Aging in Place: Frank and Joella

Frank and Joella have been living a life of service and adventure for over 40 years. They met as single parents (he had two girls) and (she had a boy and a girl) through the Sunday School where Joella was teaching. A proper courtship sealed the deal and their blended family now includes six grandchildren.

Returning to Vantage Glen in Renton to be near three of their four children has brought their travels full circle. As teachers and pastor, their skills have been put to use both planting (starting from scratch) and building Lutheran churches at St. Paul’s in nearby Shorewood and Highland in La Center, as well as Libby Montana, Dayton Ohio, Moorcroft Wyoming, and Deer Park Washington. While in Libby, Frank helped a church member wire a new Habitat home. They even traveled for five years with the Reithoffer Carnival headquartered in Florida as Pastor and wife holding Sunday church services and running an accredited Christian school for the show’s 22 children.

When Frank and Joella first contacted Habitat it was to take care of insulation in the crawl space under their home. After completing an assessment, Habitat learned there were other items that would enable the Fritch’s to age safely in their home. Habitat is installing multiple grab bars in both bathrooms, adding a motion sensor light and house mounted grab bar at the main entrance, as well as distinguishing the bottom step with color stripping for safety. All interior and exterior door handles will be changed from round to lever handles. This is especially important for Joella who has severe hand arthritis and is recovering from a painful finger injury. New fluorescent lighting in the kitchen and untangling the faucet sprayer under the sink round out the projects. These are minor improvements, but together these changes make it easier for the couple to enjoy their lives and age in place.