Member Spotlight: Back Home Safely

Published in Home Modifications on March 22, 2023

In the spring and summertime, there are many who enjoy the outdoors and being on the lake. For one 20-year-old with muscular dystrophy, this was not an easy feat. While he had a backyard that led to the lake, he had no way of safely accessing it. He wanted to be able to enjoy and safely access the lake. That is when the team at Back Home Safely stepped in.

This individual was referred to Back Home Safely by a social worker in a facility so that modifications could be completed on the house the client would reside in. Modifications had to be made in order for the client to enter the house and to access the living quarters. While the team at Back Home Safely started work on the stairlift to make the home itself more accessible, the client mentioned his desire to be able to go down to the lake in his backyard.

“Originally, I was there to make his house accessible. I wasn't there to get him access to the lake, but I heard him say that he wanted to go down to the lake, so I made a deal with his mother,” explained Gregg Frank, owner of Back Home Safely. “I asked if I could get him down to the lake, would she buy him a pontoon boat? And she shook on it.” 

The deal was made, and Gregg and his team got to work. 

This additional project was a bit challenging due to the steepness of the space between the lake and the house. 

“There was probably about a 16-foot rise from the lake up to the house, so a standard ramp would be nearly impossible to install.” said Gregg. “Plus, there were no stairs to put a stairlift on.”

However, they successfully built a stairlift and a giant platform to accommodate the stairlift. They also modified the boat dock to make it accessible for the client.

Back Home Safely Back Home Safely

The work done to allow this client to access the lake reflects the patient-centered approach that Back Home Safely emphasizes, which is to focus on the patient’s unique functional abilities, the patient’s goals, and the environment in which they live.

"If this client was 90 years old, he would likely be very happy looking down at that lake and enjoying the view from afar. But since he's 20 years old, all he wanted was to get down to the lake,” said Gregg. “It shows how the approach is different based on your clients' needs versus our definition of what an individual house needs.”

Now this client is able to safely access the lake as often as possible. The stairlift is removed during the winter months, but as spring and summer approach, Back Home Safely will return to reinstall the lift for the client to begin using again. 

Even though the project started with the initial need for home modifications for the client to enter and access his home, the project in the backyard was an amazing addition that Back Home Safely was able to provide. And thanks to the deal that Gregg made with the client’s mother, the client can enjoy the lake on his new pontoon boat. 

In 2007, Gregg and Karen Frank, CFO, founded Back Home Safely with the mission of creating safe and accessible homes in New Jersey. They recently celebrated their 15-year anniversary. They shared a video highlighting the amazing work they have done over the years, including this project. Check it out here!

VGM Live at Home congratulates Back Home Safely on 15 years in business providing services like this project. We are so proud to have Back Home Safely as Part of Something Bigger with VGM Live at Home!


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