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According to the National Home Modifications Survey, 78% of Canadians want to age in their own home. However, only 26% predict they’ll be able to do so.
Aging in place can bring multiple benefits to your loved ones. It gives them an increased sense of independence and control over their own life. It allows them to stay close to the friends and community they love and stay in the home where they’ve made precious memories. It can also be a healthier environment than residential care facilities, where infections can spread much more rapidly.
If you have a loved one who wants to age in their own home but isn’t sure they’ll be able to, below are three ways you can help.
- Help make their home safe and accessible
Depending on your loved one’s needs, they may need to make modifications to their home. If they use a wheelchair, this might involve widening doorways and installing a ramp or a lift at the entrance to their home. If they struggle to use the stairs a stairlift could be useful. Likewise, adjustable beds and electric recliner chairs can help those who have difficulty getting up and down. At the very least, grab bars should be considered for the bathroom, which is the most common site of slips and falls. If your loved one needs help deciding what types of home modifications are right for them, Wellwise Home Services can help. Our CAPS-certified consultants will carry out an assessment of their home and make recommendations based on their specific needs.
The governments of Ontario and British Columbia have also introduced tax credits to help seniors and people with disabilities renovate their homes to make them safer and more accessible. The British Columbia program allows seniors to claim for renovation expenses incurred on or after April 12, 2012 and people with disabilities to claim for expenses incurred from February 17, 2016. The Ontario credit is available for the 2021 and 2022 tax years.
You can learn more about the tax credits and find out whether you’re eligible at the links below.
- British Columbia home renovation tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities
- Ontario Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit
It is always recommended to speak with a professional accountant or refer to your local government website for eligibility requirements and full details on a regular basis.
2. Consider in-home support
Just because your loved one wants to live independently doesn’t mean they have to do everything themselves. Hiring in-home support can be a great way of keeping them in their home – and can also help take some of the pressure off you! You can hire someone to come for just a couple of hours a week or even several hours a day. You might hire someone to help with personal care, such as dressing, using the washroom, and bathing. Or perhaps your loved one just needs someone to prepare their meals or clean the house.
3. Help your loved one stay mobile
Maximizing your loved one’s mobility is a key part of helping them move around their home and community safely and confidently, which in turn helps them maintain their independence. If your loved one has mobility issues, there’s a wide variety of mobility aids that can help. These range from canes and walkers, to wheelchairs and scooters. Expert staff at Wellwise by Shoppers locations can help advise you and your loved one which aids would be most suitable for their needs.
Everyone’s needs are unique, and what’s right for one person may not be right for another. So, be sure to discuss with your loved one, their friends, family, and healthcare providers what’s best for them to help them maintain their independence. We hope that with a few small adaptations, your loved one will be able to continue living in their home comfortably and confidently.
The information presented in this blog post is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.