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Changing Lives—One Remodel at A Time

Aging brings on many changes, and sometimes it’s the small changes that bring big results. Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana's Repairs on Wheels program witnesses change every day. This home remodeling program for the elderly and persons with disabilities helps people live with greater dignity and safety. Licensed contractors and staff have been transforming lives in this way for the past six years.

At age 58, Mr. Guillot, paralyzed by an accident more than 30 years ago, lives in a small basement apartment in his mother’s home. He only has the use of his arms. He applied to have his bathroom redesigned for handicap accessibility. Guillot was modest when the Repairs on Wheels staff arrived.

“I’ll understand if there is nothing you can do,” he said. But they assured him the project, while challenging, would simply require a few weeks of research and planning.

After a review of available options, the Repairs on Wheels team purchased a specially designed shower bench seat and carried out the design remodel. One day during the remodeling, Guillot was seen basking in the sunlight in the driveway, smiling and happy. His mother said, “He hasn’t smiled in over 20 years.”

After the job had been completed, Guillot and his mother were amazed at the improvements the bathroom remodel made in his life.

“Look! I can get in and out of the shower easily! I can’t believe I’ll be able to take a shower,” he said.

His mother added, “We are so grateful to Volunteers of America for their help. I am going to give testimony to my church on behalf of Volunteers of America.”

Volunteers of America recognizes that even small adjustments to a home can benefit elderly and disabled homeowners every single day. These changes are the key to allowing them to live independently in their own homes.