Volunteers repair homes to help seniors stay safe

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Marie Thrasher has lived in her northeast Indianapolis home for 13 years and has been helping her neighbors when they are in need.

“I’m the president of this block,” she said.

However, on Saturday morning, Thrasher and her husband were the ones getting some much needed help. The senior couple’s home was filled with the sounds of drilling and hammering as volunteers worked to make their home safer.

Thrasher said, “I had two knee surgeries so I have problems lifting my knee up without holding onto something.” She added, “My husband has kidney failure and he has a defibrillator and he passes out on me frequently, so he’s in and out of the hospital. A lot of the new things that are added will help me to keep him alive longer.”

The couple now has a handrail to help them walk up and down their porch steps and a hand bar in their shower to make it easier for them them to get in and out of the bathtub.

The Thrashers are one of about 20 homes in the city’s northeast neighborhood to get repairs for Safe at Home Day, a project put on by CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions.

The company’s CEO, Orion Bell, said, “A fall is the most likely reason for a fatal or non-fatal injury for seniors. About one third of people 65 and older will have a fall in a year, and many of those will require a trip to the emergency room or the hospital.”

Bell worked on The Thrashers’ home. He was among the nearly 75 volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning to improve the homes of senior citizens by installing handrails, grab bars, hand-held shower heads, lever door handles and nightlights, replace rugs, modify or move furniture and trim or remove shrubbery.

Volunteer Caleb Drake said,  “I think it’s fulfilling, honestly. I’ve always liked to help people in any way I can.”

Click here for information about fall prevention.

Click here for information about fall prevention home safety tips.

Click here for a fall prevention in-home assessment checklist.