Aging in place at home has become a desired care option for many older Americans. But this is only possible when the home is properly equipped to accommodate the needs of the resident. TruBlue Home Service Ally President Sean Fitzgerald learned this the hard way after his father-in-law experienced a fall in his home and died from the resulting complications.
“After the fall, we realized that the handrail on the stairs was too low and they weren’t on both sides,” Fitzgerald told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “Something as simple as that obviously could’ve saved his life. When you just compound that with how many more seniors are aging in place, this fall situation for seniors is going to continue unless we start taking more preventative measures to help them in the situation.”
Fitzgerald’s company, TruBlue, is a home maintenance company that provides these necessary accommodations to ensure safe and comfortable living environments. TruBlue has complementary relationships with home care organizations such as Comfort Keepers and Right at Home, with handyman and maintenance services across 90 franchises in 25 different states.
Carmen Hendricks, owner of a TruBlue franchise based out of Vienna, VA, since September 2019, says she and her two technicians take on a wide range of projects. She’s learned to be prepared for anything.
“Some of the smaller projects sometimes are a little bit of a challenge for [clients] to either find someone or difficult to find the time or resources,” Hendricks said. “For one client, we installed all LED lights throughout the home so that they didn’t have to change light bulbs for 10 years.”
Fitzgerald and Hendricks agree that one of the biggest challenges TruBlue faces is raising awareness of the company’s services amid a growing number of aging adults in the nation. Given his own personal and professional experience, Fitzgerald knows the value of preparation.
“I think the biggest challenge is educating the public that there are simple things that you can do to prepare these homes for seniors to age in place and getting the word out there,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s not going to be perfect, there’s no perfect solution but there’s a lot of preventative measures that can be in place to prevent those falls and save lives.”
Hendricks has also noticed a shift in attitudes toward aging in place that bode well for its future. She believes these changes in perspective can lead to changes in lifestyle.
“The term ‘aging in place,’ in my opinion, had kind of a negative connotation and I think now, it’s much more positive,” Hendricks said. “People realize that investing in their home now that they want to age in place is a great way to maintain the stability of the community that they’re in. I’m really optimistic that we’ll see even more and more people trying to stay in their home as long as possible.”
Home Sweet Home is a feature appearing Mondays in McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or quirky happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Special Projects Coordinator Foster Stubbs at email@example.com.