Helping elders stay in their homes

COURTESY PHOTODoris Grasso shows the grab bar that was installed in the shower of her home.

A local handyman is giving back to senior citizens in and around the Merrimack Valley with a service he knows best: Home repairs and installations.

Doug Coyle, owner of the House Doctors company on York Street, donated and installed shower grab bars for an elderly woman in Methuen. Though the installation was part of a July giveaway through the company, Coyle said it is something he wants to continue on his own in the future.

"It's just a really feel-good thing, and a fun thing to do," Coyle said.

The purchase of grab bars and an installation would typically cost around $325, Coyle said, but they came completely free to 88-year-old Doris Grasso.

Grasso was selected from several applicants on House Doctors' website. Coyle said Grasso's daughter is credited with submitting an application to the giveaway on behalf of her mother.

Coyle, who has been in the repair business for 18 years, said it's a great feeling to help senior citizens in small ways that can allow them to stay in their homes, rather than moving in with relatives or to assisted living facilities. With many elderly people having limited incomes, Coyle said he knows how appreciative they are of the kind of work he does.

"My mother had grab bars and she stayed in her home until she passed away," he said. "That's a big thing for these people."

Grasso's Methuen home was built by a family member, and she hopes to stay there as long as possible. Thanks to Coyle, she is on the right track to do just that.


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