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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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LDOT Charitable Supports – Giving Back and Paying Forward

LDOT Charitable Supports – Giving Back and Paying Forward

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Lesya Dyk has one man to thank for Lesya Dyk O.T. Service Inc. having a charitable policy. And that man is a plumber (a very rich plumber) from London England, Charlie Mullins. Charlie was featured in the original BBC series “Secret Millionaire”, as was his family. Charlie’s life changed when he volunteered at a programme for developmentally delayed men in a garden centre in the North of England. Neither the staff nor the clients knew who he was, and did not know that he was in fact, a millionaire. After watching this programme, Lesya was so moved by the results of Charlie Mullins’ volunteerism and charity, and moreover the profound change to Charlie in the course of the programme, that she contacted and corresponded with Charlie, and as a result developed a charitable policy. Part of that charitable policy is giving back to the communities in which we work (giving back), and investing in programmes for kids (paying it forward, to the next generation).

What was made abundantly clear in that episode of “Secret Millionaire”, is that everybody wants to be productive, wants to belong, and wants to have a bit of respect. And these men, who society often marginalized, wanted nothing more to “hang out” with a “bloke” who wanted to make garden projects with them, and who treated them with respect. And in the end, as well as a generous donation to the project, they received a donation of some facilities so they had a proper bathroom. It hit all the Occupational Therapy buttons- Self care, Productivity, Leisure, and a few other things as well. We will endeavor to place on our website; information of our charitable partners so you too can be inspired…

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