Years ago I saw a van whose driver was letting teenagers off in front of the local high school, where I was doing the same. I noted the modestly painted letters on the side of the van with the name of a company that provided "neighborhood services." I'm not sure why I noted that, as I didn't need such services at the time. But I was curious. I was caring for many elders, and I was well aware of the stress homeownership can have on people as they age.
Many elders want to keep their homes. Many are not in undue danger of falling unless they climb a ladder they shouldn't climb. They can shovel the sidewalk after a light snow shower, but not after a blizzard. And those pesky home tasks - a dead light fixture needs fixing, the squeaky dryer drum needs to be looked at, some boards on the deck need replacing or one fence post needs fixing. It's these items that make many a homeowner want to throw in the towel.
When "the husband" was younger he could take care of these things. But now, even though he's okay for the main part, his back isn't great and his doctor has put a limit on some of his activities. Or a widow who loves her garden wants to keep her house, but she can't do the fix-it jobs. The dilemma is who do you call? Most maintenance or remodeling businesses only want large jobs.
About 15 years after I first saw that neighborhood van, I became a loyal customer of the business. And, yes, my deck needs painting. They can do that next month, and fix my sump pump hose at the same time. But these days, I'd have several businesses of that type to choose from.
It's possible that the current economy may have helped spur on some of these entrepreneurial ventures. However, our aging population has also contributed to this growth.
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