Mae has lived in the same home on Indianapolis’ northeast side for the last 50 years. While the 88-year-old grandmother is still able to cook and do some light housework, getting in and out of the shower was getting increasingly difficult.
Mae admits she was afraid she might fall, but she can be a little stubborn and didn’t want to ask for help. Her granddaughter, who lives with Mae, was increasingly concerned about her grandma’s health and hygiene. So, when she saw the CICOA website and how help was available to make homes safer for seniors, she reached out. She didn’t tell her grandma about it until CICOA came to look at the house.
“Ms. Anderson was very skeptical when I arrived and told her that we would help her,” said Dan Amonett, a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and director of CICOA’s Safe at Home program. “She was even a little angry with her granddaughter for contacting us.”
Yes, Mae said, she was not happy with her granddaughter at first.
“I didn’t think I needed help,” she said. “I am stubborn about a lot of things.”
Mae agreed to let CICOA help, and after her bathroom renovation was complete, she couldn’t be more thankful. With funding through CICOA’s Safe at Home program, contractors removed the old tub and replaced it with a step-in shower, added grab bars for the shower and toilet area, and replaced her vanity.
“She was so happy with the experience and results that she gave me a hug and told her granddaughter how she was right to call and how much she appreciated the help,” Amonett said.
Last year, CICOA provided 284 home accessibility modifications to help seniors and people with disabilities in Marion County live safer at home. The Center for Disease Control estimates that one in four people age 65 and older fall annually, and most of these falls occur at home. Many falls are preventable. CICOA is working to help seniors and their caregivers understand how homes can be safer with simple modifications such as secured railings, grab bars.
“I would definitely recommend CICOA,” said Mae, who now is able to shower without fear of falling. “And I have to give thanks to the Lord for letting me live on this Earth for 88 years.”
Typically, CICOA hosts a Safe at Home event each September, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, CICOA was forced to cancel this year. The organization is working with its partners to continue home accessibility modifications, however, for those in the most need. You can help provide home modifications for low-income homeowners age 60 and older or people in Marion County.
Donate now to help more grandmothers like Mae remain independent and safe in their homes.