Business: Independent Home Living LLC

Owner: Doug Schindler, 59, of Galloway Township

Location: Berrywood Lane, Galloway Township

Started: 2010

Employees: 1    

Phone: 609-652-6681

I have about 15 years of remodeling and renovation experience.

About four years ago, my wife, who is an occupational therapist, pointed out there’s a need for renovating and remodeling for seniors and people with disabilities.

I created my business, Independent Home Living, to address that need.

I’m registered with state Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Youth and Family Services. I’m registered to work throughout the state and my coverage area is South Jersey.

I also work with the Stockton Center on Successful Aging. I do in-services with them, talking to senior organizations, mainly talks on fall prevention, modifications to prevent falls, and no-cost or low-cost renovations in their homes.

The National Association of Home Builders certifies for aging-in-place work, and about 90 percent of those 55 and older want to stay in their homes.

The challenge is making the home safe and accessible.

Renovations include installing ramps, wheelchair lifts, and widening doorways, say from 30 inches to 36 inches, so they can accommodate a wheelchair, things of that nature.

For bathrooms, we install walk-in and roll-in baths, remodel the bath and put in comfort toilets.

I’ve gotten certificates in universal design, which is to make the home accessible and usable by all members of the family, as opposed to designing a home strictly for a person with disabilities.

So in a kitchen, we’ll put in pull-down or pull-out shelving, which makes it easy to reach whether you’re in a wheelchair or you’ve developed arthritis.

I try to tell people to start thinking about this stuff when you’re 55. Even at my age, I use a lot of this stuff because it makes it easier for me.

Future plans: I’ll take $250 off a renovation of $2,000 or more, if they call within the next month.

Business editor Kevin Post