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March 2014

 

Staying in your own home as you age, or keeping your independence in the face of a disability, is extremely important.  BC Housing has a program called Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) that provides financial assistance to help eligible low-income seniors and people with disabilities with home modifications for accessible, safe and independent living in BC.

We have itemized below a few key facts found on the BC Housing website regarding the HAFI program. You can find out more at www.bchousing.org/HAFI.

 

How do I know if I’m eligible and does this program have an end date?

 

Launched in January 2012, HAFI is funded by the Government of Canada and the B.C. government through the Canada-B.C. Affordable Housing Initiative. Through the HAFI program, $15 million in grants or forgivable loans will be distributed to qualifying B.C. residents over three years.

 

To qualify for assistance from HAFI, recipients must be a low-income senior or person with a disability, a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, and a B.C. resident. The prospective home for adaption must be your primary residence and someone within that home must have a permanent disability or loss of ability that makes it difficult to perform day-to-day activities.

 

Eligibility requirements, an application guide and application forms are available at www.bchousing.org/HAFI, by calling BC Housing at 604-646-7055, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by visiting any BC Housing office.


 

What can be upgraded in my home?

 

The goal of the program is to enable people who have physical limitations to live at home longer. People’s physical needs change over time – sometimes, a small improvement to a home can make the difference between being able to live independently or not.

 

Types of eligible projects include:

  • Walk-in showers with grab bars
  • Bathtub grab-bars and seats
  • Handrails in hallways or stairways
  • Ramps for ease of access
  • Easy-to-reach work or storage areas in the kitchen
  • Lever handles on doors

 

How can Splashes Bath & Kitchen Centre help me with my home upgrades?

 

Whether you qualify for the HAFI program or not, Splashes Bath & Kitchen Centre is a great resource for accessible and ADA compliant products for your home, including:

  • Walk-in bathtubs
  • Low- or No-threshold showers
  • Wall hung sinks
  • Right height toilets
  • Touch faucets for use in the bathroom and kitchen
  • Handheld shower
  • Motion Censored Bathroom fans
  • Upgraded faucets for easier to use handles
  • Fashionable and functional grab bars

 

For a full range of products, please visit your local Splashes showroom.

 

Ask your Questions

 

Are you finding this expert advice helpful?  Submit your questions to us and we will feature answers on this blog to help you and others with your bathroom and kitchen fixture decisions.


 

February 2014

 

 

Ah! Your bathtub, where you love to soak away all the stress of the day, shouldn’t you spend a bit of time picking the best bathtub for your home?!  Ardele Warren from Splashes Bath & Kitchen Centres answers your questions below on the all-important bathtub.

 

 I would like to replace my existing bathtub, where do I start?

 

Firstly, it sounds like you have decided that you want a bathtub.  Many people make daily use of their showers but not their tubs.  If you’re one of those, you might want to consider a larger shower with a seat over a tub, especially if your space is tight.  However, if you like to soak away the day reading a book in the tub you’ll really want to consider the best bathtub for you! 

 

It is critical to know the size of the space that you have to work with when choosing a new bathtub.  If you’re removing a tub from an existing alcove and the tile is still on the wall, measure the length of the tub space and you might get 58”.  That is due to the drywall and tile, so you’re actually looking for a 60” tub.  For the width of the tub, you may get 31” with the tile still in place, so that is a 32” width.  Meaning your perfect tub to buy without having to move any walls or make any changes is a 60”x32”.

 

Another important measurement is the existing drain.  When you’re looking at your tub (as if you’re going to step into it), is the drain at the right side or the left side of the tub?  How far is the drain from the wall?  Sometimes we hear that the existing drain is 15” from the long wall and 7” from the short wall; however, there are some manufacturers, like MAAX, where the drain is actually 10” from the wall, so being aware of what tub you can install without having to bring in a jackhammer is important!

 

What is AFR?

 

You will see in some new tubs and shower bases the term AFR, which means Above Floor Rough-in.   This is easier for the plumber to hook up a new drain, but it also means that the space under the tub is deeper and therefore the step over the ledge is higher.  Just something to consider while you are making your decision.

 

How do I figure out which is the best tub for me?

 

Test one out!  The easiest way to find out what is comfortable for you is to visit one of our showrooms, take off your shoes and climb right in!  The water will fill to just below the waste/overflow hole so be sure to check that level when you’re testing tubs.

 

In some cases, you may not be doing a replacement of an existing tub into an existing spot, but instead trying to design a new bathroom.  You’ll want to select the perfect location for your tub for flow in the room, but also for the best size for you.  A standard tub length is 60”, but you can get 66” and 72” inches with widths of 32”, 34”, 36”, and 42”.   If you have the space or two bathrooms, maybe think of selecting different tubs - one that is more standard for everyday use and one that is more luxurious such as a 66”x42” whirlpool jet tub!

 

Beyond basic comfort, it helps to think about the use of the tub – whether you are bathing little ones or wanting to create a true spa experience.  The depth and size of your tub could be affected by the age of those in your home for little ones climbing in on their own or even for installing useful handles for accessibility as you age.  You’ll never regret allowing for extra storage space or additional shelves around the tub for toys for little ones or a spot for your candles & wine glass, if you have the space to make it possible.   

 

If you are considering a major size upgrade for your bath, be sure to check your hot water heater – you don’t want a 50-gallon tub and a 40-gallon hot water tank!

 

Ask your Questions

 Are you finding this expert advice helpful?  Submit your questions to us and we will feature answers on this blog to help you and others with your bathroom and kitchen fixture decisions.