Aging in place, Québec edition
December 20, 2021 9:04 AM   Subscribe

My mother (81) has moved into a new house. The plan is to do what we can to have her living there as long as possible. What kind of professions do we need to engage with to assess the current layout and needs, propose changes, make designs and drawings. Further: what Canadian federal or Quebec programmes or tax supports exist to help implement these?

After a couple of hard years, a move from the old rural family house to an apartment in Montréal, death of one parent at the outset of Covid lockdowns, we have managed to move my mother back to her old community in Western Québec. There she walks in the forest every day, tons of friends are around to provide company and support, the dog is happier. The house we found is a bungalow, on a level lot, walking distance to the village which has cafes, groceries, a small hospital, etc. The plan is to do what we can to have my mum have as long a time living here. For that we will need to make a few adjustments.

This is what we can see right away:

* The house is a bungalow, but it is about 6 feet above grade. The stairs leading to front and back doors will be completely reconstructed, with a low angle ramp for both.

* At least one bathroom will be changed to have the shower/tub combo changed to something walk in, with a bench. Or a complete change to a more Euro style 'wet room' might be the ticket. The toilets are in narrow alcoves in both bathrooms, with no room for eventual wheel chairs or walkers.

* The flooring is fairly cheap laminate, and it is very slippery. It is also looking a bit long in the tooth so needs to be replace anyways.

The questions are:

1) For assessing and recommending changes, do we find an occupational therapist? Are there people whose job / training is specifically about adapting living spaces?

2) Are there architects, designers or contractors that specialize in drawing up renovations / modifications?

3) What are the keywords to search for when trying to find architects and contractors for this?

4) Specifically in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, any recommendations?

5) What federal or provincial programmes exist that we may be able to tap into? Tax credits or deductions ?

Anything else? I'm hoping to get the consultation / design thing done January through April of the coming year. I am then taking a unpaid leave of absence and, with my brothers will be able to do quite a bit of the construction. If there are contractors taking care of other stuff at the same time, we will be around to help with project management and direction.
posted by bumpkin to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In Ontario here, but in terms of federal tax credits, one thing you'll want to look at what's eligible (or not) under Home accessibility expenses.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:16 AM on December 20, 2021

An occupational therapist will certainly be able to do a home safety assessment/activites of daily living assessment, but their training tends to be more oriented toward compensating for existing hazards in the home rather than full remodeling. It might be a good place to start though.

"Universal design" is the term for home architecture/design that is accessible to everyone. It looks like there's a nonprofit in Quebec that does this--it kind of looks like they're more oriented toward bigger projects, but it might be a good jumping off point.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 11:12 AM on December 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

There are architects who specialize in updating properties to be more accessible. I’ve seen them billed as things like ‘ADA Architects’ (which is obviously a US specific term), and Accessibility Consultants. I’m American, but I would expect similar professionals to exist in Ottawa, with similar names.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 5:24 PM on December 20, 2021

« Older Need to find a Western MA Lawyer specializing in...   |   Recommendations for eco-friendly household... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.