Almost 100 percent of Canadians 65 and older want to age in place, or continue to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible, according to the National Institute on Aging. Since nearly 30 percent of Canadians are Baby Boomers, with 5,000 retiring each day, this is something that all communities need to take seriously.
Older adults living in their communities longer is good news for those communities, because adults who age in place successfully incur lower health care costs and are able to contribute more to their communities. Seniors have become part of the weave of their community, moving less than half as often as their younger counterparts. To be clear, some of this may be because of financial restrictions and concerns after COVID ravaged Canadian nursing homes and retirement facilities.
Not only will it be less expensive for many people to remain in their homes, even if they need to retrofit their homes to help them age in place safely, but many older adults depend on the social and support network that they have spent a lifetime building in their community. However, an aging population will need specialized support, ranging from help with daily tasks and simple errands to home maintenance and renovation.
As attractive as aging in place is, there are some things older residents should do to prepare themselves and their homes for aging in place safely. For example, some changes to older residents’ homes may include replacing doorknobs with levers, widening doorways, installing grab bars and swapping tubs for easy-access showers. Despite renovations, some of those who would prefer to age at home aren’t able to do so.
When talking about assistance at home, many people’s minds will go to in-home aides, which, while obviously an important piece in helping older adults staying in their homes, isn’t the only kind of assistance for these seniors. Entrepreneurs have seen the need to assist older adults in staying home and to provide services to help with doing errands and day-to-day tasks or offering companionship services.
Between all this is a gap – home maintenance. Home maintenance is one of the things that older adults struggle with the most, and, as the home ages along with the owners, many of the whole-home systems, such as the plumbing, electrical or HVAC, need some TLC. Although older adults may not want to tackle some issues because of limited mobility, many issues need a professional touch.
During this pandemic, people, especially COVID-vulnerable older adults, want to know about the people coming into their homes – are they following safety precautions to protect themselves and their customers from the pandemic? And then there are unscrupulous contractors who will overpromise and underdeliver, providing shoddy and possibly unpermitted or unsafe work.
As an elected official, how can you help older residents with home maintenance issues while ensuring they’re protected from the pandemic and charlatans? By partnering with Service Line Warranties of Canada, you’ll give your residents access to our network of fully vetted contractors. All our contractors undergo background and drug screening and are fully licensed and insured. We also conduct post-job satisfaction surveys to ensure a great customer experience.
Our program also offers generous coverage for exterior water, sewer, gas and electrical service lines; interior plumbing, drainage and electrical systems; and HVAC systems for a low monthly fee with no call-out fees or deductible.
The program has an educational aspect, in which we work with municipal partners to inform homeowners of their service line responsibilities – something of which many homeowners are unaware. Our municipal partners review and approve all educational materials and they are mailed to residents at no expense to the city.
For more information on how we can help your senior residents age safely and secure in your community, contact us.