Sunday, April 13, 2014

Aging In Place

Like you, I want to stay in my home as long as possible and I've met many customers who feel the same way. The vast majority of customers who are concerned with these matters have or have a family member with a mobility issue, are faced with the challenges of housing an aging parent, or are proactively making the right decisions to help them make use or modify their existing space for the future. 

I want you to know that if you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone, there are others who have been here before, and there is help to get you what you need.

Health Canada has put together some thoughts on the matter and you can find them here at Thinking About Aging In Place.

I have to agree with their list of questions we, as individuals, need to consider as we age. I would also like to share many of my customers ask:
  • If I want to live in my current home as I age, what modifications could help me remain safe? (e.g., installing hand rails, a ramp, emergency response systems, etc.)
  • How will I maintain my home if I need help? Are there services available in my community? Do I have the money to pay for the services if I need them?
  • Do I need to move to a more manageable home or consider a home without stairs?
  • What are my housing options if my current home no longer suits my needs? What will be the costs?
The article also mentions you need to either move to or be living in an area where you are able to receive the support needed.  Selecting a neighbourhood, maintaining strong connections with family and friends, and staying healthy are wonderful assets as well, but if you have trouble getting up and down the stairs, doorways need to be made larger, or hallways are too constricting, you need answers today that work for you and enable you to stay in your home tomorrow.

It comes as no surprise builders of new homes design for young healthy people (and I plead guilty on that charge), and these homes will become hostile or unlivable for anyone who is older or has a mobility issue.  Considering 90% of people aged 55 today say they want to live in their home for as long as possible, changes are needed to make their existing home more livable.

Seniors Real Estate News says "the number of seniors requiring assistance is expected to double in the next 30 years, and some 10 million existing homes will need accessibility updating if those Canadians are to age in place." You can read the full article here.

Right now you probably have a number of questions about where to start and what plans to make to convert your existing hostile home into a supportive environment you can enjoy as you age. You may also be wondering what your next steps are if you do decide to go ahead and have some work done. Questions like: how do you know if you're getting a fair price for the work?

Well, there are resources and experienced professionals out there who care, and I'm one of them.

To help you, I'm going to do what I can here to provide you with the information you need to get solid pricing and service from building professionals you hire to do the work for you.

You deserve no less.
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