Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County Helps Homeowner Maintain Independence
Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County helped a 77-year-old woman maintain her independence with their recent renovations.
The mother of five had both her legs amputated at the knee due to diabetes. The woman suffered a fall on her old and crumbling ramp, breaking both of her femurs. She couldn’t use her artificial legs due to her injuries.
Surviving on Social Security, the Anne Arundel County resident couldn’t afford to make the necessary accessibility modifications she desperately needed. Due to her limited mobility, she could no longer access her bathroom safely. Without adequate financial resources for repairs, she was forced to use a plastic cup and her kitchen sink to bathe. The ceiling in her family room was caving in and her soffits were developing large holes.
Over 45 volunteers worked two days to help restore this recipient’s home. Volunteers built a new ramp, installed a new ceiling in the family room, cleaned out her attic, landscaped the front yard, fixed the faucets, installed insulation, and lowered her mailbox. Barbara Cupp, the Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County, said she felt compelled to help her. “She found herself in a house crumbling around her,” Barbara said. “She was confined to one room in her house due to her situation. I don’t know how much longer she could have stayed in the house.”
Barbara said, “She’s determined, strong, and fiercely independent. She doesn’t have it in her to depend on anyone.” The homeowner was very grateful to all those volunteers who helped make it possible for her to age in place. “On her final look at the finished project, she burst into tears. The idea of her whole to-do list of 20 years being done was overwhelming.”
The volunteers were made up of two church groups and a group from the Naval Academy. One volunteer didn’t live too far from the project, so he and his wife would often go back to do finishing touches and check in on the homeowner.
Barbara said the homeowner was shy at first around the large group of volunteers, but became very social and got along wonderfully with all of them. After seeing what the Rebuilding Together volunteers did for her, the homeowner said to Barbara, “I didn’t know there were people who would help me.”