Senior Care

Embracing Aging 2020

Embracing Aging 2020 is an upcoming free series of presentations to help people going through this process to better equip themselves for the inevitable changes. All of the presentations are at Eglinton St. George’s United Church. There are a number of topics that are to be discussed including:

Feb. 2: Aging-in-Place: Growing Older, Staying at Home. This is all about staying safe and independent in your home or condo as well as how to make it free of barriers and adaptable to your changing needs. Carried out by Margot McWhirter, an Occupational Therapist and specialist in the field of aging-in-place.

Mar. 29: Scam Alert! Presented by Patrick McKeen of the Better Business Bureau. This is all about how consumers can protect themselves from the most significant scams out there.

Apr. 19: Coming of Age. Presentation by Dr. Samir Sinha on Ontario’s and Toronto’s Senior Strategy, how it was carried out and other progress to date.

Design Ideas

Making Your Home “Visitable”

While you may not require any changes or modifications to your home for yourself, many people have friends and relatives who require some level of modification to be able to visit. This is called “visitability” and it is becoming more and more popular for individuals as well as for planning organizations in various levels of government.

So, what makes a home “visitable”? Of course, if you have a specific person or group of people in mind, the answer to this question can also be specific. However, there are a number of common elements to home visitability.

At least one zero-step entrance. This can be either at the front or back of the house but the idea is to have a way for people to enter the house without having to use steps.

Interior doors having a minimum of clear-opening of 32 inches. This is to allow people in wheelchairs, walkers, etc. to be able to get through the door. If possible, making the doorway even wider and adding easy-open hardware (like lever door handles which don’t require someone to grip and turn) is also recommended.

36 inch wide hallways. These allow for easy movement through the ground floor and while doors might be slightly narrower, it is important to not have high thresholds at the doors. It’s recommended to be less than 1/2 inch but 1/4 is even better.

Ground floor bathrooms. Making a bathroom accessible on the main floor making visiting so much easier for people with accessibility issues.

Controls less than 48 inches above floor level. Whether they be light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, etc., having the house controls at the level allows everyone access.

Visitability is a basic component of universal design principles which focus on creating homes that everyone can live in and visit. Whether you are doing it for yourself, friends, family or just someone who drops by, giving thought to some of these changes can make a world of difference to someone visiting you. Want some more information? Why not visit VisitAble Housing Canada to learn a bit more!