Managing Mobility & Long COVID: Ms. Donna’s Story
For Ms. Donna, home is family, comfort, fellowship, and warm-fuzzy feelings. Unfortunately, there’s not much comfort or warm-fuzzy feelings when you are at risk of falling in your own home.
Ms. Donna is 91 years old. Like many other older adults, Ms. Donna is navigating mobility challenges and the effects of Long COVID. After getting COVID during the pandemic, Ms. Donna could no longer walk up the stairs on her porch and had difficulty stepping over the tub in order to shower. Mobility is Ms. Donna’s number one concern when thinking about aging in place, especially since she isn’t one for sitting still.
Ms. Donna raised four children while her late husband was serving in the U.S. Army. She volunteered at a local nursing home for more than 20 years. As an avid baker, Ms. Donna’s house often smells like whatever she was cooking up to most recently. She maintains a beautiful planter garden on her back porch. She’s a big fan of Bluegrass music. Originally from Illinois, Ms. Donna moved to the Upstate a few years ago to be closer to her daughter, who is her caretaker. She swiftly made a new house a home, adorning walls with photos.
While her new home offered her community and access to family, there were two places where Ms. Donna faced the greatest risk of injury: her bathroom and her front steps. Rebuild Upstate performed a home assessment and made plans to install a 36ft ramp off her front porch and to remove the tub and install a step-in shower with mobility modifications including grab bars and a hand-held shower head.
Ms. Donna and her family excitedly welcomed volunteers from the Youth Volunteer Corps at the United Way of Anderson County, Rebuild Upstate Handyman Club, and Rebuild Upstate RSVP volunteers. She cooked lunch for volunteers as they installed the ramp, made bathroom modifications, fixed a leaking faucet, and repaired a broken light fixture.
Since Rebuild Upstate completed repairs, she said the day-to-day activities of walking in and out of the house and showering have been so much easier. Ms. Donna’s daughter also has more peace of mind. She shared that the repairs in the home have also been helpful to the family, who looks after and take care of Ms. Donna. Her daughter said they are no longer worried so much about her falling as she tries to get in the shower or walk outside.
Ms. Donna isn’t slowing down anytime soon. She is looking forward to going to Illinois for her sister’s 90th birthday party in July. She is excited to see her family. “I love the Lord; I love people.” She is also excited about getting to spend the rest of eternity with The Lord.
This project was made possible by donations to our Veterans Initiative, Anderson Impact Fund, and other private donors. Donate today to make repairs possible for another homeowner.