With the increase in life expectancy and the growing desire to keep seniors in a family environment, many families are considering transforming their homes into an intergenerational space. This often involves renovations to ensure the comfort and safety of elderly family members. Here are some renovation ideas to consider for creating a welcoming and suitable home for everyone.
Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit (MHRTC)
This new tax credit, available since last year (2023), can be claimed on your income tax and benefit return when you do your taxes. To be eligible, “the secondary unit must allow a senior or adult entitled to the disability tax credit to live with an eligible relative.”
You can claim up to $50,000 in eligible expenses for each eligible renovation completed. The tax credit is 15% of your costs, up to a maximum of $7,500 for each claim for which you are eligible” (Government of Canada, 2023).
Accessibility should be the main focus of renovations. Installing ramps in stair areas, widening doors for wheelchairs, and installing elevators or stairlifts can greatly facilitate seniors’ mobility at home.
Safety in the Bathroom
Bathrooms need to be adapted to prevent falls. Consider installing grab bars, a shower seat, and non-slip flooring. A walk-in shower is also a great option for easy access.
Proper lighting is crucial to reduce the risk of falls. Make sure your home is well-lit, especially in hallways, stairways, and transition areas. Automatic lighting, such as motion sensors, can be a practical solution.
A Safe and Practical Kitchen
For more accessibility in the kitchen, lower countertops and cabinets. Cooking devices with user-friendly controls and safety features to help prevent accidents are also great options.
A Bedroom on the Ground Floor
If possible, set up the bedroom on the ground floor to avoid stairs. Make sure this room is easily accessible and comfortable, with enough space to move around freely.
Technology & Security
Technology can play a key role in creating a safe space for seniors. Medical alert systems, surveillance cameras, and connected devices can help monitor and keep elderly family members safe.
Communal Living Areas
Lastly, consider creating welcoming and comfortable communal living spaces to encourage family interactions. These areas should be spacious enough to accommodate all family members, including those with limited mobility.
Renovating your home to accommodate elderly family members is an investment in the comfort and safety of your loved ones. By following these tips, you can create an intergenerational space where all generations can live together in safety and harmony.
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