Aging in Place

Making your Home Safe and Comfortable as you Age

Author: Becky Turgeon

As we age we think about where we are going to live and what that space will look like. We think about whether we will be able to continue to live in our home. Will moving to a condo be a better fit? So, what can you do to make your current home or a new condo home more comfortable as you age? What can you add to make your daily life activities more manageable? What safety features can you introduce? What can you do to make life just a little bit easier and more comfortable and what does your local plumbing, heating and electrical shop have to do with that? 

Let’s look at some of the activities of daily life:

  • Showering
  • Bathing
  • Using the toilet
  • Enjoying Indoor time
  • Enjoying outdoor time

So what can we do to make these areas of your daily life a little bit more comfortable. Let’s tackle the bathroom first.

Showering / Bathing

Have you considered converting your current tub shower to a walk in shower. Walk in showers can feature no step access, non slip flooring, and moulded, folding, or portable seats, as well as multiple spray options. We’ve got some great options from Hytec . The addition of safety grab bars can create an added sense of security. The grab bars are mounted to withstand a proper amount of force and provide much more support than simply bracing yourself against a wall or using one of those suction mounted grab bars.

This walk in shower install replaced a previous tub/shower combination. This particular install used a shower curtain. Glass door options are also available.

And what about faucet handles? There are lots of great options for handles in your shower or on your sink that will make turning them on/off easier. Check out some options from Riobel Pro and Moen

Lever style faucets make turning them on and off a little easier. No more twisting on a tap.


Let’s face it, sitting down onto the toilet and getting up from the toilet absolutely gets more difficult as we age. Did you know there are toilets that are specifically designed to make them easier to use. The technical terminology is an ADA Toilet. ADA stands for Americans with Disability Act. ( I know, we’re in Canada but that’s the standard manufacturers typically use. The Accessible Canada Act or ACA, or Bill C-81 is the Canadian equivalent. As a Canadian contractor we follow B651-18 National Standard of Canada Accessible Design for the Buillt Environment.) Regardless of terminology the type of toilet we are talking about here has a minimum seat height of 17 inches (~43 cm) and a maximum of 19 inches (~48 cm). Standard height toilets are typically 14-15 inches in height. Elongated seats vs rounded seats can also be found to be more comfortable. Check out this link to an ADA toilet option from Contrac

Something that is also becoming more common in homes is a toilet with a bidet seat. We offer a number of choices. This link is for our Kohler options.

Enjoying Indoor Time

As we age we may find that we spend a little more time indoors, especially during winter. In order to make your indoor space more comfortable and safer consider some of the following options that we can assist you with.


We’re an electrical shop. We can absolutely help you with lighting your home to not only increase comfort but also increase safety. Things to consider for safety might be night lighting, stairway lighting, or outdoor lighting. Things to consider for comfort might be the type of lighting you use. For example you might want to upgrade to LED pot lights, you might want to wire in better bedside lighting for reading, or maybe your garage needs better lighting because you have converted it to a hobby workshop.

Home Automation

Home automation can definitely add a lot of ease to your home as you age. Really we could have a whole blog on all the different types of comforts that home automation can bring to your home. Some options include:

Heating / Cooling

As we age we spend more time in our homes. Let’s make your home air more comfortable. That might include looking at zoning your home. Want your bedroom cooler than or warmer than a secondary bedroom? Tired of cooling your whole home when really what you want is just a cooler kitchen for cooking in the summer and cooler bedrooms for sleeping in? You may want to consider a ductless cooling system. ( Daikin Multi Zone Ductless) Or maybe you want your energy bills to be lower. Ask us about high efficiency furnace and air conditioner options. Want better humidity, cleaner air, and an overall better heating and cooling system? We’re experts at that!

Our lineup of products to perfect your air includes:

Enjoying Outdoor Time


Adding walkway lighting and accent lighting to your home can not only make it safer, it can make it more enjoyable. Need some new wiring for your backyard lighting or some new lighting options for walkways, entryways or alley garages, we’ve got a team of professional electricians who can get that done. Town & Country is also an authorized dealer for Gemstone Lights . This permanent, professionally installed lighting system will light up your home in ways you never thought possible. Lights are completely customizable using an app on your phone. You can change the colour and patterns in so many ways that you will always have your home lit up just right no matter the holiday or occasion. Christmas themes, sports themes, or simply elegant architectural themes, your home will be the prettiest on the block and you can change the lighting colour and theme from any where you have cell phone service or a connection to wifi.


Outdoor heating? Yeah it sounds sort of ridiculous but maybe you have a 3 season sunroom or a screened room or even a sheltered patio or deck that you would like to be able to enjoy for a little longer through the year. As we age we often have more time for things like sitting on our patios enjoying a good book or visiting with family or friends. We have natural gas as well as electrical options for heating these spaces. Check out Schwank . And of course we also have options for your garage, because getting into a cold car just isn’t that much fun in the winter no matter what your age is. We commonly use Reznor or Lennox units for garage heat. Heating your garage can also make it a lot more useful as an all season workshop or hobby area for whatever retirement project you have in mind.

Daikin Inverter Technology

Daikin offers their heating and cooling systems with Inverter Technology? What does that mean? Inverter (variable speed) HVAC systems are an energy saving technology that helps to reduce wasted operation in HVAC systems. Temperature is adjusted by changing the motor speed rather than turning the motor on then turning it off. Your comfort is maintained and your system operates at an energy conserving level. A simple analogy is comparing how your car performs in stop and go traffic versus cruising at highway speed making small adjustments to road conditions. Inverter technology allows your furnace to cruise along efficiently. Temperature is adjusted by changing motor speed and maintaining your comfort while operating at an energy conserving level. Inverter technology not only saves you money on your energy bills but helps prevent temperature swings in your home. You will feel the difference. Daikin inverter systems are also engineered to achieve lower operating sound levels. Finally the increased efficiency of the inverter technology system will reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system and therefore contributes to longevity and durability.

Check out Daikin here!

 Contact Us Today!




Boiler Maintenance

Hot water heating systems require some maintenance, including draining the boiler and venting the radiators to ensure things are running efficiently.

  1. Lubricate the circulating pump motor on your boiler. Use a lightweight oil, as per your boiler owner’s manual and pour it in the oil cup.
  2. In the fall and throughout the season of use, you need to vent or purge radiators if they do not already have an automatic purge system.
  3. After purging make sure pressure levels are ok. You can find out what pressure level is recommended by the boiler manufacturer in the operating manual. You then let out the air in each convector, if needed, until the pressure is at the recommended operating level.

Eliminating Hot or Cold Spots at Home

The most common solution is to run the furnace fan on a continuous basis. A furnace with a variable ECM motor is the best choice for this.

You can also work on adjusting the registers or diffusers in the home. Start with restricting the flow through the registers in the rooms which are warmer than the others.

Troubleshooting Your Furnace or Air Conditioner

Please check the following before calling us for service. These are problems that homeowners tend to overlook and are not covered by warranty.

Step 1: Is your thermostat set to the correct function?

Step 2: Has the power to the furnace been shut off?

  • Electrical panel breaker
  • Power switch located close to furnace of high in the basement stairwell
  • Ensure the furnace fan door is on properly

Step 3: Is the filter clean? A dirty filter will eventually cause service problems and drastically decrease efficiency of both the furnace and air conditioner.

Step 4: High-efficiency furnaces have a System 636 PVC vent pipe which terminates on the side of home or through the roof. Ensure this is not blocked by debris, snow or ice.

If you cannot locate the problem by following these steps and require service, take note of the furnace model and serial number and call us.

Outside Exhaust Vents

Please note that 30% of our winter service calls are a result of the outside exhaust vents icing up.

Keep the area around your exterior vents free and clear of any snow and ice and remove any rodent screens on the outside exhaust terminations to prevent frost from collecting.

Annual Safety Check

Town & Country believes in the best possible standards of safety at work and at home. Furnace maintenance is part of those standards. In order to run at its most efficient and safest, an annual maintenance check is crucial. Town & Country makes that annual check-up fast and thorough.

Furnace manufacturers usually require proof of regular maintenance in order to keep your warranty valid and Town & Country can provide that assurance.

An Annual Safety and Service Inspection will keep your heating system in peak operating condition. Our service technician will check for any potentially dangerous gas and carbon monoxide leaks in the home.

Call us today to arrange your T & C Precision Tune Up.

Thermostat Maintenance

Conventional type: This type of thermostat does not require any maintenance.

Note: If the room is dark a small blue flash may be noticed when heating or air conditioning comes on. This is normal.

Programmable / Electronic types: Annual replacement of batteries is necessary for proper operation where applicable.


  1. This type of thermostat normally maintains the temperature within half of 1ºC, unlike conventional thermostats, which may vary up to 3ºC. The furnace or air conditioner may cycle more rapidly especially under low load conditions. This is a normal operating condition.
  2. Programmable Thermostats can conserve energy and save you money.
  3. Do not set back your temperature more than 3°C. A temperature difference of more than 3ºC will not provide any savings.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Tankless water heaters should be installed with a water softening system. Yearly maintenance to remove scale is recommended.

The water heater filter cleaning procedure should be performed by a qualified service technician in order to maintain your warranty. Please call Town & Country to perform this service.

Hot Water Tank Maintenance

Establish a maintenance program to extend the life of your water heater. Most water heater failures are due to lime/sediment buildup, excessive pressure or corrosion.

To Reduce Lime/Sediment Buildup (Every 6 Months):

  1. Drain the tank through the drain valve until the water is clear.
  2. Inspect the tank for lime or sediment deposit either through the nipples or through the clean-out hole.
  3. Remove lime, scale or sediment using care not to damage the glass lining of the tank.
  4. Inspect the anode rod and replace as needed. Anode rods are designed to attract corrosive elements in the water and thereby diminish corrosion of your tank.

To Assure Relief Valve Operation (Every 12 Months):
Manually open the relief valve to flush any lime deposits that may have developed. 
Caution! Water can be extremely hot. Make certain the seat closes properly. Let it snap shut.