L.A. companies donate service to make home accessible
by Jackie Norris
With her mother confined to a wheelchair after suffering a urinary tract infection that nearly claimed her life, Sabrina Wurf knew the time had come to ask for help.
Her 76-year-old mom, Angie's List member Barbara Wurf of Los Angeles, suffers from myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare bone marrow disease that causes her to be prone to infection. In early 2010, she landed in a hospital's intensive care unit with the urinary infection. Instead of going home upon her discharge, the hospital sent her to a nursing home for rehabilitation. Her two-bedroom bungalow also needed revamping to make it handicapped accessible.
That's when Sabrina contacted Angie's List for help. "She needed a safe environment," Sabrina says. "The project was overwhelming."
The Angie's List Wishmakers program enlisted the help of Frank Najafi, owner of highly rated AARDVARK Property Hazard Analysis in Los Angeles. Najafi tested the Wurfs' 1940s home for lead paint on the walls and asbestos in the linoleum flooring. Once everything checked out, Najafi cleared the way for other service providers.
Since Barbara could no longer climb the steep stairs to her old bedroom, Tracy McCubbin, the owner of highly rated dClutterfly in Los Angeles, turned a chaotic den into a relaxing first-floor bedroom. "The job took three full days," McCubbin says. She purged the den of more than a thousand books, moved in new furniture and also helped reorganize the Wurfs' garage. "It was about more than getting organized — it was about making the home safe and comfortable."
To add finishing touches to the bedroom, Joe Rivero of highly rated J R Construction in Los Angeles donated his handyman services, and helped move bookshelves and heavy furniture.
Because Barbara's illness requires her to go to UCLA each week for blood transfusions, Adam Fine, the owner of highly rated Accessible Design & Consulting in Santa Monica, discounted and installed a modular ramp system. "The ramp allows Barbara to be as independent as possible," Fine says. "I think it also helps reduce stress for Sabrina, since she's given up her life to care for her mom."
Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List, says more seniors are aging-in-place these days, which adds another element to their grown children's care-taking tasks. "Through the Wishmakers program, we were able to give the Wurfs the help they needed as well as peace of mind, knowing they were receiving help from highly rated companies in the Los Angeles area," Hicks says.
Barbara couldn't agree more and is flourishing in her updated surroundings. "Sabrina couldn't have done it all herself," she says, adding she enjoys her new bedroom and is glad to be back in her home of 45 years. "I'm grateful to Angie's List, the service providers and the equipment they provided. It will continue to make my life much better than it would have been otherwise."