Rotary volunteers offer free home maintenance for seniors

Printed March 16th, 2022
Rotary volunteers provide free of charge household routine maintenance for seniors
Lamorinda Dawn Rotary Residence Team supervisor and volunteer repairs a ceiling lover for a neighborhood senior. Pics furnished

What started out with a loving son aiding his elderly father with tiny projects about the property grew into a preferred, hugely profitable Rotary-sponsored cost-free residence routine maintenance provider for seniors.

The Rotary Home Crew was the brainchild of Hays Englehart. Like several adult youngsters, Englehart would consistently visit his widowed father. “I’d wander in the doorway, give him a significant hug, chat a tiny and then he’d hand me a listing of things around the home that necessary interest,” Englehart recalls. “He’d sit there with his cup of espresso or glass of wine and `supervise’ my work. We might speak, laugh, commit high-quality father-son time collectively.”

Englehart credits his dad for training him about applications and “correcting stuff so I could turn into a excellent handyman.” Right after his father passed away, Englehart commenced contemplating about other seniors who may not have a handy person nearby, “another person to modify a light-weight bulb or fix a leaky faucet,” he suggests. As a longtime Rotarian, he began wanting to know if some of his fellow Rotarians would be prepared to be part of him in volunteering to carry out these uncomplicated responsibilities for seniors.

In 2010, Englehart designed a presentation to his community team, the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club. “Seniors normally need assistance and we can be that assistance for minor routine maintenance issues,” he remembers stating. “We are not specialist plumbers or electricians,” Englehart emphasizes. “But we can swap a gentle bulb or smoke detector battery. We can fix a leak or tighten a joint. We can conduct those people little responsibilities that may possibly charge much more than $100 just to have a qualified demonstrate up.” Lamorinda Sunrise Rotarians agreed.

Englehart related with Episcopal Senior Communities (ESC now named Covia, a Entrance Porch Companion), an firm that actively supports seniors by giving several companies and assets. He fulfilled with Tracy Powell, ESC’s vice president of community expert services, who served appear up with the name, House (Property Upkeep for the Elderly) Staff. Powell remembers imagining this was “one particular of individuals applications that definitely shines . a fantastic useful resource for aiding seniors stay harmless in their personal house.” ESC grew to become the facilitator for the plan, getting the calls for maintenance requests. This partnership lasted far more than 11 years. Now, Lamorinda Village serves as the get in touch with middle Kathryn Ishizu, government director, says her nonprofit business is honored to be a portion of this unbelievable company that enables seniors to age in their personal house.

In addition to giving free of charge upkeep expert services, Englehart notes a different advantage for everybody: only conference with more mature residents. “ESC supplied a purple flag checklist, a little something we still use,” he stories. “Everyone is educated to appear for potential troubles: hoarding, too much dirt, food insecurities, falling hazards.” All volunteers are taught to hold their eyes and ears open up, Englehart describes. If they see doable challenges, they are requested to suggest their team supervisor, who can support provide further methods to the senior.

There are no needs, other than getting an more mature grownup, to get in touch with on the Rotary Home Staff. “I never treatment what a senior’s fiscal condition is,” Englehart states, “if they can no longer properly climb a ladder to exchange a gentle bulb, we’re joyful to do it for them.” There are 65 users in Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary, and all volunteer on the Home Workforce. “If another person isn’t really handy with a screwdriver, he or she can absolutely be a driver,” Englehart notes.

Six Saturdays a calendar year, Rotary Household Group volunteers obtain the routine maintenance ask for lists and go out in pairs to handle those minimal repair service problems: deal with a leaking toilet, repair a sticky door, modify cupboard drawer pulls, modify smoke alarm batteries. “We are usually in and out in about 30 minutes,” Englehart stories.

Seniors who have made use of the Rotary Household Group products and services are further than pleased. Betty LaPorte, an 87-calendar year-outdated Lafayette resident, experienced a door that wouldn’t shut. Two Rotarians arrived out one Saturday early morning, took a seem, bought their instruments and within 30 minutes, the doorway was mounted. “They arrived when they stated they would, did a fantastic task and were being completely charming,” LaPorte claims. “It’s typically so hard to find someone to do a little job like this.” Angie Anastasion, who has had several odd work opportunities performed by the Rotary Property Group, states that the volunteers had been “cheerful, professional and really respectful of our residence.”

Though Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary started the system 12 a long time ago, 33 other region Rotary clubs – mostly in Contra Costa County but as significantly south as San Diego – have adopted it. It was built, Englehart describes, so any Rotary club in the earth can make it their very own.

“It really is a earn-get for everyone,” Englehart proclaims. “It truly is one particular of the best really feel-very good issues we have at any time completed and everybody who has participated unquestionably agrees.” Englehart, a not long ago retired economical planner, suggests he’s far more happy of this application than just about anything else he is performed.

For much more information or to request cost-free basic house routine maintenance for seniors, you should connect with 888-204-5573 or go to www.rotaryhometeam.com.
Lamorinda Dawn Rotary Dwelling Group volunteer Mark Lewis repairs a senior’s gentle swap. Photographs offered