Letter from the Vice President, Jim Greatorex

Published in Home Modifications on November 17, 2020

Hello Live At Home members and colleagues,

Everyone here at VGM hopes that you and your team are doing well and staying safe and healthy as we move closer to winter. Now that a historic election is past us, we must get through this period of COVID-19 upticks for a few months before that long- awaited light at the end of tunnel comes. Through it all, the increased interest by senior Americans to live in their home will continue to foster greater demand for home accessibility services. We have some excellent resources to help keep you and your customers safe with PPE through Mazza Healthcare. Keep your work, home, and customers' home environments virus-free with an eco-friendly disinfectant from Pathogen Defense Systems. Visit the Live At Home website for more information.

The time is now for home safety upgrade legislation.  

We are joining up with long-time industry advocate and friend Louis Tenenbaum, who through his non-profit, Homes Renewed Coalition, is coordinating an effort to get a new tax incentive policy for home safety upgrades introduced in the next session of Congress. VGM Live at Home is supporting the cause both financially and by participation. We are asking you to join us in this effort. We have two big "whys" for this request.

  1. A tax deduction for homeowners for safety upgrades will increase demand for our services and will allow more seniors to be able to afford the modifications, so we can decrease fall risk for more people.
  2. The timing will never be better than the next six months for home-based legislation to get high consideration. The pandemic has put a huge spotlight on home-based care, and it will garner much attention in this next Congress. Our bill would have low cost and neutral expense to the taxpayers in healthcare savings from treating falls, so right now is the time to act.

We realize that this year has been challenging on all fronts and investing in a cause of this nature seems well out of range of what we are capable of. However, if this industry could invest just $100,000 in the next year, the possibility of getting a bill passed in 2021 is a real possibility due to current circumstances. Live At Home is investing $1,000 a month, and if you could invest $100 or $50 a month for the next six to nine months, we could take a nice run at this. We have about 25-30% of the needed amount already committed, and with a few contractors and manufacturers making some commitments, we could easily fund our campaign. Let’s not kick ourselves later for letting what will likely be our best chance of meaningful public policy fall through the cracks because we didn’t recognize and act on our best opportunity. 

If you would like to join the cause and be a leader, please visit the leadership page on the Homes Renewed Coalition website to register your support. 

Our Select Member Consumer Lead Program is gaining steam.

We are happy to report significant progress with our Select Member Program. We recently were able to get agreements in place with the ALCA and The National Association for the Area Agency on Aging. As we work through those agreements, we will be getting leads for home access requests through our Select Member Program. This program is designed for members who are full-service companies who agree to meet the protocols in place. We define full service by being able to provide (directly or indirectly) ramps, stair lifts, VPLs, grab bars/ handrails, transfer products, overhead lifts, and bathroom remodels. If your company provides these services and would like to learn more about the program, please connect with either myself at Jim.Greatorex@vgm.com or Jessica Barber at Jessica.Barber@vgm.com so we can set up a call with you.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, right up there with Christmas and Super Bowl Sunday (when you are Patriots fan). This year has taught me some important life lessons that I will certainly reflect on through the holiday weekend. I am much more aware of how great the simple pleasures of life are. The beautiful sunrises and sunsets that Iowa offers, hiking, or just walking my neighborhood with my wonderful wife, Lisa. Spending time with family becomes more meaningful when the ability to do so becomes more challenging. Many things that held high importance to me now are way less important than the relationships I get to have with my wife and family, my VGM colleagues, and all of the great Live At Home members and partner friends that I have gotten to know over the last four years. I’m so very fortunate to be blessed with the opportunity to have so many great people in my life that I consider my friends. I wish all my friends lots of simple pleasures this Thanksgiving.

Jim Greatorex

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