WINNIPEG — A first-of-its-kind program in Manitoba is allowing seniors and disabled individuals to develop a plan for aging in making their home more accessible.
Safe Living Manitoba launched Wednesday, designed to create the opportunity for people to remain in their homes for as long as possible.
“Our program is designed to identify and remove barriers to accessibility and reduce safety risks associated with aging in place, therefore preventing accidents that can lead to hospital admissions, or having to relocate to a new home,” said Marnie Courage, director of Enabling Access Inc. and creator of Safe Living Manitoba, a private occupational therapy company in Winnipeg.
There are three components of the program:
- Functional assessment (physical screening of resident, as required)
- Home access assessment (identify current and future environmental barriers to access)
- Consultation on support services, home modifications, and assistive devices to increase safety, accessibility and independence
A licensed occupational therapist completes the assessments at a cost of $350.
Courage says the key to aging in place safely is to be proactive and avoiding that first physical fall, which causes 85 percent of injury-related hospitalization, according to Health Canada statistics.
“The first contact with home care many seniors have is usually after they are admitted to the hospital for a serious fall or incident. The functional assessment can provide seniors and families with valuable information on their current health status and a plan of action before an accident happens.”
Safe Living Manitoba is a fee for service program.