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 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 solve problems; the kind of problems that interfere with a person's ability to function safely and independently, in their homes, workplaces, and community.

Focus - you 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 you 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 of 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 home modification grants to support seniors who want to Age in Place.


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. 












Logo Home Modification Occupational Therapy Alliance, and HMOTA in black writing except for Occupational Therapy which is green.
Picture of a man's hands holding and using an electric saw, with wood chips flying off the piece of wood at waist height.
Logo for College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia, interlocking U shapes of two shades of maroon
large hallway space during renovation, zero threshold hallway, man painting with extended paintbrush is in the background, small white poodle is in the forground
Teen age granddaughter standing behind grandmother who is sitting. Granddaughter has her hands over grandmother's eyes.
White bungalow with a black roof and front door, a grey 2 car garage door, at the top of a paved driveway. Green grass on both sides of home, on left is plants. Wooden fences on both sides of home.
A father and son are seated around one corner of a white kitchen table. The young boy is in a wheelchair and leaning on the table with pen in hand. The father is leaning over the child's work and observing the child write.  Two large green plants and a bookcase are in the background. The floor is white
An female senior is wearing a beige sweater and pants and a white and blue stripped shirt; she is standing using both hands on a wooden cane, while the caregiver stands beside and slightly behind her, holding onto the senior's left forearm. You cannot see their faces. A bed is in the background.
A pregnant asian lady is seated in water in a white bathtub, her shoulders are held by a female caregiver sitting on the tub behind her. The caregiver is dressed in blue scrubs, and wearing a stethescope. One small 12 inch grab bar is attached to the large tub and one L shaped grab bar is attached to large light grey wall tiles, approximately 10 inches above the tub.
A happy newly wed couple are kissing. She is in her white wedding dress and seated on a wooden outdoor bench. He is leaning foward in his tuxedo and holding onto an umbrella, while they kiss. He is using a wheelchair.
Daughter with long dark hair is seated on an outdoor bench with her mother, who has grey short hair. Her mother has her right arm wrapped around her daughter and they she is looking at a photo album. The father is facing the ladies and smiling, his left hand is wrapped around his daughters right hand. They are all a happy eminiscing family.
Design 4 Accessibility would like to acknowledge that it operates on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Peoples.
way̓ lim̓lm̓t
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