LIFE Program Opens New Small Home in Butler County

Published: Thursday, July 13, 2017

The LIFE Programs have expanded their Small Homes initiative with the opening of a new duplex unit on Chestnut Street in Butler. There are already two Small Homes in Aliquippa and three in New Castle.

“The philosophy of the LIFE Programs is for participants to be able to age in place in their home and community, and these small homes are a way for us to achieve this goal,” said Marla Frailey, director of LIFE Butler County.

Residents of the Small Homes must be LIFE Program participants, and require some assistance to help keep them safe and independent. All of the homes are fully furnished. Expenses, with the exception of rent, are included.

LIFE Butler County participants Carolyn and Walter Mazar have been living in their new Small Home in Butler for a few months, and have been very pleased with their new arrangement. Although they live independently, they receive visits from LIFE Butler County staff four times per day to receive assistance with things like medication management, bathing, dressing, meal preparation, laundry and shopping.

“The house is beautiful and very easy to get around in,” Carolyn Mazar said. “All of the staff have been so wonderful.”

The duplex unit is brand new, and completely handicapped-accessible including large open spaces, hallways and doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, a walk in shower and much more in the one-level home.

Under the arrangement, the Mazars (and other Small Home residents) continue to receive all of the benefits of their enrollment in the LIFE Program, and they both to continue to visit the LIFE Butler County center for socialization.

Prior to living in their new home, they lived in a nursing home, explained Luella Frain, community care coordinator for LIFE Butler County. “It was a less than ideal situation for them. This is a much better arrangement than where they were living before. It gives them some of their privacy back.”

“These homes give the residents the opportunity to be part of the community, which means that not only are their physical needs, but their social needs are being met,” said Toni Hively, executive director of the LIFE Programs.

Carolyn said that she is grateful for the opportunity to move from the nursing home, into a much larger, more comfortable space. “We are still able to do most things for ourselves,” she said, “but it’s nice to know that someone is coming to check on us and help us with whatever we need.”

LIFE Butler County is also celebrating the completion of an expansion project at their Diamond Street Adult Day Center. The additional space increases the capacity from 50 to 107 participants per day, and includes recreational space, a personal care room, spa tub, restrooms, office space and staff lounge.

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