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Handyman Program Receives Innovation Award

In recognition of its commitment to improving the lives of older adults, Senior Services was presented with The Silver Key Coalition Tess Canja Innovation Award at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Lansing office.

Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Silver Key Coalition Tess Canja Innovation Award recognizes social service agencies that have implemented innovative approaches in providing essential in-home services for older Michiganians.

The award is named in honor of Tess Canja, who has been a life-long advocate for older adults. The winners were selected by AARP statewide volunteers based on creativity, cost-effectiveness, replicability, quantified positive impact and the exceptional stewardship of public dollars.

Senior Services received the award for its volunteer Team Handyman program, which purchases and installs many health and safety items such as grab bars, hand-held showers, shower chairs, transfer benches, carbon monoxide detectors and bed assist bars, in addition to making minor repairs to steps, railings and ramps. Volunteers are trained to complete safety checks in homes and make the necessary installation or repair. In fiscal year 2016, volunteers logged 487 hours of work assisting 214 older adults. Senior Services Executive Director, Alan Brown, was on hand to receive the award and stated, “With volunteer help, the program is very efficient, but the most important savings comes from falls prevented, avoided nursing home placements and quality of life enhanced.”

Team Handyman depends on volunteers to help seniors maintain their homes by making them safe and secure. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Team Handyman, please contact Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer and Community Outreach Manager, at 989-633-3741 for more information.

Senior Services relies on the support of the community to provide these much-needed services and resources. Donations are greatly appreciated and will be used to help continue and expand the program. Donations to the program can be made by calling 989-633-3700 or by mail: Senior Services (Team Handyman), 4700 Dublin Ave. Midland, MI 48642. By supporting these home and community-based efforts, older adults are able to remain independent and safely living in their own home. More information about Senior Services can be found at SeniorServicesMidland.org.

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