A Transcona-based construction company is looking to help homeowners age in place.
"There is a growing trend across Canada for our seniors to live at home as they age" said Michael Reimer, owner of Vulcan Construction. "This trend was well established prior to COVID-19 and the alarming news coming out of our personal care homes and retirement living centres will only encourage people to want to stay home longer."
A former paramedic, Reimer has been working in the real estate and construction industry for nearly a decade. In October, the Transcona resident was certified as an "aging in place specialist" by the National Association of Home Builders.
"I saw the need (for aging in place) first as a paramedic from a completely different perspective," Reimer said. "Responding to 65-and-over calls for people in their own homes is a large majority of what I did."
Not only does the certification allow him to expand his business, but also to provide peace of mind to his clients.
"People with mobility issues can live in their own home for a long time if they’re equipped with the right supports," Reimer said.
With baby boomers and even Gen Xers beginning to need more support as they age, Reimer believes that aging in place is set to become a big priority for homeowners of those demographics.
"Personal care homes can’t handle the demand," Reimer said, noting that many people also don’t want to move into a personal care home if they can help it.
Homebuilders are already noting the demand for multigenerational housing, Reimer said.
"The secondary suite program I think has been a big success, which really opened the doors to proper, functional multigenerational homes," Reimer said. "That’s a trend you see across the country"
Safety and comfort are the two primary concerns raised by clients looking to renovate their existing homes so that they can age in place, Reimer noted.
"That’s what I hear people talking about the most," he said.
According to Reimer, the most popular, and economical, improvement for aging in place is the bathroom.
"It’s a necessity," he said. "When you need to shower or use the washroom, you need to be able to do that alone."
Options range from adding grab bars or seats to completely removing the bathtub and replacing it with "beach entry" showers that don’t require stepping over a slippery lip.
"We have a solution that will work for your budget," Reimer said. "We can work with whatever, whether that’s making it easier to get into the tub rather than removing the tub."
For more information, visit www.vulcanconstruction.ca or call 204-816-8699.
The Herald community journalist
Sheldon Birnie is the reporter/photographer for The Herald. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7112