Friday , September 14, 2012 - 8:26 AM
BOUNTIFUL — A leaky faucet, a swamp cooler that needs to be hooked up, or a railing that needs fixing; those may seem like simple household chores, but to a senior citizen the task can seem daunting.
To help seniors continue living independently, the Rocky Mountain Care Foundation based out of Bountiful has begun a new community outreach volunteer program called Do Unto Others (DUO) to provide senior citizens or those living with disabilities in Davis County with minor home repairs and seasonal yard maintenance.
The small non-profit organization already helps with home care and hospice services, but has decided to expand their offerings so seniors can be as independent as possible in their homes. They started the groundwork for putting the program together last fall.
The DUO program is similar to programs currently operating in Salt Lake and Weber counties.
Executive Director Dede Fluette of the Rocky Mountain Care Foundation first became familiar with the program when she served as a coordinator for Weber County’s program a few years ago.
“I fell in love with the program because it does such important work and good deeds for others,” said Fluette.
Once she started working with Rocky Mountain Care Foundation a year ago, she went out into Davis County and discovered no one has ever done a program like this in the area.
As the DUO program is still in its infancy for Davis County, they only have a small number of volunteers in place, but they have already begun helping remove branches hanging on one senior’s roof, and fixing a broken sprinkler head at another one’s home. The repairs they do are fairly minor as they don’t have the funds to hire a contractor, but in the long run, they’ve discovered it’s the little things that add up.
“Often the really minor repairs get out of control if unattended to and can stop a senior from living independently,” said Fluette.
Joel Warren, who works as the volunteer coordinator for the program, hopes the group finds many of those in the community that are in need of their help.
“We really want to immerse ourselves in the community, particularly if they are struggling with home repairs, because they are probably struggling with other things too,” said Warren.
Warren said they would like to alleviate the cost of repairs so senior citizens can put their money in other places. A minor plumbing repair to fix a leaky faucet will save the homeowner in the long run so the water bill stays relatively low.
Another key factor in helping the older generation is a matter of safety if they try to overstep their boundaries. “If an 80-year-old woman is cleaning out her own gutters, it can be kind of dangerous,” said Warren.
Fluette hopes the program gains momentum in the upcoming months and years, and in doing so, will be able to fulfill the needs of seniors in the Davis County area.
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