Ag­ing in Place an idea whose time has come

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mike Moore

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

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