Health and Home Modifications 

Donna J. Franz has worked in healthcare for over 30 years as an Occupational Therapist. 


Who are Occupational Therapists (OT)?

Healthcare Professionals who solves problems; the kinds of problems that interfere with a person's ability to function safely and independently, in their homes, workplaces, and community.

Focus - your and your loved ones current and future needs and desires 


  • safety and independence (mobility, cooking, showering, transportation, play),

  • how to modify homes, gardens, school environments, community and/or work environments,

  • how to manage chronic health conditions  (pain, fatigue) and loss of sensory abilities (vision, hearing, smell, taste, sensation and dexterity).

  • how to transition from hospital or convalescent care to home.


How -  Recommendations for adaptive aids, safety equipment, modified designs and assistive or ergonomic technology, to help manage:

  • pain and inflammation,

  • fatigue and muscle weakness,

  • balance issues, 

  • risk and fear of falling,

  • repetitive strain, e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer's elbow,

  • the health changes associated with aging,

  • changes in mental health, e.g. memory loss, dementia.

Aging in Place Home Modifications

~ Do you remember a time when you were proactive and your actions saved your money, protected your health and provided you with a sense of ease and safety?


Over 90 % of Canadians polled wish to age in their own home. For many the reasons are financial, quality of life, and/or preserving their legacy and family history.

Aging in Place home modifications can benefit all of us, at any age. Why go to the trouble of modifying your home?

Aging family member

Cost of Assisted Living ~ works for some; however, the Average Monthly Living expense in Kelowna is :

  • $2700.00 each month ~  $32,400.00 per year

  • over 3 years ~ $97,200.00

  • over 10 years ~$324,000.00.



Growing family member






New family member












Minor - Major renovations ~ The cost varies :

  • dependent on the number of room(s),

  • total square footage of space,

  • cost of materials,

  • cost of professional services - Home Modification Occupational Therapist, a contractor, designer(s), trades expertise and architect. For $100,000 (approximately one year in Assisted Living) you potentially could create major renovations to a bathroom and kitchen. 


Renovations using Universal Design principles can last greater than 10 years, add to the re-sale value to your home, welcome intergenerational living, welcome new members to the family, prevent the need for tiring and overwhelming moves. Moving will cost you real-estate fees and lawyers fees to change the title on your home. Paying for movers and new home upgrades is also a likely cost.


Minor Modifications ~ 

  • Appropriate selection and secured installation of grab bars

  • Safe hardware, e.g door handles, locks, hinges

  • Fall prevention strategies, e.g. change in flooring, non-slip surfaces and tile

  • Modified lighting, e.g. sensored, use of circadian lighting

  • Smart home technology

  • Accessible entrances, e.g. sloped entry, good lighting, non-slip surfaces, overhead protection.

Major Modifications ~ examples  !

  • Zero-threshold showers - for ease of access, fall prevention.

  • Recommendations for optimal equipment, e.g. stair glide styles, elevators, lifts.

  • Widening doors and hallways,

  • Modifying exterior entrances for ease of access (can increase access to social activity).

  • Landscaping to create an accessible, safe, and inviting beautiful yard. (Pre-Covid 19, studies showed that Canadians spent 90 % of their time indoors. Fresh air and exposure to nature and beauty is now prescribed by many physicians). 





Visitable or Intergenerational Homes! 

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation -

OTs are experts in design or modifications of spaces and homes to promote safety and the prevention of falls. Maintaining health, independence, and engagement in activity creates ~ quality of life for the whole family!












Provincial and federal governments offer grants to support seniors to Age in Place grants.


Home Modifications or Renovations are for many of us costly and overwhelming but especially when we are living on a fixed income or paycheck to paycheck.  Use of professional expertise, organization, collaboration, discussion, and planning all help manage costs.

I will work with you and your aging parents, to identify concerns and make informed decisions. I can work with your designer and/or builders, tradespeople, handymen and handywomen, throughout your whole project, as needed. 












Design 4 Accessibility would like to acknowledge that it operates on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Peoples.
way̓ lim̓lm̓t
© 2021 by Design 4 Accessibility. Proudly created with