Making small changes that allow people to stay in their homes safely and independently is the goal of Tina Calabro’s Quincy company, Safe Home Solutions. She and her husband David Cheney started the business in November.
Tina Calabro recently got a call from a woman who said it took her elderly mother almost a half hour just to get into the shower.
Calabro, who has been an occupational therapist for 15 years, suggested installing a handle and a shower seat. Just like that, the woman’s mother was able to get into the tub in five minutes. “They’re just small changes, and that’s all she needed,” Calabro said.
Making small changes that allow people to stay in their homes safely and independently is the goal of Calabro’s Quincy company, Safe Home Solutions. She and her husband David Cheney started the business in November.
“I’ve noticed a lot of people wanting to stay in their home as long as possible, not wanting to go to an assisted living, not wanting to go to live with their kids or go into a nursing home,” said Calabro, who also works for a visiting nurse agency. For people who don’t know how to modify their homes to fit their needs, Safe Home Solutions offers a range of services.
Calabro goes into clients’ homes and examines everything from how they get in the door to how they get into bed. She then provides a list of recommendations for changes, which she and Cheney, a handyman and licensed electrician, can help complete.
Recommendations can include things like taping down area rugs, installing additional staircase railings and adding raised toilet seats. No job is too small: Calabro has rearranged kitchen cabinets so that frequently used items are easily accessible.
The company also does home maintenance and repair, lighting and electrical work and oil burner cleaning and repair (the company’s other employee is an oil burner technician). Calabro and Cheney will even take care of snow removal and holiday decorations.
“Being out in the field, it’s not easy to find someone that can do those types of changes,” Calabro said. “Our business isn’t only for the people that want to stay home, but also for the visiting nurses and therapists that are looking for people that can install grab bars and that can install equipment.”
Because of her occupational therapy background, Calabro is familiar with the equipment that insurance will pay for – a commode versus a raised toilet seat, for example. Her initial evaluation, which can last up to two hours, costs $200. If clients decide to hire Safe Home Solutions to make the recommended changes, part of the fee is put toward those services.
“Now these people can be home and be safe, and you know you had a part in that,” Calabro said.
Julie Onufrak may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.