Allie Jacox is well known as a leader in her faith community. She was recently awarded “Usher of the Year” for over 40 years of service as the Vice President of the Baptist Usher Ministry.

At 87, she also logged 20 years of volunteering at a local food shelf three times per week, and serves as membership chair and mentor to young people through an NAACP Youth Program. Allie retired from decades of work as a health provider through the Minneapolis Public Schools and also held positions as caterer, salesclerk, and seamstress.

Raised on a farm in Tennessee, she met her husband Henry in college and they raised 5 children. They moved to Minnesota in 1963, where Henry was elected the first Black Union Steward for his construction company. He has passed away, but Allie continues to host holiday gatherings and looks after any number of her 40 grandchildren.

Helping Allie Feel Safe at Home

Allie learned about the Age Well at Home program from her church pastor. The AWAH team conducted an intake interview with her to gain an understanding of her health and safety concerns and to discuss possible modifications to address her needs.

Allie has a strong commitment to remain in her home for the rest of her life, which is a central gathering place for a large and connected extended family. She has had surgeries on her back and shoulder and manages arthritis through exercise and chiropractic care. She walks with a cane.

Allie Jacox on front steps

An on-site visit identified that Allie would benefit greatly from the addition of sturdy metal railings alongside the steps leading up to the front and back door entrances to her home. She had already experienced several falls on the steps and was at high risk for additional falls without better support.

The team constructed and installed two new railings, which Allie uses daily to access her backyard garden, go shopping, attend church, volunteer at the food shelf, and visit family and friends.

“The Railings Make Me Feel Safer”

Allie Jacox in her home

Allie says that “the railings are so helpful, make me feel safer, and they are beautiful! Neighbors have commented on how attractive they are, which boosts the value of my home.”

She also said that she “wouldn’t have been able to afford to pay for the railings on my fixed income,” and acknowledged how common this was for other seniors in her circle. She noted that visitors to her home have also expressed gratitude for a safer entry and exit to her house.

For the Age Well at Home team, it is a boost to see that this simple installation has made such a big difference in the life of an aging neighbor.