Aging in place possible with options from Western Elevator

Courtesy of the Tri-City News: RenoNation – April 18, 2012
by: Maggie Calloway

We are hearing a lot lately about aging in place. This single subject will become more and more important over the next few years as our population ages.

Research shows the very best thing for our aging population is to stay in the neighbourhood they know, if at all possible. We all need a sense of community and that basic need doesn’t change as we age; in fact it’s just the opposite. Knowing your neighbours, your doctor, dentist and shoe repair store is a major part of belonging. As the theme song of Cheers said, “Everyone knows your name.”

Staying in place is sometimes easier said than done. If the home is on multiple levels and mobility is an issue, moving or finding another solution is paramount.

With 35 years in the business, partners Alan Bodnaruk and Cam Pomeroy of Western Elevators are certainly in that category. “There are a variety of ways the home can be modified to assist movement in the home from level to level,” Bodnaruk says. “Stairlifts, a sturdy chair assembly unit that travels up and down on a steel rail mounted to the staircase, are the easiest to install. They may be straight, curved, or custom fitted. Stairlifts are very easy to use, very secure and can be folded out of the way when not in use.”
A stairlift is a great solution for most but if a member of the family is in a wheelchair another method is necessary.

“Our next product is a Porchlift or a Decklift. This unit is a platform used outside to assist a family member to change levels such as from the car to a deck on the second or main floor,” Bodnaruk says. “This works great for many applications but the con is it’s outside so if you want to change levels inside you would have to go outside in sometimes-inclement weather. This is perfect if you are coming or going from the house and works if you cannot install an elevator inside the house because of physical space.”

This brings us to the ultimate people mover, the residential elevator.

“To install a residential elevator we are looking at approximately a 5’ x 6’ area where we would build a shaft. We need rooms that line up above each other and enough room to take that footprint for the elevator,” Bodnaruk says. “In other words we need rooms big enough to allocate the space. Another alternative, if the house is not big enough, is to put the elevator shaft on the outside of the house if there
is enough room without intruding on a neighbour. Installing an elevator is the most expensive option because of the higher
cost of an elevator plus work involved such as construction costs and, depending on the placement, we often have to move plumbing and electrical then refinish floors. The good news is installing an elevator gives total mobility throughout the home to all family members and increases the value of the home.”

Lots of options to consider when deciding whether to stay in your home and modify where needed or move. Moving is an expensive business and you may find staying where you love, and making the necessary improvements, is comparable.

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