Habitat for Humanity helps elderly community members suffering from arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and more with the Aging in Place program.
After 12 years of volunteer work with the Memphis chapter of Habitat for Humanity, doTERRA Wellness Advocate Tracy Lawson knows how it feels to complete a project that will truly benefit her community members. Though she has had many responsibilities with the Memphis chapter (including offering her building skills), her primary responsibility is caring for other volunteers during home building projects. She ensures that all volunteers are safe and have everything they need. In addition to working on the builds, Tracy also assists with the annual fundraiser—helping fulfill people’s dreams of having their own home.
The families that Habitat for Humanity works with in Memphis come from poor housing situations, burdened with substandard conditions and overcrowding. In order to receive a Habitat for Humanity home, applicants must meet several requirements, including devoting a total of 350 volunteer hours to building their actual home (along with other volunteers).
Along with Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program, the Memphis chapter has a program called “Aging in Place,” where they work with elderly community members to update their homes, making the property safe and accessible.
For many elderly residents, getting around the house can be difficult, especially if the individual is suffering from arthritis, recovering from a stroke, or dealing with a disability. While many seniors suffer with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases that make it difficult to get around, some are also at high risk for falls and accidents around the home. 29% of emergency room visits by the elderly are related to injury, and 13% of visits are due to unintentional falls.1
The Aging in Place program provides seniors the ability to stay in their home with updates to keep them safe, like grab bars and weatherization projects. These upgrades make it so that seniors can stay in their homes longer, rather than living in a nursing home due to severe arthritis, cancer, heart disease, or other restrictive diseases.
For families and the elderly in the Greater Memphis area, Habitat for Humanity can provide a better living situation, thus improving other areas of their lives. Tracy says, “The team at Memphis Habitat are tremendous to work with, as are the homeowners. I get to be there when lives are changed for the better. It is a gift I receive every time we do a build.” To see how you can volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in your area, visit their website.