Seniors in 2020 are either members of the greatest generation, the silent generation or boomers, which means that they’re the people who grew up in a world where self-sufficiency was a top priority. One’s mettle was tested when they found a problem and resolved it on their own. Why would they hire a handyman for a project that they can easily complete on their own?
However, once they passed a certain age threshold, things became a lot harder. There’s no shame in having some abilities and options restricted due to one’s age. As a responsible child, you might not always be there to help but you can at least find someone who can. Here are several tips on how to find the right handyman to help seniors with home improvements.
- Get them on board
It’s not unheard of that you’ll initially face some resistance. They may believe that they don’t actually need any help. They may also be reluctant to cost you money and would rather if the two of you have done the task on your own. However, you need to hold your ground. It’s not about the money, it’s about feeling old and useless. It’s not about wanting to make you self-reliant; it’s about wanting to spend more time with you. As long as you can reassure them regarding these two crucial issues, you’ll find that they’ll have no problem in accepting professional help. The key lies in addressing the real problems, not trying to dispute arguments that they verbally express.
- Do a background check
The first thing you need to do is talk to the handyman in person and ensure that they have a personal address. Sure, nowadays it’s easy to hire a handyman online but you need to keep in mind that credibility and reliability pose a major issue here. Ideally, you would have a WOM reference instead of trying to assess them based on their online reviews, ratings and references, in general. When talking to them, ask about the specifics of their previous works. Who were their clients? What kind of work did they do? The more you ask the better the idea you’ll have on who you’re dealing with.
- Look for locals
Another thing you need to understand is the fact that your elderly parent may need the services of the said handyman more than just once. Therefore, it might be for the best if you were to just hire some local help. You can look up handymen in their vicinity or you can try looking up the answer while you’re at their place. For instance, if you need some help with the electrical works, try using the phrase – electrician near me. This will present you with a list of your best options in the field.
- Find specialists
A specialist is someone who can get a job done a lot quicker. They’re the person who can get to the core of the problem and resolve the issue in the shortest possible time frame. Why is this important? Well, having a handyman is always a nuisance. There’s a stranger roaming around your home, causing noise, drilling holes and tampering around your installations. Sure, the end result will be worth it but the duration of the works poses a major disruption in terms of lifestyle quality.
- Check out their offer objectively
Another thing you need to take into consideration is the importance of their business from an objective standpoint. First of all, you need to look at their licenses. Second, you need to check if they are bonded and if they have all the necessary insurances. Most importantly, you need to go through the list of tasks that they specialize in. If you need something specific done, you better check if they do it, to begin with. Their network of contacts is also quite relevant. Even if they don’t do the task that you’ve required, maybe they have someone to recommend. A qualified recommendation is all that really matters here.
- It’s a long-term thing
Remember that home improvement, maintenance and repairs aren’t something that will just take place once. Instead, it’s a long-term thing and the sooner you find the right person for the job, the better. After a first successful task, your parent will get accustomed to them and they will get accustomed to your parent. This means that hiring them the next time will become a lot simpler. Still, if things don’t work out the first time around, it’s better to look for someone else and hope for a better match.
At the end of the day, you need to understand that your elderly parent may act like a child from time to time but they aren’t actually children. They’re adults with much more life experience than you. Even though they may seem or sound unreasonable at certain moments, you always need to take their advice into account. Chances are that they’ve dealt with more handymen in their lifetime than you and that they know what they’re doing. In the best-case scenario, you will only have to assume an advisory role in the whole matter.
Ron Wolf is a hobby designer and a DIY enthusiast, and, above all, a very blessed father of two. Besides that, he has a strong passion for writing. He is a featured blogger at various blogs and magazines in which he shared his research and experience with the vast online community. If he is not working he enjoys being outside with his family. Hiking, bike riding, and BBQing are always a thing for him. In the evening, he likes to watch documentaries or build something with kids in their lego corner.