Tidewater Community College faculty Melanie Basinger, a 20-plus-year veteran physical therapist, started the non-profit, Therapy on the Move, to honor a close friend who spent the last four years of his life in a nursing home following multiple falls.
Basinger says her goal is to “stop seniors from falling and to allow them to live every day to their full potential, in their own homes with people they love, doing things that bring them joy.”
During one of the sessions, Basinger met Rosetta Man. The pair formed a bond and later Basinger and her students “adopted” the senior. The group meet at Rosetta’s home and complete service projects that enable her to continue to live independently.
Rosetta primarily uses a motorized wheelchair to get around, and therefore needs extra help with household maintenance. More than 15 TCC students and Basinger spent Saturday, Aug. 27, at Rosetta’s doing yard work, painting, cleaning, repairing a wheelchair ramp and even washing windows.
Basinger, the program lead for TCC’s Physical Therapy Assistant Program, recruited PTA students and even a volunteer from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.
Student volunteers included: Caitlin Bardenhagen, Kelsey Bohlinger, Maggie Crumrine, Tiara Diamond, Jesse Eisenpress, Timberly Hinton, Chloe Ladi, Tabbi Leon, Jodi Neely, Iris Savant, Dianne Segura, David Sorrells, CJ Ugalde and Alyssa Ware.
Therapy on the Move is a seven-week fall-prevention program free of charge to seniors. The Portsmouth YMCA is their first community location.
Basinger’s motivation for the volunteer work is simple. “I love helping others live life to the fullest,” she said. “Making a difference in someone’s life is what gives my life purpose.”
The group plans to return soon to do some minor home repairs and they are working to get a donation of vinyl siding from Home Depot for Rosetta’s home.