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Categories: Habitat Happenings, Home Repair, Habitat Tucson

Aging Safely In Place: Susan

“I’m lucky I bought this house in 2015. I would never be able to afford it now,” Susan shares. She worked in sales and volunteered for Habitat in her spare time before retiring in 2019. At age 74, she loves visiting her grandson, who, she proudly notes, is a promising young athlete and an A+ student.

Over time, her yard became “way overgrown,” our Home Repair Supervisor said. “She has five very tall trees with dead branches threatening to fall all over. The HOA was pressuring her, and it was major, major work. ” Susan said, “Three trees had parasites which I couldn’t remove. There was a lot of overgrowth that packrats would sometimes get under,” Susan says. Like many elders, she faced “A lot of work that I wouldn’t be able to do myself or be able to afford to pay for it.”

Habitat Tucson accepted her application to the A Brush With Kindness program, which primarily deals with exterior issues. Susan says, “Once they contacted me, everything was pretty fast. They were patient. I don’t feel like they were talking down to me. I was treated with respect.”

Susan was surprised by how many people showed up to help her! Most of the volunteers were from Home Depot, which also donated the funds for the project. “They were all happy, even though they gave up their early Saturday morning and it was cold. They just got right to it,” she says.

Amazingly, the work took just one day even though it was scheduled to take three days.

Susan was impressed by the thoughtfulness the crew showed. One of the volunteers was an arborist. He advised her to not trim the tops of her citrus trees because frost could damage any new growth. “He said, ’Give me a call in March. We’ll come back and trim it for you then.’ I mean, who would go out of their way to care about that kind of stuff? They cared,” Susan reflected. “They even fixed my drip system. Someone took the time to make everything look nice for me.”

This project will make a big impact in her daily life by making her home safer as she ages in place.

“Usually, I can only do a little at a time because I get winded. This is like starting with a fresh, clean slate. Now I can upkeep it myself. Enjoying my house and my yard is a big part of my life in retirement,” she says. Thanks to Habitat Tucson, she can now do routine maintenance without it overwhelming either her energy levels or her finances.

“I’m really, really happy,” she says. Would she recommend Habitat’s program? “Of course!”

2 thoughts on “Aging Safely In Place: Susan”

  1. Deborah Loomis

    Thats beautiful how people can do this for each other. I am 70 and just to hear that in America we don’t need to care for the elderly. Well it proved wrong. Yes we get cranky from constant aches and pains. But be patient and show your support and love 💕

  2. Patrick Sheeley

    That is wonderful that people were able to help another person. This warms my heart to think about the help and kindness she received. As a disabled person I understand how she felt to receive this kind help. I know I may need a little myself coming up and I hope I will receive similar kindness as needed.

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