There are a few ways to address these needs and allow more people to overcome these limitations and remain independent where they live: New Homes Designs – If new homes were all built with universal design principles, they would minimize the need for anyone to move from their home prematurely. The Disabilities Act (2005) defines Universal Design (UD), as:
CONTRACTOR’S IMPACTS OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN & ACCESSIBLE LIVING by Dan Monk
Often with age comes mobility issues where everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs, taking a shower, or preparing a meal become more dif- ficult. In some cases, these daily tasks become so challenging that we must leave our homes and move to facilities built specifically to reduce these challenges. This also applies to people who have become injured due to work related acci- dents or other activities and people with physical or mental disabilities from birth or that develop over time. From my experience, most people with these mobility challenges typically wish to be at home in a familiar environment with their family to continue to live as limitless as possible for as long as they can. This decision takes a lot of planning, but ulti- mately, if this is what people want, then we need to see the possibilities beyond the current limitations
to empower these people. We must do whatever is best for their personal safety and personal freedom to allow them to stay in their home.
“The design and composition of an environment so that it may be accessed, understood and used (a) To the greatest possible extent (b) In the most independent and natural manner possible (c) In the widest possible range of situation (d) Without the need for adaptation, modification, assistive devices or specialised solutions, by any person of any age or size or having any particular physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual ability or disability” The Disabilities Act paved the way for the Accessible Canada Act (2019), which has been a significant move forward in addressing the future needs of all people to live as independently as possible. “Aging in Place” Renovations – Now for my area of expertise, this is taking the principles of Uni- versal Design and applying them to the specific needs of the current and future homeowner. The Centers for Disease Control defines Aging in Place as: “The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regard- less of age, income, or ability level.”
DECEMBER 2020 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2020
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