Helping a woman with a disability safely navigate her home

October 22, 2020
by Roger de Moor, Executive Director at Rebuilding Together El Paso

Susana is 56-years-old and has lived in her El Paso home for more than 20 years. She has many fond memories in her home, where she raised a son and daughter. She considers herself very fortunate to now have four grandchildren, all of whom live nearby and visit often.

Susana is active in her church and well known in the community. During her free time, she enjoys attending health and wellness classes at the local community center.

Several years ago, Susana sustained injuries to her spine and knee while working as a school bus driver. While she loves children and took pride in her work, the injury forced her to retire. Due to the injuries, Susana suffers from severe pain and she began having difficulty navigating her home, especially her upstairs bedroom and bathroom.

Did you know that mobility difficulties can disrupt one’s physical and emotional well-being? While Susana did her best to stay active, it was discouraging not being able to move around her home freely. So, she contacted Rebuilding Together El Paso for help.  

Fortunately, our team was able to address Susana’s concerns and help make her home safer and easier to navigate. Together, we decided that the best solution would be to move her bedroom and bathroom downstairs. The existing and unused garage was the perfect place to do so.

Susana was delighted at the idea of having a first-floor bathroom, stating, “It will significantly change the way I can move around by not having to go upstairs anymore. I can relax my muscles and have less pain.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 40 percent of older Americans have a disability. Two thirds of that population, like Susana, have difficulty walking and climbing.

With the help of Wells Fargo Builds, a national collaboration with Wells Fargo that enables Rebuilding Together affiliates to provide critical home repairs to individuals in need at no cost to them, we were able to provide repairs that were transformational to Susana’s health and safety and she now has a ADA compliant, first-floor bathroom.

Wells Fargo is investing more than $1.3 million in Rebuilding Together’s work, bringing tangible assistance and aid to homeowners throughout the country. We are very grateful for their collaboration to help our neighbors live independently and safely in their homes.

Nationally, Rebuilding Together and Wells Fargo have committed to making improvements to 75 homes in 2020.