Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aging at Home: Our Alliance with Handyman Matters

Making home safe and sound is one of our driving passions at Capabilities. This focus also serves as one of the guides we use in partnering with other companies around town and the country. Our longstanding relationship with Handyman Matters (HM), a national franchise firm with 121 franchise operations around the U.S., is based on the vision they hold of adding value to your home through a satsifying experience as well as the high quality of work they do as craftspeople with a mission. Our work overlaps especially as each company reaches out to senior populations and to those with permanent or temporary disabilities.

We participated in the 7th Annual HM Convention this year bringing our focus on aging in place. The trend of individuals and families choosing to age at home or in a place they choose seems simple enough. However, there are countless people who struggle with the decisions regarding aging relatives. One of our missions is to help families look at options, including the many products available that can help make a home safe for aging right there. We also have many resources throughout communities who can help you decide if that is the right decision.

Here's a sampling of what we brought to the table last week at the HM business building sessions.

  1. Information about the aging at home phenomenon that is crossing the country right now as Boomers and their families face stiff economic realities AND the passionate desire of elders to stay in their homes.

  2. Resources of how to help families find some help funding major home renovations, such as bathroom remodels to ensure safety and ease.

  3. Easy to use tools, such as basic home evaluations, where the HM expert, along with family members, looks at potential safety hazards and suggests remedies. This type of process leads to a potential long view, allowing the family to plan for necessary repairs and renovations over a period of time.

  4. Product packages, such as bathroom safety kits, that the HM craftsperson can recommend to individuals and families, providing a "one-stop shopping" kind of convenience along with his or her expert installation. These kits might include basics such as a couple of grab bars, a raised toilet seat, a shower bench and a handheld shower. We can also customize to meet the specific needs and requirements of individuals.

We had great fun meeting the owners of HM franchises - nearly 100 of them - over the course of three days. We heard a great joke or two - as you might imagine! We also learned so much as we all shared experiences and perspectives. Our time together reinforced our already positive perspectives about HM. We can hardly wait to team up some more in the coming months as we all contribute to making successful aging in place stories.

Read one of our popular blogs on this topic of preparing for the changes that happen as we age, "I'm Not Waiting Until My House Is My Enemy."

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