Member Spotlight: Oakley Home Access
on September 27, 2023
VGM Live at Home loves sharing stories of our members who have had a project that stands out to them.
Oakley Home Access is a home accessibility equipment company focused on maximizing mobility by increasing accessibility through a unique approach. They provide a free home safety assessment performed by a skilled occupational therapist. The assessor will collaborate with the client, family, and healthcare providers to formulate the best approach, product, and price point. They conduct the assessment as if it were for one of their own family members. This business model lends itself to developing a sense of satisfaction and pride when they are able to help their clients in need.
In the recounting of experiences, a certain client stands out prominently for Daniel Lynch, MSOTR/L, CAPS of Oakley Home Access. Toni, for this instance, left an indelible mark. Daniel arrived at Toni’s large Victorian home set rather close to the street. It is the type of home one would expect to see on a large countryside plot. In contrast, this home was nestled between two smaller homes on a packed street shuffled off on a small side road in this historic town. When he arrived, Daniel was greeted by a voice who invited him right on in. Toni greeted him with a warm smile and demeanor, and even offered him water and cookies that she had set up on her end table.
A sense of community, faith, and family was a staple in her life. Set across the dark walls were murals of family, friends, and what Toni described as the “Good Ole Days.'' Despite her warm and welcoming persona, Daniel sensed that this statement held as a reverence of the past but also as if the best days were behind her. Toni had spent months in the hospital struggling with her declining health and multiple setbacks. She held onto hope to bring back the “Good Ole Days.”
Coming home was a blessing for her, but she quickly discovered that the confines of her home brought its own significant challenges. Although she had made it home, the long hospitalization took its toll physically. She was no longer able to walk out onto the porch or walk down the stairs and visit neighborhood friends. Toni needed a way to regain her freedom and continue to push forward. After their conversation, Daniel felt compelled to help her in any way possible.
Given the close proximity of the Victorian residence to the street, devising a solution posed a challenge to the Oakly Home Access team. A ramp was just not possible, and a stairlift would not fit Toni’s needs. After pulling out his tape measurer a dozen times in each direction, Daniel knew they could fit a vertical platform lift, even though the surrounding land was rocky. Because of both his confidence in his expertise and the great skill of the technician team, Daniel pitched the proposal to Toni. She was as surprised as she was ecstatic to learn that there was a solution. She had been turned away by other companies who said moving was the only option.
Shipping delays and the onset of winter threatened keeping the completion of the project on schedule and on budget. Still, the team at Oakly Home Access pushed forward. They completed the excavation and concrete pour in partially frozen conditions with only hand tools due to minimal working space available. Domenic Colomno, one of the lead technicians, even added his own creative touch by laying slate stones around the perimeter to match the landscape and style of the home in this historic neighborhood. The platforms and lift were installed with not an inch to spare.
The finished product could not have made Toni any happier. Her eyes welled up with tears of joy when Domenic invited her to try out her new “access to independence.” The tears quickly transitioned to an ear-to-ear smile as she started propelling in her wheelchair. She wheeled into and rode the lift down to street level, propelled her way onto the sidewalk, and came to the realization she had just exited her home independently. It was truly a moment of joy and relief. She could not stop thanking Oakley Home Access for the hard work and dedication they provided to help regain her independence.
This story is just one of many reasons VGM Live at Home loves sharing success stories with the rest of our membership. The work completed by those of us in the home modifications industry is life changing and helps so many people like Toni live independently and safely in their own homes. Thank you to all at Oakley Home Access for their dedication to this project. We are proud to have Oakley Home Access as Part of Something Bigger with VGM Live at Home!
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