EZ Fix volunteers needed to do ‘home’ work

Posted Feb. 15, 2011, at 11 p.m.

Owning a house gives you a full understanding of the phrase “it’s never done.” Because I purchased my home later in life and was fairly set in my ways, this was a new concept to me. I figured that it would take about a year to make the house perfect and everything that needed attention would have been addressed.

I can hear long-term homeowners laughing. Fine. As I write and rewrite my “to-do” lists, I reflect on how important Eastern Area Agency on Aging’s EZ Fix minor home repair program is to seniors and disabled individuals.

Not being handy myself, I can appreciate how difficult it is to find someone trustworthy and skilled to tackle even small jobs. For seniors who can’t perform home repair chores, it can be frustrating to know who to call.

That’s where EZ Fix (formerly EAA-Z Fix) comes in. The program helps seniors get the work done or assists them in finding a reputable professional to do it.

And then there is the problem of cleaning. It came to our attention that some seniors are having trouble keeping up with the often physically demanding chores such as scrubbing a tub or washing a floor. Pushing a vacuum cleaner around can be difficult for someone with balance problems.

So to answer that need, EZ Fix is working toward expanding its services to offer limited house cleaning to clients.

If you are interested in assisting clients with cleaning their homes and want to volunteer, please contact us. You know how great it feels to have a freshly washed kitchen floor. A couple of volunteer hours can give that feeling to a senior in need.

EZ Fix follows EAAA’s goal of keeping people independent and in their own homes as long as possible.

Here is a brief sampling of things seniors can call us about:

  • Carpentry: Repairing or installing railings, installing grab bars, repairing steps and doors.
  • Plumbing: Repairing a leaky faucet, replacing toilet flapper valves and wax rings.
  • Routine maintenance: Cleaning gutters, removing or installing storm windows, assisting with snow shoveling and yard clean-up.
  • Odd jobs: Replacing batteries in smoke detectors and replacing light bulbs.
  • Electrical: Installing a light fixture and replacing a light switch.

“People take pride in their homes, which is also a source of comfort and safety,” said John Holmes, EZ Fix coordinator.

Clients’ cost is based on a sliding-fee scale and clients pay for all materials. All that the volunteers are required to give is their time. For large jobs, we have developed a data base of reputable contractors.

Seniors are often willing to pay for the service, but are not sure who to contact or trust. EZ Fix may be able to help seniors keep from being scammed by unscrupulous contractors because we check all references before making referrals.

It is true that there is no place like home, especially when the chores are done and the bathroom is clean.

As always, if you would like to lend a hand to some seniors and help them remain independent, give us a call at 941-2865 and volunteer.

Remember, if you know an inspiring senior, nominate him or her for an Eastern Area Agency on Aging George Hale Silver Frame Award. There are two age groups: 60 to 75, and 76 and older; and three categories: Artistic/Creative, Fitness Enthusiast/Adventurer, Life-Long Learner/Entrepreneur and Community Supporter.

Nomination forms are available on www.eaaa.org or by calling EAAA at 941-2865. Send the form with a letter describing why the person is a good candidate for the award to Noelle Merrill, EAAA, 450 Essex St., Bangor, ME 04401.

The deadline is April 15.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. E-mail Higgins Taylor at chtaylor@eaaa.org. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free (800) 432-7812, e-mail info@eaaa.org or log on EAAA.org.TTY 992-0150.

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