When Harpswell Aging at Home was created seven years ago, one of the biggest concerns expressed by survey respondents was the ability to get routine repair and maintenance done on their homes. In response, one of HAH’s foundational offerings was the Home Repairs Team, a collection of about two dozen people (of which I am one) committed to helping Harpswell’s neighbors stay in their homes for as long as possible.
A complete list of projects the team has worked on would be too long for this letter, but the list would include building ramps, installing handrails and grab bars, improving insulation, and weatherproofing windows and doors. These safety-first improvements have the added benefit of reducing water use and lowering heating costs. Our motto is “safer, warmer, dryer.”
The process is simple and confidential from the start: Any homeowner over the age of 55 can request help (certain income requirements apply). A couple of team members will make an appointment to come to the house to talk with the homeowner about what is needed. It often happens that in addition to the intended repairs, the visit turns up some additional projects. It’s important to note that the homeowner has final say on all repairs.
HAH receives grants that cover the cost of materials, and, of course, the labor is volunteer, so there is no cost to the homeowner. The crew is ready and eager to help our neighbors because, well, just because that’s what neighbors do. And we have a lot of fun in the process.
For more information and an application, contact Gina Caldwell at the Town Office: 207-833-5771 ext. 108.
Tim McCreight, Great Island