Safe at Home – Ms. V’s story

Grab BarThe primary focus of Rebuilding Together Washington County is to keep Washington County homeowners safe. When it comes to home repair, this can mean a number of modifications and enhancements ranging from installing smoke detectors to removing tripping hazards to fixing doors to building ramps. For a homeowner in Beaverton, Ms. V, repairs meant that she could live at home instead of in a care facility.

Ms. V is an is elderly woman with a disability, who is living alone and has had many recent medical problems that make it impossible for her to live in her home until repairs were made. One of her family members contacted and coordinated with RTWC to make a number of safety modifications to Ms. V’s home. These repairs included installing many grab bars in the bathroom, building a handicapped accessible ramp on the front and back of her home, and replaced a window and screen.  These repairs allowed Ms. V. to move back home and will keeping her safe.

Preventing falls

Ms. V noted that RTWC is a “very needed resource, especially for the elderly”.  Ms. V noted that she is now able to go in and out of her house independently and safely.  This is a phenomenon RTWC witnesses over and over again, by making a few small adjustments, we can change lives. Repairs such as installing grab bars and building wheelchair ramps keep elderly safe from falls, comfortable in their homes, and out of assisted care facilities.

The Center for Disease Control notes that there is an increasing trend in fatal falls in the elderly with 2.5 million falls treated in the emergency room each year.  Statistics from the National Center on Elder Abuse also notes that the elderly population is increasing.  In 2013, people over the age of 65 comprised 13% of the population.  By 2050, this will increase to 20% or 1 in 5 people.

As the elderly population increases, more services will be needed including making home repairs that ensure safety.  Rebuilding Together Washington County is committed to keep all homeowners, safe, warm, and independent in their homes.  Staying safe at home is a community effort. We cannot do it without our community. Our neighbors, advocates, volunteers, and donors make it possible for us to continue to make repairs. Their support and commitment is making all the difference for Ms. V, and the lives of many Washington County homeowners.

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