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A team from O’Connor recently joined UCB, a biopharmaceutical company, to participate in a Rebuilding Together community project on “Spring 2018 Rebuilding Day”. Rebuilding Together is a non-profit that helps community members with home repairs, safety upgrades (as family members age or have medical needs) and interior upgrades. The team worked on the home of a local San Jose resident to help make improvements and prevent future falls and injuries.
Marilyn, a 74-year-old widow with no relatives in the area, endured a hip fracture six years ago and then suffered additional rib fractures three years ago when she fell from a standing position. In addition to these injuries, she has major hearing loss and is often on oxygen for COPD. Despite these health issues and use of a cane and walker, Marilyn remains determined to be independent and loves to volunteer in the community.
The team performed structural repairs and maintenance including; painting the house, rebuilding staircases, installing handrails and window screens, leveling outdoor pavement, clearing out storage, gardening, removing carpet and re-organizing common areas. The goal was not only to help “fall proof” Marilyn’s home, but also to help her stay active and independent in a safe home she feels proud of.
The project started 8 AM Saturday morning and was completed by 6:30 PM that evening. When Marilyn was able to walk through her newly upgraded home, it brought tears to her eyes. O’Connor was delighted to join in this important effort of patient care and safety extending beyond the hospital.