John received his first “S.O.S.” medical call while working with a Fortune 500 company in New Jersey – his father had suffered a sudden and debilitating stroke back home in Richmond, Virginia.
After a week in the hospital, John’s father was sent home, still unable to walk or climb stairs. He was confined to a hospital bed in a small den on the first floor of his house with only a half-bath. Life was difficult. He was too well to be in the hospital or a nursing home, but too sick to be home.
His wife became his primary care giver and she was wearing down. Their house was not designed to accommodate a person with mobility issues, bedridden the majority of the time.
After several months, John left his job in New Jersey and relocated back to Richmond to help the family care for his father. His dad died from a second stroke a few weeks after John returned home.
Twenty three years later, John received his second S.O.S. medical call – one every parent dreads. His twenty year old son had fallen and suffered a severe head injury that would require immediate, emergency surgery. His surgery was successful; however, when his son was released from the hospital, John found his own house totally inadequate to accommodate his son’s temporary mobility limitations. The living room was transformed into a makeshift bedroom with only a half-bath located on the same floor. Fortunately, after a few weeks, his son was able to climb stairs to his bedroom on the 2nd floor, with better and safer bathroom accommodations, where he could fully recover from his injury.
John says he now has a first-hand understanding of how unexpected, acute medical crises can impact a family. Trying to re-arrange a house during an emergency only adds stress to an already difficult situation. A little advance planning and investment can avoid some of this stress. As a custom builder for twenty-five years, John has helped many clients and friends plan for the future, designing homes and additions with first floor bedrooms and baths, safety features like lever handle door knobs, rocker light switches, curbless showers and decorative grab bars. He has installed numerous mobility aids like elevators, lifts and barrier free entries. John has found that these features can appeal to people of any age and make life easier and safer in the home while adding value in the process.
John has been building homes for thirty years under the Robertson & Co. Custom Builders name. He has a Class A contractors license and has earned his
(CAPS) designation from the
National Association of Home Builders
. He is a member of the Green Energy Council
. His projects have been featured in Southern Living
magazines. Several of his projects have been on the Virginia Historic Garden Tour and one of his development projects received the annual Preservation Merit Award from Henrico County. John is a board member of Senior Connections
. He helped the Greater Richmond United Way develop the Regional AgeWave Plan
and he remains an active member of the Virginia Age Wave Coalition. John is a graduate of the University of Virginia (BA) and the Darden School of Business (MBA).