@SailorJerry - I am so sorry about what happened to your uncle. You are right, I'm sure, that major wiring projects should be left to electricians.
But consumers can make some of their own simple repairs *if* they take proper precautions. Obviously, the power should always be shut off at the circuit breaker before you get started, and you might want to invest in an inexpensive battery-powered circuit detector. These beep when they are near a live wire, so they verify that you have, indeed, turned off the power to the outlet.
The kinds of repairs that are realistic for careful consumers are things like replacing a faulty light switch or installing a dimmer. You don't necessarily need to pay an electrician for that sort of thing.