Sugar Grove business allows seniors, disabled to continue living at home

By on April 14, 2012

Photos: Home For Life provides walk-in showers (below) for safety and convenience. A resident now has a scooter ramp (right) thanks to the people at Home For Life, which is celebrating two years of home modifications for older adults, veterans, and persons with disabilities. Courtesy Photo

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Home is where people typically feel most safe and secure. Cindy Shaw, owner of Sugar Grove-based business Home for Life Advantage, Inc. believes people shouldn’t have to leave the comfort and familiarity of home when they get older.

“Through personal experience with my family, I found a major concern is that as we grow older we may have to leave our home, parting with the comfort or memories of our life,” Shaw said. “Most of us desire to stay in our home and live out our lives in the peaceful surroundings that we cherish and recognize. We are familiar with our neighbors and environment; we feel safe and secure there.”

Home for Life, Inc. was launched in early 2010, and operates on an “aging in place” philosophy in which people continue to live in their home as their lives and health change with age. Shaw said the company provides products, services and even home modifications to achieve this philosophy. Her clientele consists mainly of senior citizens and people who suffer from mobility and disability issues.

“At Home for Life, we spend time with each individual to listen to their concerns and needs. We also work alongside their doctors, occupational or physical therapists,” Shaw said. “We discuss the modifications that we can provide to help them to be able to stay at home independently. Modifications can be a simple grab bar, accessible bathroom, ramp, or stair lift, as well as full ‘Accessibility Makeover.’

Shaw’s husband, Rein Puttkammer, also works for the business. Rein and Cindy have been Sugar Grove residents since 1995, and have over 30 years of experience in the construction industry. It was during that time that Shaw discovered her passion for helping people to be able to stay in their “home for life.”

“We are CAPS certified, which means ‘Certified Aging in Place Specialist.’ The new term they use now in construction is ‘Universal Design,’ which means that anyone, no matter what mobility or disability they have, can come into your home (and exist comfortably),” Cindy said.

According to Cindy, she and Rein regularly attend classes to educate themselves on the newest products and information that are available. She personally volunteers at many different organizations, and has given talks to Parkinson and multiple sclerosis support groups. The couple also teaches a “Continuing Care through Home Modifications” class to occupational therapists, physical therapists and case managers. Those who take the class receive two continuing education credits.

It has been two years since Home for Life began operation, and Shaw said that during that time, she and Rein have met and had the privilege to help many clients make their everyday life easier to live.

“That was my mission in starting my company,” she said.