Many older Winnipeg residents are faced with a growing need for home repairs. Whether you’re a landlord looking to fix up your property or a senior who wants to make your home more accessible, there are a number of programs and services in Winnipeg that can help.
Aging-in-Place renovations are a growing solution for seniors who want to remain in their homes despite limitations related to age and mobility. These modifications can include wide doorways, hallways and bright natural light.
When seniors have difficulty completing Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting and self-administration of medication, they may require residential care. Residential care options include enriched housing programs (EHPs), residences for adults and personal care homes.
These facilities are smaller than assisted living communities and offer a variety of services and amenities. They often have a nurse on staff, as well as support with personal hygiene and activities of daily living.
Depending on the community, residents pay monthly fees for room, board, housekeeping, case management and activities. Some communities allow residents to use government assistance to help with their monthly costs.
The Seniors Home Maintenance Program is designed to help seniors complete various home repairs at a reasonable rate. This program provides seniors with names of people who can do light housekeeping, yard work, snow shoveling, painting, carpentry and other handy jobs.
Aids to Independent Living
Independent living aids are designed to help seniors maintain or regain independence with their activities of daily living (ADLs). These can include a wide range of devices and supplies that promote self-reliance and enable people to perform everyday tasks.
For seniors, independent living is a key element of aging well, as it increases feelings of confidence and control and eases day-to-day life by lowering their dependence on others. Ultimately, it creates a safer living environment for those with mobility or strength issues and helps to improve quality of life.
Seniors living in their own homes can make small changes to their home to increase their safety and independence, such as removing items that could pose a trip or fall hazard or adding brightly coloured tape to the edges of stairs for extra support. A number of government programs in Canada provide funding for accessibility modifications and repairs to homeowners, low-income seniors or those with disabilities.
Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program
As seniors age, they often need to make home repairs to adapt their homes for health and safety. Fortunately, there are many government programs that offer financial assistance for these renovations and modifications.
Generally, these projects help senior homeowners maintain their independence at home and prevent accidents and injuries. These can be anything from simple fixes like replacing doorknobs with pull handles, to major structural improvements such as installing a wheelchair ramp.
The Manitoba Government offers a Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) that helps eligible seniors finance home repairs, adaptations and renovations with a low interest home equity loan. The program also has a forgivable loan component that allows a portion of the total amount to be forgiven over time.
If you need repairs to your home, you may be eligible for a zero-interest, forgivable loan. These loans are aimed at health and safety issues, such as roof replacements, plumbing, and electrical systems.
This program also helps seniors who own their homes and need minor adaptations to facilitate independent living. They may be able to apply for up to $3,500 in assistance towards handrails, walk-in showers, or easy-to-reach storage spaces in the kitchen.
In Ontario, low-income homeowners, senior citizens, and people with disabilities can apply for funding through the Ontario Renovates program, administered by municipalities. Funding varies according to the municipality, but it typically comes in the form of a grant or forgivable loan.
In Manitoba, the Metis Federation recently launched a $1.5 million forgivable loan program to help Metis homeowner-occupants make critical home repairs. The MMF says that this program will join other programs such as the First Time Home Purchase Program and affordable housing projects in helping Metis people to live in their own homes longer.