Elderly woman

Many elderly people want to live independently. But that can be difficult if they become unable to do – or afford – basic home maintenance.

“These are individuals who … deserve to be able to age in the community that really, they helped build,” says Theresa Collins, COO of Senior Services Plus.

The Illinois nonprofit has a handyman program that offers subsidized home repairs to seniors.

And when workers visit a home, they also help clients take advantage of energy efficiency programs that are offered by the utility, Ameren Illinois.

For example, clients may receive more efficient shower heads, LED lights, or smart thermostats.

Collins says the benefits go beyond lower utility bills.

“A lot of times when you think of energy efficiency, you’re thinking dollars, but it’s really so much more than that,” she says.

For example, one client was struggling to shave safely in his poorly-lit bathroom, so a worker installed new lights that were bright and efficient.

“It made such an impact, not just in the fact that he was able to keep his personal care up, but that it made an impact in his pride,” Collins says.

So she says improving energy efficiency can improve people’s lives.

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Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Energy