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Housing contractor shifts focus to help aging population
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2060, one in four U.S. residents will be age 65 or older. The graying of America means a variety of lifestyle changes, and one Plymouth small business is helping people stay in their homes. 

At the Corbett home in Brooklyn Park, there's a transition underway. Gail Corbett's parents, Ray and Phyllis, recently moved in with their daughter and son-in-law, Dave. They're in their mid to late 80s, and living on their own was no longer possible.

"It is a time marches on thing," said son-in-law, Dave Corbett. "At different phases of life you need different things, and so here they are, and it's much better here than had it been a nursing home type of situation."

Upstairs at the Corbett home, licensed contractor Steve Johnson is at work installing grab bars in the bathroom and shower. The Corbett's hired Johnson and his Plymouth small business, Home Freedom, LLC, to make adjustments to their home that would help Ray and Phyllis live safely there.

"I have a construction background, and this was just modifying it a little bit," said Johnson of his business.

Johnson decided to start his company in 2011 after he was looking for work that felt more rewarding.

"Just simple modifications to the house, they don't have to be expensive, just simple things can keep someone really safe in their home," said Johnson.

Over the past six years, Johnson has built different ramps for homes. He's extended stairs and built different kinds of railings for inside and outside the home. Johnson has even invented his own type of grab bars that work on a track system for fiberglass or tile areas.

"Oftentimes when I finish a job, people will just start crying and say, 'thank you so much, I'm able to get back into my home.' You know, moments like that make it all worthwhile," said Johnson.
 
The Corbett family is among those grateful for the modifications made at their home. The changes will allow Ray and Phyllis to live out their days at home.

"I think it's just important that it becomes a family thing more than anything else," said Dave Corbett.

Project costs can vary from around a hundred dollars to install a grab bar to several thousand dollars for more extensive construction work.


Alexandra Renslo reporting
arenslo@ccxmedia.org
Twitter: @alexrenslo

October 30, 2017




 

 
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