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Senior Advisor: How seniors can avoid handyman scams

As owner of a premier retirement community and assisted living facility, Audrey has been at the forefront of senior housing and related issues for over 25 years. Follow her insights on Patch.com.

You know your trees need trimming and that suspicious looking water spot on the bathroom ceiling is causing you some concern.  You heard some squeaking when you were out on the porch last week and now you’re afraid yours might collapse like the one you saw on the news.  You noticed during the last rainstorm that the gutters were overflowing and you’re worried that the basement might get water.  And now that winter is upon us, how will you get out of your driveway if there’s a heavy snow? 

When these issues pop up—and they do—when you are living in your own home, you know you don’t want to bother your children or your friends who have responsibilities of their own.  But what do you do when you know things need to be done around the house and you can’t do them yourself? 

I’ve found that when you find yourself in this situation, by taking some basic precautions, you can protect yourself from fraud when a handyman comes to your door and asks if you need any home repairs done.  First, you can check with your local Chamber of Commerce for recommendations of reputable people who can handle your project.  Second, always get three estimates before contracting for any kind of work. And third, never pay until the job is done to your satisfaction.

But if the responsibility of taking care of a home is something you’ve decided is no longer for you and you choose to live in a retirement community such as The Summit of Uptown, you can rest easy when the winds blow, the boards creak, the rains come and the snow falls because all those problems will be taken care of for you and you will be safe and secure and surrounded by friends.

There are always choices when it comes to dealing with anything in life—and one of those choices is how to deal with the responsibilities of home ownership.  You’re in charge.  It’s up to you to decide if you will stay in your home and deal with the issues that come along with home ownership or if you would rather adopt a more carefree lifestyle.

For questions and comments, you can call me at 847-825-1161, email me at audrey@summitofuptown.com , or write to me at The Summit of Uptown, 10 N. Summit Ave., Park Ridge, Ill 60068.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

BMG Media Services January 08, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Great advice, Audrey. Thanks!

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