Information on our 2019 Conference coming soon.  Below is information about our 2018 Conference.

Our 7th Aging in Place / Home Modification Conference was our best yet.  Featuring speakers from around the world and across Canada, we were able to capture where Aging in Place is right now and where we would like to see it go.

If you are interested in knowing more, we invite you to reach out to us.  We are going to be working over the coming months to further raise the profile of this important movement to the benefit of all Canadians.


Paul Smith
Foundations, UK


Paul is on a mission to improve how home modifications are provided.  Trained as a Building Surveyor, he has a unique 25 year background in building design, grant administration policy development and commissioning.  Winner or multiple national awards, he has introduced a number of innovations that improved the customer experience.

Paul is now the Director of Foundations, the national body for Home Improvement Agencies in England.  In 2018, he was a key part of the team that undertook an independent review of Disabled Facilities Grants for the UK Government.the Director of Foundations, the UK Government appointed National Body for Home Improvement Agencies in England.

Paul has managed two award winning home improvement agencies, written nationally recognized strategies and commissioned many extra care housing schemes.

Paul is a qualified building surveyor and member of both the Chartered Institute of Building and Chartered Institute of Housing.

In the United Kingdom, a company known as Foundations is commissioned by the national and local government(s) as the centralized organization that oversees home modification agencies; which are locally commissioned services that perform essential home modifications for older adults and individuals with disabilities, to ensure that they stay safe, secure and can retain their independence in their own homes.

Through their Disabilities Facilities Grant, individuals with mobility or balance issues can be assessed by an occupational therapist and receive necessary home modification, which are coordinated by Foundations.

Bard Golightly
CHBA – Home Modification Council

Chair and Past President – CHBA


Bard Golightly has over 30 years of experience including real estate development, land acquisition and assembly, financing, zoning, sales and marketing support, project design and property management.

He works with the Christenson Group of Companies in Edmonton. He has directly been responsible for the development and construction of over 3,000 residential units.

Bard also serves on numerous boards including Past President of Built Green Canada, Past President of the National Canadian Home Builders Association, City of Edmonton Design Committee, the City of Edmonton Development Plan Review Panel and is the current chair of CHBA’s Home Modification Council.

Don Fenn
President – Caregiver Omnimedia
Founder – Home Modification Canada


Don Fenn has spent a lifetime as business owner, social entrepreneur, innovator, and leader in sales and marketing. He is the President/CEO of Caregiver Omnimedia, Founder of Home Modification Canada which in 2017 becomes a National Council under the Canadian Home Builders Association, and is a leading authority on the burgeoning Aging in Place phenomena that is transforming the way we live and house our citizens in the future.

He formed Caregiver Omnimedia in 2003 as a result of caring for his parents while also serving as power-of-attorney for his cousin in supportive living. The information gaps between the healthcare system and the consumer led to several national and regional initiatives including the launching of media products: The Family Caregiver Newsmagazine,; Home Modification Guide for Family Caregivers; Going Home, a hospital-based informative guide for consumers transitioning from hospital to home; and has run seminars, national research projects, conferences, content marketing programmes, and participated in countless expert panels, trade shows, all in the home care, family caregiving and aging sectors.

Don has the unique ability to envision the future state of aging – he sees solutions before others see problems – he formulates answers before people understand the question. He has been called innovative, original, passionate, and visionary. Companies retain him for his ability to turn ideas into revenue. He provides practical support to futuristic thinking and creates real informative solutions to delivering information in a digital society.

He has served on multiple boards, advisory committees, his honours are many but the one of which he is most proud is the 2012 Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution in Canada to Family Caregiving. Don believes that the most effective way to cope with change is to help create it.

Liz Ainsworth
Access Consultant
Home Design for Living (Australia)


Elizabeth Ainsworth (B Occ Thy, Hons; M Occ Thy, Contemporary Clinical Practice) is a private practice Occupational Therapist and Access Consultant (qualified and accredited) who has been working in the housing field in Australia for over 25 years. Elizabeth is a consultant to individuals and their families, and clients in the insurance, legal and construction industries; an expert witness for the courts; and a Livable Housing Assessor. She is a Director on the Board of Home Modifications Australia (MOD.A) and a member of the Occupational Therapy Australia National Environmental Modifications Taskforce. She is currently completing a PhD in home modifications at The University of Queensland.

Latest book reference – Ainsworth, E. & de Jonge. D. (in press). An occupational therapist’s guide to home modification practice (2nd ed.). Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Inc.

Latest award – 2017 Occupational Therapy Australia National – Elspeth Pearson Award for Continuing Professional Development.

Pat Acquisto
Pro Accessibility Ltd.


Pat Acquisto is an accomplished contractor and home builder and has been involved in the construction industry since 1999.   After recognizing a need for quality contractors and construction in the accessibility industry, Pat took it upon himself to bridge the gap between health care and contractors.  As a result, he has dedicated the last 12 years exclusively catering to seniors and individuals with accessibility needs.

He is the founder and president of Pro Accessibility Ltd., a renowned company based in Toronto, Canada.   Pro Accessibility Ltd.  specializes in the design, modification and building of homes and workplaces for people with disabilities or physical limitations.

Pat’s mission is to eliminate the barriers that individuals face in their daily life and to create environments that are safe and fully accessible.

Some of Pat’s certifications include Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) as well as Building Accessible Excellence Accessor (Excellence Canada).  He is also recognized my March of Dimes Canada as an A+ Accessibility Advantage contractor.  Pat is a proud member of CAOT – Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist as well as a member of the Canadian Home Builders Association – Home Modification Council. 

Marnie Courage
Director and Inclusive Design Consultant
Enabling Access


Marnie established Enabling Access Inc. in 2005.  She is a Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of  Medical Rehabilitation in Occupational Therapy graduate from the University of Manitoba.  She is a trained mental health clinician and a Return to Work Specialist.  With a passion for increased accessibility, she completed Universal Design courses through the University of Buffalo and holds an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California.  Marnie designed and teaches Creating Inclusive Workplaces – Accessibility to Accommodation course at the University of Winnipeg’s Human Resource Program.  Marnie is also a Matheson Certified Ergonomic Evaluator Specialist (CEES), Certified Functional Capacity Evaluator, Post-offer Employment Testing Evaluator and has developed innovative Workplace Disability Management Services.  She was awarded WCB’s SafeWork Manitoba Research and Workplace Innovation Program grant in 2015.  Marnie is a Certified Life Care Planner, specializing in brain and spinal cord injured clients, providing medical-legal expert services internationally.  Marnie is a dynamic public speaker, presenting regularly at conferences and workshops in her field.

Lesya Dyk, B.H. Sc. OT Reg. (ON)
President – Clinical Director
Lesya Dyk OT Services


Lesya Dyk has been in practice as an Occupational Therapist for over 25 years.  She founded Lesya Dyk O.T. Services, an Occupational Therapy practice in 1998, serving people who as a result of their car accidents, had to reagin their function through therapy and home modification.

Currently her practice has diversified, providing not only clinical services, but also educational support and consultation services specifically in the Accessibility arena.  With respect to her role as an educator, she is a Clinical Lecturer, Tutor and Facilitator at McMaster University in not only the Rehabilitation Science program, but has also tutored in the School of Medicine and the Programme for Faculty Development.

As a leader, she is past President of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO) and current Treasurer of the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT).

Lesya also sits on the advisory board for the York – Seneca Rehabilitation Programme.  She served as a founding member of the steering committee of Home Modification Canada, an organization that is striving to organize, certify and support research in the home modifications industry.  She now sits as a council member on the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Home Modification Council, representing the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.  She is contributing to the development of the Canadian version of the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) course planning.

Lesya’s passion is to support the professional practice of Occupational Therapists and to ensure that OT’s are at the table where Accessibility and Barrier-Free design are being discussed.

Sue Lantz
Managing Director
Collaborative Aging


Sue Lantz, B.A. MPA, Sue is Managing Director of “Collaborative Aging”: a company focused on delivering solutions for “boomers” to Age in Place. Sue has spent her career leading improvement projects with the fields of aging, disability and caregiving. A key gap in the Aging in Place options is outfitting existing housing to increase accessibility, and meet the preferences of boomers, while preparing for a time when their health needs or conditions change. To address this gap, Sue helped establish Home Modification Canada in 2016, and in 2017 Sue led the research and co-wrote this report entitled “Re-Shaping the Housing Market for Aging in Place and Home Modifications Report”.

The discussions surrounding the report led to the creation of the Home Modification Council of the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA). Sue is a strong advocate for increasing accessible home modifications though collaborative efforts of consumer,  architects, contractor-renovators, occupational therapists, interior designers, and home and community care. To find out more about Sue’s work, visit:

Jen Recknagel
Design Researcher, Strategist


Jen is a design researcher and strategist working at the intersection of human centred design and health care.  She is part of OpenLab, a health innovation lab located at University Health Network (UHN).  Her work focuses on using participatory design methods to actively engage people, particularly those from marginalized and vulnerable populations, to come up with practical and inspired design solutions to complex problems.  She was previously a documentary film producer, and her work has appeared on CBC, Documentary and ARTE.  Jen has a Master of Design from OCAD University.

Jamie Shipley
Senior Advisor, Research and Technology Transfer
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


Jamie has 30 years’ experience in the residential construction industry including over 20 years with CMHC. Jamie’s role at CMHC includes sharing technical and social economic information about aging in place and affordable housing design concepts with builders, renovators, planners, and housing design professionals across Ontario. Jamie is also a member of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

Mary Lynne Stewart
March of Dimes Canada
National Director Fund Development and Communications

(March of Dimes Canada administrates the Home and Vehicle Modification Program on behalf of the Ontario Government.)




Yvonne Ziomecki
EVP, Marketing and Sales
HomeEquity Bank


As Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Ziomecki heads up Marketing and Consumer Sales operations and is responsible for developing sales, marketing and strategy and vision for HomeEquity Bank.  Reporting directly to the CEO, Ms. Ziomecki is responsible for driving originations growth and brand awareness through successful implementation of marketing initiatives, brand strategy, research, pricing, product marketing, marketing communications, advertising and public relations.  Ms. Ziomecki is blazing the trail in changing the vernacular around Canadians 55 plus; to that of freedom and empowerment in retirement.  Ms. Ziomecki graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts and she also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Schulich School of Business.  She joined HomeEquity Bank in 2013.



Supporting Partners


Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Home Modification Council
City of Vaughan