Guest Blog: Aging-In-Place Assessment

homeBy Mary Jane Carroll

We need your help! Over the next few weeks students and faculty in the Bachelor of Interior Design program will be looking for community volunteers to participate in our “aging-in-place” study. If you are aged 50 or older and own your own home, and if you would prefer to stay in that home for as long as possible but are unsure of the type and cost of home modifications available to you, then please consider this opportunity!

The study is scheduled to begin this March. The goal is to provide older adult homeowners with a free in-home assessment by trained, qualified interior design students. These students will help you to understand the types of affordable, available options currently on the market to support your safety and comfort for the years ahead.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a research study, and should be regarded as such. Although we will provide cost estimates of potential home modifications the students will not be able to either sell any products or to provide any home renovation services to the homeowner. This is a study to raise awareness only.

Why in-home assessments? More than 80% of older adults surveyed in a recent CARP study indicated that they would prefer to stay in their own home for as long as possible. At the same time, many were unaware of the type and cost of home modifications necessary or available to support this goal. Our goal is to bring together local homeowners with qualified student researchers to help provide information on affordable, practical home modification solutions that will bridge this gap and encourage healthy aging in place.

Who can participate? Any older adult homeowners (condos, townhouses, single family homes) living in the Mississauga, Oakville, and Hamilton area with plans to remain in their current home for as long as possible.

What’s involved? Student researchers will be matched with participants to evaluate the aging-in-place readiness of your home. They will be using a custom checklist to identify potential problem areas in your home. In addition, and with your permission, they will take site measurements and photos to include in a report that will be provided to you after their visit.

Is it safe? All student groups are supervised and trained by the principal investigator, Professor Mary Jane Carroll.

Time involved? You can expect two visits from the teams. The first visit could last as long as two hours with students carefully working through the checklist and asking you a few questions. The second session will be shorter, when the results of the assessment are presented to you along with cost estimates for potential modifications. The assessment package is yours to keep free of charge!

Interested in participating? Please contact me, Professor Mary Jane Carroll, either via email at maryjane.carroll@sheridancollege.ca or by telephone at 905-510-4993.

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Mary Jane Carroll is a professor in the Bachelor of Interior Design program at Sheridan College. She developed a specialized post-diploma program at Sheridan called “Aging in Place Design Specialist”. Mary Jane was published in “Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments,” and has presented her papers on Universal Design in England and the USA.

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