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Aging in Place: Ensuring Your Home is Safe and Accessible with Leppard Inspections

Updated: Jun 11

Aging in place describes a senior citizen's ability to live independently in their home for as long as possible, avoiding the need to relocate for necessary support services. As Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) age, the population over 60 has increased significantly. By 2030, Statistics Canada estimates that 22.5% of the population in Canada will be over 65 years old. The Canadian Medical Association found that 96% of Canadians want to live independently and age at home. This is especially relevant in Niagara, as we are frequently listed as one of the top places to retire in Canada.


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Why Many Seniors Prefer to Age in Place


Nursing homes often represent a loss of freedom and reduced quality of life. Some concerns people have are:

  • Retirement homes can be very costly. At times, this expense can be as high as $6000 per month in Ontario, not including extra care.

  • Aging in place has less rules and regulations, allowing for greater freedom.

  • Independence allows us to maintain a sense of control or autonomy over our decisions and how we socialize.

  • Being in your own home can bring comfort and a level of familiarity. It can be uncomfortable for some people in long term care homes.



Aging-in-Place Home Inspections


At Leppard Inspections, we provide specialized aging-in-place inspections to ensure homes are safe and accessible for seniors. Our certified inspectors recommend necessary adaptations to improve maneuverability, accessibility, and safety. While this does not replace working with an occupational therapist for specialized recommendations based on your particular medical situation, it can be a great start in setting up your new (or existing) home or preparing to age in place in the future.



Key Home Modifications for Aging in Place:


Appliances:

  • Wall-mounted microwave oven for easy access

  • Side-by-side refrigerator/freezer for convenience

  • Front-loading washer and dryer at a raised height

  • Induction cooktops to prevent burns


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Bathroom:

  • Fold-down shower seat for safety

  • Adjustable showerheads with a 6-foot hose

  • Grab bars around the tub and toilet

  • Slip-resistant flooring in bathrooms and showers


Counters:

  • Roll-out trays in base cabinets

  • Pull-down shelving for easy reach

  • Adjustable-height counters for accessibility

  • Glass-front cabinet doors for visibility


Exterior:

  • Low-maintenance materials like vinyl or brick

  • Low-maintenance landscaping


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Entry:

  • Sensor light at the no-step entry

  • Non-slip flooring in the foyer

  • Accessible pathways to the home

  • Entry door with sidelight or peephole


Electrical, Lighting, Safety, and Security:

  • New smoke and CO detectors

  • Automated lighting and emergency alert systems

  • Accessible thermostats and light switches


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Faucets:

  • Anti-scald controls

  • Lever handles for ease of use


Flooring:

  • Low-density carpet with a firm pad

  • Smooth, non-glare surfaces for safety


Hallways:

  • Wide and well-lit

  • Secure rugs and runners


HVAC:

  • Energy-efficient units

  • Accessible filters

  • Windows for ventilation


Overall Floor Plan:

  • Single-story living areas

  • No steps between rooms


Reduced Maintenance and Convenience Features:

  • Easy-to-clean surfaces

  • Central vacuum systems

  • Intercom systems


Stairways, Lifts, and Elevators:

  • Handrails on both sides

  • Residential elevators or lifts

  • Enhanced visibility on stairs


Storage:

  • Lighted closets

  • Adjustable shelves and rods


Windows:

  • Abundant natural light

  • Easy-to-operate hardware



Advice for Those Who Wish to Age in Place


1. Discuss long-term living preferences with family.

2. Evaluate your finances and retirement funds.

3. Remodel your home or Relocate into your new home before mobility becomes an issue.

4. Invest in major home projects while still earning a healthy income.

5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle to support aging in place.



Leppard Inspections is dedicated to helping seniors live safely and comfortably in their homes. Whether you live or are buying a new home in St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland, Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Dunnville, Lincoln, Wainfleet, Pelham, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, West Lincoln, Grimsby, Beamsville, Stoney Creek or Hamilton - we're here to help. Our comprehensive home inspections and aging-in-place inspections provide detailed recommendations for creating a safe, accessible living environment.


Contact Leppard Inspections today to schedule your home inspection and let us know about your aging-in-place plans. Let's work together to ensure your home is ready for the future.

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Aging in place offers senior citizens the opportunity to maintain their independence and enjoy a higher quality of life within the comfort of their own homes. By proactively addressing potential safety and accessibility issues, you can create a living environment that adapts to your changing needs. At Leppard Inspections, we are committed to providing thorough and compassionate inspections to help you achieve this goal. Trust us to guide you through the necessary modifications to ensure your home is safe, accessible, and ready for the future.

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