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Home Modification to Age in Place…Let’s Start that Conversation

Home Modification to Age in Place…Let’s Start that Conversation

Most people do not buy their first home with the idea of living there forever. But increasingly, seniors are not only living longer but are opting to “age in place” – to stay in their homes where they are happier and more comfortable.

Age in place

Most people do not buy their first home with the idea of living there forever. But increasingly, seniors are not only living longer but are opting to “age in place” – to stay in their homes where they are happier and more comfortable.

In this series of videos, we follow the journey of John and Inge – a couple who decided to “age in place”, but with a twist – they moved from a 2 storey 4 bedroom home to a bungalow while in their sixties. They made the modifications ahead of time, so they could be in control of the process, rather than have to consider making the changes on an emergency basis.

Most consumers do not yet recognize Home Modification as an industry. Why? Perhaps it has not been a priority in our society – until now. In an article published in Reuters (May 3, 2017), the following was reported: “The number of seniors in Canada exceeded the number of children for the first time last year, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday, pointing to the economic and social challenges facing the nation as the population ages.”

We must all start that conversation – NOW. We all must look into the future – our collective futures – and start to understand the needs of the consumer not only in the Home Health Sector, but in the Home Renovation and Home Modification sector as well.

When we tell governments, home builders and home renovators, consumer product industries, and our healthcare system what we want and what we need, we can all look forward to the possibility of ageing well, and ageing in place.

Video Series Age in Place – Episodes 1 through 4

Episode 1 of 4

Episode 2 of 4

Episode 3 of 4

Episode 4 of 4

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Ageing in place? – Think Ahead…..

Ageing in place? – Think Ahead…..


If you are in the position to purchase or modify your “forever home”, you may want to give some thought to how your home will accommodate you as you age. Ageing in place is something that you may be able to do relatively easily, if you take aging in place into consideration when you purchase or renovate your home. These are a few things that you should consider…

Access, Access, Access

How easily can you access the home? If you do not have a level walkway and front entrance, is there enough room to have a lift or ramping installed (ramping requires 12 feet of run for every one foot of rise), or is there easy access through the garage, where you are protected from the elements? Did you know, if you build a walkway at 1:21 it no longer is a ramp, and you can landscape it to beautify your curb appeal?

Can you access the main floor? Is it open and without those pesky changes in level (think split level townhouses, or even those pesky 1960’s sunken living rooms) You will need this if you have any mobility issues and need to use a walker or wheelchair.

And speaking of walkers and wheelchairs, are the hallways and doorways wide enough to accommodate you and your mobility aid around a corner? If you have a narrow door to the bathroom, and you are renovating it, budgeting for door widening is a must!

And the last thing about access – is there a bathroom on the first floor that has or is big enough to accommodate a three piece bath suite? Not having the ability to accommodate a bathroom is the number one reason people with mobility issues move residence.

While you’re at it…

Already mentioned was widening the doorway to the bathroom. While you’re at it, widen the door to your bedroom, or any room in which you have an expectation of privacy.

And if you are renovating the bathroom, consider installing a rite height toilet – it saves scrubbing a raised toilet seat. Grab bars are no longer a sign of disability. They can be a design statement. Several bathroom fixture manufacturers have designed soap holders and towel racks to double as grab bars. Lastly, those fancy bathtubs are great to soak in, but treacherous to get in and out of safely if your balance or strength is compromised. Think ahead – and think of your lifestyle – do I prefer bathing or showering? Barrier free showers and walk-in baths may be something that you adopt now, rather than in the future.

Managing the elements

We have mentioned the garage, but this is such a under utilized space. With some careful planning, you can avoid using the garage as the main storage space for your home, and have your accessibility to your home sorted out. It protects you from the elements when getting into your home, but also in and out of your car. A shorter driveway will lessen the need of contracting snow removal services as you age. Also, if you have your ramping or lift in the garage, you do not change the curb appeal of your home, nor do you advertise that a vulnerable individual may live there.

If you have any questions about Ageing in Place – contact us at info@LDOT.ca

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What is a Regulated Health Professional?

What is a Regulated Health Professional?

regulated-health-pro_largeA Regulated Health Professional that, by law, is a person whom must be registered by a regulatory body to have the right to call themselves a member of that profession and use the title. A College is a regulatory body that in the interest of public protection, supports health care professionals to ensure that they are competent, ethical and accountable.  Occupational Therapists in the province of Ontario must belong to the College of Occupational Therapist of Ontario (COTO).

Lesya Dyk has been committed a leader in the profession of Occupational Therapy, including sitting on the Council of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario for 9 years,  and as President from 2010-2013. During this time, her executive duties included signing into law, the updated Registration Regulation, which will allow the public more access to the Register of Occupational Therapists. This will allow the public to gain greater access to information about the practitioners that treat them, finding treating Occupational Therapists , and therefore increasing public protection and access to care.

For more information contact: www.coto.org

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What can I expect during my first meeting?

What can I expect during my first meeting?

meeting-occupational-therapist_largeIn your first meeting with your Occupational Therapist, she or he will introduce themselves and provide you with their business card. You will then know their credentials and how to contact them in the future if you need to.  The therapist will then explain the purpose of the assessment, and what will happen during the assessment. Usually, the assessment will include an interview portion, and assessment of the home or work environment, a brief physical assessment, and if necessary, some other assessments that might require answering questions or writing. This process is called obtaining informed consent, so you know what you agreeing to in your assessment.

After the assessment is complete, you will be given information as to the report, and who it will be sent to. Also, your therapist may ask for your permission to contact your family doctor or other health professionals. They will ask you to sign a consent form that given them permission to release information or contact specific professionals or both.

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