Carmen Robles is a life-long advocate/mentor, writer, artist, loving grandmother, and senior homeowner in the Twin Cities metro with family roots in Puerto Rico. Carmen is president and CEO of Carmen Robles and Associates LLC, community engagement specialists lending broad multicultural expertise to projects through her monthly e-newsletter/e-magazine ‘Conversaciones de Salud’ and quarterly web show ‘Mi Casa es Su Casa.’

Her work impacts efforts such as addressing opioid, fentanyl, and mental health in targeted multicultural statewide populations, participating in task forces that empower and educate youth, and informing the community about important historical, cultural events and programs such as Age Well at Home.

Carmen with flag

A bout with breast cancer placed a temporary roadblock in Carmen’s career, halting her work with a Governor-sponsored youth mentoring program addressing teen tobacco use. COVID-19 lockdown forced her to redesign community engagement outreach efforts through social media.

At 75, she continues her advocacy, writing, and artwork, while acknowledging the need to address concerns she has about health and safety in her home and the homes of other baby boomers.

Addressing Carmen’s Challenges

Carmen learned about Age Well at Home at a community forum and inquired about the ability to address issues in her home with lighting, front door safety, and safe showering. The Age Well at Home team conducted an intake interview with Carmen to assess her needs and better understand her capabilities and limitations.

Carmen shared that she loves her home and neighbors and wanted to remain there as long as possible. As a cancer survivor with arthritis and other health issues, she struggled to get in and out of the shower, couldn’t reach light fixtures to repair or replace them, and struggled to get up and out of the chair she uses to sit at the table to write and do her artwork.

Carmen with lighting fixtures

An Age Well at Home on-site visit determined that Carmen’s needs included:

  • new light fixtures in the kitchen and living room
  • a shower bench, grab bars, and a hand-held shower to more easily accommodate her
  • a new stove and replacement knobs on kitchen cabinets
  • new front door lock
  • a lift recliner chair

All of these modifications were completed, and Carmen expressed deep gratitude for feeling safer and more comfortable in her home.

“Feeling safe and snug in my own four walls”

In her own words, Carmen shared the following:
“What started out as an inquiry to the benefits of the Age Well At Home program has turned into a life changing experience.  Perfect way to begin a brand new year!  Feeling safe and snug in my own four walls.”
“I didn’t even realize I had a potentially dangerous situation with my stove. The assessment of my home discovered this undetected fire hazard and before long it was replaced.  A life saving measure for me and my neighbors. For fifteen years I have not had kitchen cabinet handles, and the ease that the newly installed handles provide inspires me to get back to the delicious joy of cooking and baking.”
Carmen with her stove
Carmen wrote about every improvement our team made in her home: “It’s been years since I have had adequate lighting.  Old fixtures and non-working outlets creating darkness, even when sunlight streamed through my window.  Now I have beautiful light fixtures that illuminate my home.  I hadn’t realized how much in the dark I’ve been! An accident lurking, waiting to happen in my deep, slippery tub is now a luxurious place to soak, shower and bathe.  All within in a safe environment. The bath bar installed to help get in and out of the tub, is a dream come true.  The new shower head adding a sense of safety, coupled with the bath chair, has given a new meaning of relaxation.
“No more bathroom fears.  No more feeling of dread.”
A simple door safety lock, installed by Age Well at Home has added a sense of safety that is priceless.  With new doors recently installed I felt vulnerable to possible intruders and the uncertainty of whether my door was locked. I no longer have the stress of anyone entering my unit. The sheer comfort of my new lift chair that I can get into and out of without adding discomfort to my joints is another gift! After just a few days with my new electrical recliner I can feel the pain and tension leaving my aching body.  I’m sleeping more comfortably now as a result.
“I am extremely grateful for the Age Well at Home program – it has given my home back to me!”
I had entertained the option of selling my condo and felt like I was drowning. These modifications have given me peace of mind.  Each person associated with the Age Well at Home process that came to my home was professional, helpful, clean, and cautious with exceptional customer service skills.”