It’s two thumbs up from Mrs. and Mr. Liu!
Let’s start from the beginning…
Mrs. and Mr. Liu have been living in the same home for almost 30 years! This is incredible. It also means there was a high chance that accessibility accommodations were not front of mind when the house was built. For those who don’t know, the push for accessibility standards came out in 2005 in the form of The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This focused on public sectors and didn’t outline accessibility requirements for new homes, but it is good to note this increase of general awareness for accessibility standards in Ontario.
Recently, Mr. Liu’s mobility limitations changed and he became an individual who uses a wheelchair. Living in a home without an accessible entrance became a new barrier, and each time Mr. Liu would need to leave for important outings (such as a doctor’s appointment), he would need the assistance of multiple people. The situation would repeat when he would return home and need assistance to enter his house.
Could you imagine not being able to leave your home independently? There is a lot of work and pre-planning involved, and don’t even think about spontaneous outings! Transferring an individual is also not a safe situation for everyone involved. This posed a risk for Mr. Liu if he ever needed to exit the home in an emergency situation.
With help from the Home and Vehicle Modification Program (HVMP), the Liu family was able to apply for funding to obtain a vertical porch lift. Through some guidance and advice from March of Dimes Canada staff, a contractor and an Occupational Therapist, the garage was deemed the best place for the lift to be installed for accessible entry and exit to their home.
“Having this lift is a huge relief for my parents.”
After installation, life improved dramatically for the Liu family. Mr. Liu is now able to enter and exit his home safely via the porch lift and no longer needs to rely on timely help from other family members, friends, and neighbors. He now has a higher level of independence, which also allows him to live life more sporadically, should he choose to!
Below, is a thoughtful letter from Mr. Liu’s daughter, which provides an update on her parent’s situation.
My family cannot thank you and March of Dimes enough for providing the funding for the porch lift for my father.
The contractor has been amazing to work with and my mother and father cannot be happier with his work. Today was the first day in a long time that my father has left the house and the smile on his face was priceless. He has been requesting for months to go out to McDonald’s and we’re looking forward to finally taking him there.
Having this lift is a huge relief for my parents. My mother will no longer have to trouble our neighbours, family and friends to elicit enough help to lift him in and out of the house. Taking him to his appointments will be less stressful for our family. It’s provided them a new independence and most of all, it has lifted my father’s spirits.
Thank you so much for all your help with supporting us through this process. I’ve learned so much.”
To receive a letter as the one HVMP received above is an honour. We are also grateful to have the family’s consent to publicly share Mr. Liu’s story, which we hope gives readers a little more insight on how HVMP can provide support to eligible applicants. The goal for the program is to help increase community access and independence for people living with disabilities and mobility limitations.
For more information on the program and to see if you’re eligible, please visit marchofdimes.ca/hvmp or call 1-877-369-4867. Please feel free to share this story with someone you think may benefit from #MODCHVMP!