Those odd jobs around the home from changing an awkward lighbulb, cutting hedges or clearing out rubbish, can be a challenge for elderly people, but are all in a day’s work for the team at Laois Services to the Elderly.
Based in Clonminam Industrial Estate in Portlaoise, they are responding to about 25 calls a day to assist pensioners with small DIY jobs, at theaffordable fee of €15 per hour.
The scheme, supported by Laois Partnership, has a double bonus says manager Sean O’Gorman.
“It helps the elderly live at home independently for longer, and we are taking people off the live register for 2 and a half days a week, paying them a wage. It is very important for the elderly that someone is coming in and visiting them,” he said.
“The type of work we do, its not viable for businesses to be doing, It could be something as simple as bleeding a radiator or lights not working, but fixing those things is an invaluable service,” Mr O’Gorman said.
The scheme began in 2008, and now has 9 staff, with plans to take on three more in February.
“We get a grant of €79,000 a year. That covers the manager’s wage and the minimum wages of the staff. It pays for itself after that. We bought two vans and our own equipment. Any materials are bought locally if possible,” he said.
They have about 250 regular clients but are happy to take on more throughout the county.
For now the service is just offered to the elderly
“I know there are a lot of younger people who don’t have the money to get work done, but that’s another day’s work,” he said.
Call the service at 8682779.or 087 9141327.