Elder Abuse

Yesterday I had to visit the sweetest elderly lady about a rental property that I help her manage. I have only been to her home on rare occasions. She was asking me some questions about some work she had done on the exterior of her home, so I went outside and did a walk around the house paying special attention to the siding, metal soffit and facia, storm windows and roof that was installed. Her eye sight is not that good so she wanted me to confirm the workmanship on her home.

She freely told me how much she paid for the materials and labor. Well, I had bite my tongue very hard to keep from telling her that she was taken advantage of by the contractor. I was appalled by the shoddy workmanship. First of all, what reputable contractor would install storm windows that are so over-sized that you will have to unscrew the frames and remove them from the casing so that you can get the storms out for washing? Secondly, the aluminum fascia was screwed on with over-sized metal screws. The paper thin vinyl siding wasn’t even installed properly. The seams had no pattern with several short sections installed where the contractor must have mis-judged length and pieced in short ones. The roof has no vents installed which means the singles will not last due to the heat build-up in the attic. The only thing I told her was that I would never use that contractor again because I didn’t think he did a very good job. She said, “I began questioning his work after my daughter who came to visit and wanted to open the windows in her bedroom and said it was very hard getting the storm window to go up.” I asked her if she had ever had anyone wash her windows since the work was done.

She said she hadn’t. I would hate to be the window washer who has to break the news to her that they can’t get the windows out from the inside to wash them. I made sure she gave me the name of the contractor because I will remember. People who take advantage of the elderly are about the lowest in my book. That sweet old lady worked and endured much in her long years on this earth and to think that there are “reputable” contractors living among us that would do this, sickens me. As a footnote, I recommend that anyone and everyone who has contact with elderly people living in their homes, to take an active step in keeping them from becoming victims of elder abuse.

Joe Chodur

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