EZ Fix Program open to those needing help around the house

Posted June 26, 2013, at 2:22 p.m.

Take a look around your home and see if this sounds familiar. Are there things that need to be fixed? Do you have some small carpentry needs, such as a loose handrail, broken step, cracked or drafty windows, frayed wires, continuously running toilets, and burned out light bulbs that are out of reach or hard to replace? Maybe your faucet leaks and is driving you crazy or your house needs a late-spring cleaning and you just can’t face it. And on top of all that, you don’t know who you can trust or who to even call to fix these things or clean up without paying a fortune.

I have good news. Eastern Area Agency on Aging’s EZ Fix program has expanded, which means more people can be helped while supporting the program, keeping it sustainable.

The new EZ Fix program is fee-for-service. This means that for $20 an hour, you can have a handyman or housekeeper come to your home and take care of all the things that are driving you a little batty.

This program is now available to anyone, regardless of age or income. The only requirement is that you need some help around the house. Got new curtain rods that need to be installed? No problem. Can’t see through your windows after such a long winter and rainy spring? We’ll take care of it.

The best part of the program is that the money raised supports low-income seniors who need help but can’t afford to pay the full rate. For them, we have a sliding fee based on their income.

The other fabulous part of this new venture is that you don’t have to be a senior to take advantage of the services. Just let us know what you need and if it’s in the scope EZ Fix jobs, we will fix you right up. EAAA has per-diem handymen on staff and utilizes some volunteers. EZ Fix is available in all of eastern Maine. Clients pay for the worker’s mileage to the job and for any and all materials, including cleaning supplies, needed to complete the work. And for larger jobs that require more than a handyman, we have a database of reputable contractors that we’ll give you.

EZ Fix is clearly filling a need in the communities EAAA serves.

“We have people more than willing and able to pay for these services because it can be very expensive to get a carpentry crew out to do a small job, if they will come at all, because really small jobs are just not cost effective for them,” said Rob Crone, EAAA director of nutrition and auxiliary services. “We also hated having to turn people away who needed services but weren’t seniors. The new program can accommodate everyone, while raising a little money for those seniors who need help. These are lean days, for sure. We are doing everything we can to make the programs sustainable.”

If you are in need of minor home repairs or house cleaning, give EZ Fix a call at 800-432-7812.

We just had a report from a senior who said a person called her and claiming to be an employee from Eastern Area Agency on Aging, asked for her Medicare number. This particular case involved an alleged arthritis treatment but the scammers are clever and can claim anything. Be aware that EAAA is not calling seniors requesting any personal information. This is a scam.

Remember, never give out your Social Security or Medicare numbers to random callers regardless of who they claim to be. And feel free to call EAAA if you get one of these calls. We will report it to the authorities.

 Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, or go to EAAA.org.

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