Canadians plan to spend roughly $44 billion on home modifications in the next two years to support their care needs or those of loved ones.
Toronto, ON, March 26, 2021
A recent study on Home Modification and Aging in Place conducted by Vivintel (Vividata's custom research arm) for March of Dimes Canada indicates that 57% of Canadians have chronic health problems, cognitive decline and mobility limitations that become more common with aging, and often result in older adults and those living with a disability struggling to live independently.
This reality has resulted in nearly 11 million Canadians planning to modify the home they live in for care-related reasons, and more than half of this group intend to modify their home in the next two years.
“People living with a disability and older Canadians want to live in their home as long as possible,” says Len Baker, President March of Dimes Canada. “Home Modifications allow people to remain safely in their community and to successfully age in place for less money than alternate choices. Our new national research finally puts compelling numbers to this important timely idea.”
Don Fenn, CEO of Caregiver Omnimedia states, “There are 6 million Canadians over the age of 65. This is the main group driving the projected $44 billion on Home Modifications for health that will be spent in the next two years. 81% of Canadians aged 65+ prefer to live in their homes, with only 4% looking at retirement homes, 2% looking to live with a family or friend, and only 1% choosing long term care.”
Focusing on the consumer perspective with regard to home modifications and aging in place, findings from this study include:
• A projected 57% of Canadians aged 18-85 live with a disease, disability, or health condition. Nearly half of adults (49%) live with a physical condition(s) ranging from a permanent to short term disability, to mobility or dexterity related issues, to hearing and vision loss.
• 1 out of 5 adults (21%) live with a permanent physical and/or mental disability which affects a major life function.
• Living with a disease, disability, or health condition is most prevalent among the 6 million Canadians over the age of 65, with just over 9 out of 10 living with a physical condition(s) ranging in severity, and 1 out of 10 living with a general reduced ability to care for oneself.
• Just over 1 out of 4 Canadians (28%) live in a home that has been modified for reasons related to care; and just over 1 out of 3 (36%) live in a home which they plan to modify for care related reasons. Home modifications for care related reasons include: to support homecare services, to support an individual with/without a disability to live more independently at home, to avoid or delay inappropriate or early admission to a hospital or long-term care facility.
• Canadians who already modified their homes for care related reasons spent an estimated $46 billion on modifications within the past 5 years. Those who plan to modify will spend an estimated $44 billion in the next 2 years. These modifications range from the installation of handrails, access ramps, a barrier free accessible shower modification, to an in-home elevator, etc.
• To avoid inappropriate or early admission to a hospital or long-term care facility (for oneself or someone else) is the top reason to perform home modifications among those who plan to modify in the coming years.
Aging in Place:
• 78% of adult Canadians prefer to age in their current home; 6% would prefer to live with family or friends, 4% in a retirement home, an even lower 1% would prefer to age in a long-term care facility, and 12% are not yet sure of their preference.
• 2 out of 3 adults (67%) agree with the statement, “Modifications to an existing home are more cost-effective than living in a retirement home or long-term care facility.” Nearly 70% agree, “Aging-in-place gives a sense of dignity, which is unavailable to people who are in senior living facilities.”
• The number one challenge of aging-in-place identified by Canadians (at 55%) is initially “paying for home modifications,” as some, such as a major bathroom modification are often in excess of $15,000.
“As care needs increase, Canadians pursue a range of solutions including modifying the home rather than enter long term care facilities,” states Jason Lye, VP Home and Community Care at March of Dimes Canada. “March of Dimes Canada has seen a 66% increase in applications from older Canadians over the past 3 years. Post COVID-19, one of the most important societal issues we need to address is how we care for our older adults. March of Dimes Canada believes this research and results, the first of its kind in Canada, will provide a catalyst for much needed discussion and action on this societal issue.”
“With decades of experience surveying the behaviour, attitudes and opinions of Canadian consumers, Vividata was perfectly suited to conduct this research for March of Dimes Canada in collaboration with Caregiver Omnimedia Inc.,” says Pat Pellegrini, President and CEO of Vividata. “As always, we are confident our survey research provides reliable and accurate data and information, leading to compelling insights on the needs of the aging and disabled populations in Canada.”
Aging in Place Conference 2021
Results from this study will be publicly presented for the first time at Caregiver Omnimedia’s 2021 Aging in Place Conference (Thursday, April 29, 2021).