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National Survey Shows Canadians Overwhelmingly Want to Age at Home; Just One-Quarter of Seniors Expect to Do So

·5 min read

Home Modifications a Key Solution to Close the Aging-in-Place Gap

TORONTO, April 27, 2021 /CNW/ - A new national survey on aging-in-place and home modifications has revealed Canadians are facing an "aging-in-place gap", as over three-quarters (78 per cent) of Canadians want to age in their current homes – but just 26 per cent predict they'll be able to do so.

The National Home Modifications Surveyi, commissioned by March of Dimes Canada in collaboration with Caregiver Omnimedia and conducted by Vivintel, highlighted the gap between Canadians who want to age at home and those who expect they'll be able to do so. Survey findings suggest home modifications such as building access ramps, installing assistive devices, lifts and smart home systems, are a key solution to closing the gap, supporting Canadian seniors and those living with disabilities to remain in their own homes through all life stages.

March of Dimes Canada commissioned the study to better understand the complex challenges faced by Canadian seniors and people living with disabilities as they contend with major life decisions about their living environment. The research also examined the degree to which seniors and Canadians with disabilities, as well as their families, friends and caregivers, consider home modifications to be a solution to remaining independent in their homes.

Leonard Baker, President and CEO of March of Dimes Canada, today released the study results, saying, "Canadian seniors and people with disabilities overwhelmingly want to live in their own homes throughout their lives. Our society must work to close the aging-in-place gap so starkly identified in this research."

Baker added, "This research underscores the importance of programs like March of Dimes Canada's Home and Vehicle Modifications Programii (HVMP) as a vital mechanism to fully deliver on federal and provincial governments' commitments to aging-in-place and de-institutionalization. Tax credits are an incomplete solution to this growing challenge."

The aging-in-place gap needs immediate solutions such as government-funded home modifications programs, particularly for Canadians with below average incomes, as the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased Canadians' desire to avoid long-term care as they age. Key insights from the research show:

  • 78 per cent of working age adultsiii and 93 per cent of seniorsiv agree that home modifications help people to age-in-place.

  • The cost of home modifications is an identified barrier for over 50 per cent of adults and seniors.

  • Almost two-thirds of adults and seniors agree that home modifications should be publicly funded for seniors and Canadians with permanent disabilities with below average incomes.

  • Home modifications were seen as a more cost-effective solution than living in a retirement home of long-term care facility by 63 per cent of adults and 83 per cent of seniors.

  • Remaining independent and avoiding long-term care are key drivers for more than half of Canadians, including over 60 per cent of seniors, who said they are planning to modify their homes for care reasons.

The National Home Modifications Survey is propelling March of Dimes Canada's work to advocate for increased HVMP funding from the Ontario government, and to expand the highly successful program across Canada in order to close the aging-in-place gap, enabling Canadian seniors and people with disabilities to remain independent and live meaningful, connected lives in their own homes and communities.

About March of Dimes Canada
March of Dimes Canada is one of the country's largest non-profit organizations for people with disabilities, their families and communities, offering a wide array of programs and services to support their everyday independence and empowerment. March of Dimes Canada has operated as a service delivery organization since 1951 and has an in-depth understanding of the diverse needs of people living with disabilities based on our role as a service provider. March of Dimes Canada's Home and Vehicle Modification Program (HVMP) provides Ontario government-funded grants to Ontario seniors and people with disabilities to modify their home and/or vehicle to foster independence and community connection.

About Vivintel
Vivintel is the custom research arm of Vividata—a not-for-profit organization with roots in consumer and media research dating back over 40 years. Vividata conducts one of the largest consumer and media studies in Canada, known as the Survey of the Canadian Consumer. With its proficiency in survey design, Vivintel offers bespoke solutions to deliver 'a closer look' on unique research needs.

About Caregiver Omnimedia
Caregiver Omnimedia is a marketing consultant and media company founded to connect, engage, and inform family caregivers, with a focus on caregiving for those with disabilities and families caregiving for aging parents. With over 150 years of collective marketing and management experience, our team observes, researches, and creates programs to fill the gaps on how Canadians perceive, portray, and engage older adults, and those with disabilities as valued consumers.


i National Home Modifications Survey commissioned by March of Dimes Canada, with study design and reporting by Vivintel, the custom research arm of Vividata. Survey conducted in October 2020, with 4507 online interviews completed by respondents age 18-85 recruited from Ipsos Logit, Leger and Delvinia panels. The survey's margin of error is +/- 5%.

ii The Home and Vehicle Modification Program (HVMP), funded by the government of Ontario and delivered by March of Dimes Canada, provides grants up to $15,000 for Ontarians with disabilities and Seniors to modify their home or vehicle to facilitate independence and safety at home.

iii The National Home Modification Survey defines "working age Canadians" as those age 18-64.

iv The National Home Modification Survey defines "senior Canadians" as those age 65 and over.

SOURCE March of Dimes Canada


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