- Dane Rank
- Nancy Burgess
Make the Thompson House patio accessible to all of our residents again
For decades, 60 elder residents of Thompson House have enjoyed their outdoor patio beneath the maples planting an abundance of flowers and vegetables, even herbs that are used in cooking activities and meals. The rich farming history of the area is reflected in constant donkey visits, Heifer Strolling, and activities with dog agility and the humane society. Lamas goats, sheep, rabbits, dogs, cows and all of our friends from the farm come to visit the residents on the outdoor patio on a regular basis. Picnic tables and ample seating ensure small, sunny excursions during the summer months while enjoying lunch, or just getting some sun. The outdoor access has been a constant enjoyment for the residents.
However over 40 years, the Thompson House patio has begun to show some wear. The nice, flat flagstones that once allowed walkers to glide over them come up, causing a tripping hazard for the overwhelming majority of residents who use walkers or wheelchairs to get around. For the past two years, it has been necessary for staff to accompany residents one-to-one when they go outside because of the significant hazard of falls. For the safety of our residents, use of the patio was restricted to all but a few spry and capable residents this year, and as you will note from the pictures included, it has gotten worse.
Seeking a solution, test holes were drilled to find 8 inches of concrete below the flagstones. However after removing the flagstones, the poured area is only 1.25 inches deep. This is not enough to pour concrete due to the gathering of moisture underneath and “delaminating” such a thin layer. For this reason, the existing concrete will need to be demolished and removed, before pouring a new, textured surface. The cost of replacing the patio surface, safety gating, and ramp maintaining the facility’s ADA and NFPA compliance is roughly $38,850
Thompson House is committing our Annual Campaign to this goal. We have raised $8,000 from our local community, and hope to add another $6,000 from our fundraising efforts in November. Additionally, we have sought a grant through the USDA for a third of the cost of the project. Thompson House is a recipient and current qualified borrower through the USDA Community Development office. As such, we are seeking a matching grant for one third of the cost of the project through the State of Vermont Recreational Facilities Grant Program. Both of these grantors require documentation of community support. We are building on our grass roots fundraising and are confident that we will meet our goal.
Please help us in our goal of making the outdoors accessible to everyone here. Sign the petition, and forward it to others who feel strongly that sunshine is the best medicine for our residents.
- Dane Rank
- Nancy Burgess
Make the Thompson House patio accessible to all our residents again
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