Aging in Place an idea whose time has come
IAM frequently asked to gaze into the crystal ball and forecast coming trends and changes in the residential construction industry. Normally, I don’t have to look any further than the Parade of Homes or the Renovation of the Year Awards. These events bring out the best in newhome construction and renovations, producing the most innovative and creative work imaginable. However, the Manitoba Home Builders Association is about to introduce a program that will change the way many of us look at our places of residence. The 50+ age demographic is the fastest-growing segment of our population and a large majority want to stay in their homes as they age. The accessibility features in much of our older housing stock will not be able to accommodate the inevitable demand. Aging households may also become multigenerational households. This is particularly true in culturally diverse populations. Therefore, the MHBA is proud to introduce the Aging in Place certification course, a three-day workshop that teaches the technical, business management and customer service skills essential to competing in one of the fastest-growing segments of the residential construction industry. To date, this course has only been offered in Halifax. Manitoba will be the first to create certified Aging in Place specialists (CAPS) west of the Atlantic Ocean. A registered, certified instructor will be flown into Winnipeg for the Feb. 10-12 workshop. The MHBA, our builder members and our renovator members are all proud to be the pioneers of this concept. Allowing people to stay longer in their homes as they age will result in a wide variety of benefits. Homeowners will have more adaptable homes that will permit them to maximize usage for longer periods. Whether it is because of a disability or a preference, the choice is theirs. Renovators and builders will be developing a previously untapped market. Whether it is the construction of a new home in a new neighbourhood or upgrading an older home, opportunities are plentiful for new designs and concepts to maximize use of all spaces. When homeowners find it too difficult to navigate around their home, they often seek out the services of group facilities. There is a cost to everyone to provide these services. By being able to stay longer in your own home, these costs are reduced. Certified Aging in Place specialists will be the new experts in this rapidly growing field, available exclusively through the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Homebuilders’ Association