Adapting Your Home To Age-in-place

By Starr Munro


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Seniors who want to age gracefully in their own homes or with their family, find that simple home modifications improve their quality of life, reduce opportunities for accidents and longer periods of time are spent independently in a familiar environment.

How to make a home more accommodating for aging-in-place:

Entrances

- Widen walkways and entrances into and throughout your home

- Replace steps outside your home with a graduated ramp

- Install handrails along walkways and steps

- Add non-slip grip on and around stairs and entrances

- Eliminate step-down or step-up door thresholds

- Add colour contrast to door entrances, especially if there is a change in floor texture or grade of door threshold

Lighting

- Install sensor lights outside to illuminate walkways and steps

- Make sure all stairwells are well lit with easy-to-reach light switches

- Install two-way light switches at all entrances and exits, rooms and stairwells

- Ensure there is sufficient lighting around all appliances, halls and doorways

- Add electrical outlets in easy to reach locations

Doors

- Replace heavy doors with doors that are easier to open and close

- Install intercoms or flashing lights to replace doorbell

- Install lever handles and relocate locks to convenient locations

Stairs

- Relocate commonly accessed rooms and appliances (such as laundry, bedroom, bathrooms. kitchen etc) to main floor level

- Install stair lift systems if main rooms in house cannot be relocated for easier access

- Install extended handrails at top and bottom of stairs

- Replace worn carpet or stair coverings

Kitchen

- Adjust sink and countertop height to a convenient working level

- Install easy-to-grip-and-adjust lever faucets

- Remove cupboards to create knee space for sitting at counter or sink

- Lower existing cupboards and shelves

- Add pullout storage devices to ground-level cupboards

- Install electrical outlets in convenient locations (add colour contrast to outlets for greater visibility)

Bedroom

- Pad or eliminate sharp corners and turns within the bedroom

- Secure corners of rugs, carpets or floor coverings

- Install vertical grab bars near bed

- Install light switches that illuminate room near bed and doorway

- Install phone near bed for emergencies

Bathroom

- Install grab bars at strategic locations around bathroom

- Install non-slip flooring

- Install walk-in shower or transfer bench in bathtub

- Add vertical grab bar inside tub/shower entrance

- Adjust hot water heater to ensure tub/shower temperature is moderate

- Insert a waterproof light fixture in tub or shower

- Raise toilet seat to a convenient height

- Relocate toilet paper roll to easy-to-reach area

Storage

- Install lights in closets

- Install easy-to-reach shelves and/or clothing rods

- Add hooks or drawers in convenient-to-reach locations

Daily Activities

- Relocate appliances to convenient location within rooms

- Adjust shelves and add countertops to reduce need to bend or stretch excessively

- Widen door wells, hallways and rooms to allow for walkers, canes and wheelchairs

To determine the home adaptations that best suit your needs, define which daily activities are challenges or often result in near accidents. Specialized adaptations can be made to any home for most mobility issues, visual challenges and hearing impairments. Friends or family can quickly install some adaptations, while others will require contractors or specialists. Contact your local disability resource centre, senior resource centre or CMHC for more information and resources on home adaptations that suit your needs.

Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) operates a program specifically designed to help homeowners and landlords cover the costs associated with making minor home adaptations, in order to extend the time seniors are able to live independently in their homes.

The program is called the Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence (HASI)

Up to $3,500 is available as a forgivable loan that does not have to be repaid, as long as the homeowner agrees to occupy the residence in which the adaptations were made for a minimum of six months.

Minor home adaptations that qualify for funding include such modifications as the installation of:

- handrails;

- easy-to-reach work and storage areas in the kitchen;

- lever handles on doors;

- walk-in showers with grab bars; and or

- bathtub grab bars and seats.

Many other minor home adaptations that benefit seniors with age-related disabilities may qualify for funding under the HASI program. All home adaptations covered by this program should be permanent and fixed to the dwelling. Any work carried out before the loan is approved in writing is not eligible for funding, so be sure to contact CMHC in advance of making any modifications to your home.

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Comments

Showing 1 to 2 of 2 comments.

Toolbox Renovations is a local Victoria company specializing in home renovations for seniors who want to continue living safely and comfortably in their own homes. Give us a call for a no charge assessment and estimate. 250-818-9793 Regards, Steve Burgess Certified tradesman

Posted by Steve Burgess | February 4, 2013 Report Violation

Staying in your own home is desirable and comforting as the years go by. Adapting your home to make that possible does not always mean that major construction is necessary.

There is a wide variety of products that can help make your home more comfortable, maneuverable and safe while you age in place.

Visit the Famous PlumbingSupply to view an extensive selection of quality, brand name products aimed at making independent living, in your own home, possible:

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/senior-assisted-living-products.html

Please feel free to contact our Customer Service Department with your questions or concerns, toll free at 800-581-6162.

Posted by PlumbingSupply Group, LLC | January 19, 2012 Report Violation

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