Pro­gram sup­ports se­nior home ren­o­va­tions

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The Al­berta govern­ment is propos­ing a bill to help se­niors stay in their home longer, and in safer con­di­tions.

Bill 5, the Se­niors’ Home Adap­ta­tion and Re­pair Act went through third read­ing at the Leg­is­la­ture on April 13. This act fea­tured a new low in­ter­est home equity loan pro­gram for se­niors to make im­prove­ments to their home for safety and sus­tain­abil­ity.

“Home should mean com­fort and se­cu­rity for all of us. For many se­niors, be­ing able to re­main in their homes for as long as they choose, or are phys­i­cally able, is vi­tal to their in­de­pen­dence and qual­ity of life. Our home adap­ta­tion and re­pair pro­gram would help se­niors stay at home. This pro­gram ad­dresses the needs and pri­or­i­ties of an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion,” said Lori Sig­urd­son, Min­is­ter of Se­niors and Hous­ing.

Tom Zariski, who sits on the board of the Drumheller and District Se­niors As­so­ci­a­tion, says it ap­pears to be a pos­i­tive pro­gram.

Any money di­rected to­wards mak­ing the in­creas­ing se­niors pop­u­la­tion in our prov­ince achieve a higher qual­ity of life is wel­come,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, there would be ap­prox­i­mately 145,000 house­holds el­i­gi­ble for the pro­gram. Ren­o­va­tions that qual­ify in­clude widen­ing door­ways or hall­ways, in­stalling walk in tubs, roof re­place­ment and elec­tri­cal re­pairs While Zariski sees val- ue, it is not the most press­ing need in the val­ley and area.

“That be­ing said, there is still a large in­fras­truc­ture gap be­tween se­niors ag­ing in their homes and need­ing hospi­tal care,” he said. “There is a des­per­ate need for Sup­ported Liv­ing Level 4 ac­com­mo­da­tion where se­niors who can­not live in their homes but do not re­quire a hospi­tal level of care are housed in a Lodge set­ting which pro­vides a much higher qual­ity of life than a hospi­tal.”

Home should mean com­fort and se­cu­rity for all of us.... This pro­gram ad­dresses the needs and pri­or­i­ties of an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion.”

While the an­nounce­ment of the Se­niors’ Home Adap­ta­tion and Re­pair Act is wel­come., Tom Zariski feels Drumheller’s most press­ing need lies in Sup­port­ive Liv­ing.

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