Sean Kirkham grew up in the home building industry, watching his grandfather build custom homes. The time and detail his grandfather put into his strenuous work didn’t go unnoticed by the impressionable young man. But years later when his grandfather was fighting a battle with cancer, Sean felt the strain of watching his once-active loved one struggle to get around his own house while aging-in-place.
“Working in the industry, there’s a lot of wear and tear on your body,” Sean says. “Knee and hip replacements, and that sort of thing. But he was fine at home. It wasn’t until my grandfather’s diagnosis and getting further along in treatment that his muscles became weak. He just couldn’t get around the house very well.”
Sean’s mother Deborah stepped up to help her own mom, who was already struggling with Parkinson’s, take care of her ailing father. But Deborah and her son Sean were suddenly thrust into the unfamiliar world of caretaking.
“We felt so uninformed about it,” Sean says. He and the family started looking into possible solutions, evaluating whether the elderly duo would have to move out of their home to somewhere that’s easier to navigate with limited mobility.
“We’re all thinking we gotta do something, move them, or do something around the house because we’re worried sick about them injuring themselves,” he says. “But they weren’t ready to move to assisted living. They wanted to live in the home their children grew up and where they built their lives.” (more…)