Seniors & Aging

Home remodel, simple devices help senior live on her own

Leah Redifer, 70, is retired and living in the Bellingham house her father built in the 1940s. Redifer has two dogs and a cat named Susie. “There’s always something to do,” she says.
Leah Redifer, 70, is retired and living in the Bellingham house her father built in the 1940s. Redifer has two dogs and a cat named Susie. “There’s always something to do,” she says. PHILIP A. DWYER THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Name: Leah Redifer.

Age: 70.

Residence: Redifer was born in Bellingham but moved away and returned six years ago.

At current residence: Six years. Redifer lives in a house built by her father, so the residence has remained in the family.

Former occupation: Bus driver.

Daily routine: “Usually on Mondays, I get up and work out at the (Bellingham) Senior Center and do my shopping and running around,” Redifer says. “I come home and let the dogs out.” She also quilts, sews and gardens, and sometimes has lunch with her daughter, who also lives in Bellingham.

Most helpful home improvement: “I have always lived independently,” Redifer says. “I remodeled the house and eliminated the laundry room in the basement and moved it upstairs. That makes it easier.”

Best part about living on her own: “My independence. Being able to take care of myself and feeling like I can do what I want to do.”

What you know now that you wished you’d known then: “Investing in saving more,” Redifer says. “For more trips and stuff like that.”

Gadget that makes life easier: “The electric can opener.” Redifer says her hands don’t work as well as they used to, and the electric can opener is good for those with arthritis.For fun: “I go out with friends, get together with family.” In the summer, Redifer says, she loves to swim and has a cabin on the lake where she takes her two dogs, Simon and Sasha.

Helpful technology: “Computers, adding machines, remote controls.” The self-propelled lawn mower is good for her, Redifer says, because she lives on a hillside.

Helping hand: Redifer says she has a friend who comes out and assists with household repairs.

Advice to preserve independence: “Exercise, stay healthy and eat well. Common sense-type things.”

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