Vt. business aims to help seniors age in place

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WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Vermont has one of the oldest populations in the country. And with more people aging in their homes, a new business is helping to keep older Vermonters stay put.

For some, like Brian McNabb, the comeback is greater than the setback.

“Well, honestly I had to get into the business — or into a different business — because I had a traumatic brain injury in 2022,” said McNabb, the owner of TruBlue.

The former IT adult education business owner says he could no longer look at screens all day following his injury. His new endeavor has a senior-centric concept, offering maintenance and modifications to homes to allow seniors to stay in place. “I had to look at something else, but I always believe there’s a silver lining to everything and the silver lining to this allowed me to think about what’s truly important to me and what was meaningful to me,” McNabb said.

Nearly 30% of older adults in Vermont are living alone, according to Age Well, the state-designated agency for seniors in northwestern Vermont. The group’s Tracey Shamberger says people are choosing to stay in their homes as they grow older because of the independence, memories, and connections to the community.

“If we can wrap services around individuals to make sure that that they stay connected — that’s the key — is that not only do we want to make sure people stay healthy, home and well-provided for that with the resources that they need so that they can do that,” she said.

Shamberger says they are experiencing a significant increase in the number of people who use their services and believes that need will only continue to grow. They are making sure folks are getting the care they need mentally and emotionally. “But we also want to make sure that they maintain social connection because we know that one of the social determinants of health is social isolation,” she said.

Whether it’s fixing a hole in a wall or hauling junk away, Chris Bohannan with TruBlue says he’s happy to help. “I mean, anything that will help somebody else and you know make their life easier, that’s always the most rewarding thing in a job like this,” he said.

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