs in order to live safely in their own homes. These issues can be overwhelming tasks and can even fall to the children of seniors or to their caregivers to complete. And, finding affordable, reliable and quality home repair services today can be a challenge.
Maryland Community for Life – Talbot delivers key services in a cost-effective and supportive manner through a cadre of volunteers. Specifically, for a monthly fee, members receive basic home repair and maintenance by a volunteer handyman, a list of vetted contractors and contract review, transportation trips, as well as regular contact with a “Service Navigator” to help coordinate access to services and to assist with any needs that may arise.
“Just taking the worry away for some of the recurring nagging issues in their homes, can make all the difference in a senior’s anxiety about remaining independent and active,” stated Stacey Woodworth, Maryland Community for Life – Talbot’s Service Navigator.
The most popular home repair and maintenance requests that she receives as the Service Navigator are the installation of grab bars, changing light bulbs, assistance in moving boxes (like Christmas decorations), replacing batteries in smoke detectors and CO₂ monitors, and minor landscaping and gardening cleanup. When Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot volunteers can’t accomplish the tasks, licensed vetted contractors specializing in construction, electrical wiring, plumbing, and safety assessments are used.
Home Maintenance Assessments are offered to all new members of Maryland Community for Life℠ – Talbot. Members also receive project quote reviews for any construction-related projects for which they are seeking estimates. Items reviewed in the home assessment include looking for safety hazards, including placement of grab bars in bathrooms and at entrances to the home; stability of stair railings, security of throw rugs, function of doorknobs, and cabinet heights – all items which may contribute to a fall.
“Some of the members are surprised at the risks we uncover. Stacey presents the assessments to the members with suggestions for improvements the members can decide which items they want to address first. The tasks are then assigned to a volunteer or a contractor to complete,” stated Maynard one of the vetted contractors with Maryland Community for Life– Talbot. All contractors are MHIC licensed and we do background checks on their businesses.”
Maggie and Mert Jarboe of Sherwood, new members of Maryland Community for Life – Talbot, who have been using the membership’s transportation services, recently had Maynard take down a Christmas wreath on their garage and do a home assessment. Maggie commented, “This time of year it is easy to get the winter blues. I credit the upbeat attitude of the volunteers to keeping a more positive vibe in our household.”
Maryland Community for Life – Talbot, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization operating as a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, is located at 10 S. Hanson Street, Ste 18, in Easton, Maryland. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The organization is currently looking for volunteers throughout the county. To become a member or volunteer, email email@example.com or call 410-443-0760. For further information, please go here.