Agency’s EZ Fix program gives seniors greater peace of mind

By Carol Higgins Taylor, Senior Beat
Posted March 01, 2012, at 9:42 a.m.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. For Eastern Area Agency on Aging, the heroes are quietly going about their volunteer work. Some of these heroes have tools and a strong desire to help seniors make minor fixes to their homes. They relish the idea of making the life-altering difference between a senior staying at home or being forced to move to a facility.

ometimes it doesn’t take much work from the volunteer but it means the world to an older person. Seniors often don’t know where to turn for help because knowing who to trust can be challenging. But they know they can trust EAAA.

For example, an elderly woman feared falling every time she went to get her mail because the mailbox was at the end of her long, uneven driveway. Retrieving letters, packages magazines and bills could have resulted in disaster for her. One call to Eastern Area Agency on Aging’s EZ Fix program eased the woman’s mind. A volunteer moved her mailbox to the porch within easy reach.

Then there’s the lady whose front and back steps were in such terrible shape she was afraid to use them so she never left her house. One of our heroes, ah volunteers, rebuilt them so she could go out and enjoy her life.

No doubt about it, EZ Fix makes a significant difference in seniors’ lives.

But the program is desperately in search of more volunteers so more seniors can be helped.

“Sometimes the repairs are a matter of safety in the home,” said John Holmes, EZ Fix coordinator. “This program follows EAAA’s mission 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 broken furniture, fixing a broken window, installing safety railings and wheelchair ramps, hanging window treatments;

• Plumbing: Repairing sink stoppers, and replacing toilet tanks;

• Routine maintenance: Yard clean-up, window washing, cleaning gutters, remove or install storm windows and small paint jobs.

“Many seniors take pride in their homes which are a source of comfort and pleasure,” said Holmes. “Some seniors are not physically able to get ready for spring.”

Here’s how you can help. EZ Fix needs people who have skills ranging from basic to advanced, someone who can wield a hammer, change a light bulb, or who loves working outdoors cleaning up a yard for spring. Every skill level is welcome.

Think about it. An afternoon spent in the sun, breathing fresh spring air raking the lawns of seniors who take pride in their homes, gives a kind of satisfaction that doesn’t happen every day. Not to mention being on the receiving end of a broad smile and hearty handshake or hug from a very grateful senior.

Clients pay for all materials and the program has a sliding-fee for services. All the volunteers have to give is their time.

“Often the seniors are willing to pay for the service but just are not sure who to contact or trust,” said Holmes. “Arrangements may be made for those unable to pay a fee but still need the work done. EZ Fix may help keep seniors from being scammed by unscrupulous contractors because references will be checked before making referrals.”

And for large jobs, we have developed a data base of reputable contractors who can do more extensive work if necessary.

If you’d like to give some of your time to this valuable program, call Eastern Area Agency on Aging at (800) 432-7812.

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.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/01/the-weekly/agencys-ez-fix-program-gives-seniors-greater-peace-of-mind/ printed on November 28, 2014