Our Advisory Team

Jim Closs,

National Director

Jim has spent thirty years in seniors’ care and housing, accessible design, safe patient handling and falls prevention. Throughout his career he has been at the leading edge of new product development, commercialization and education. He has held leadership roles and worked directly with building and operational management, healthcare professionals and families. Throughout these roles it was always the need to educate the clients first, understanding their immediate wants without compromising their future needs. His ability to collaborate and work between those developing and making products and the persons ultimately benefiting has led to numerous success stories. These benefactors include the end-users, caregivers, and healthcare administrators. Age Safe Canada is the culmination of a lifetime of experience.

 

Dawn Wiggins,

 

Dawn is an RPN, Trained in P.I.E.C.E.S, GPA, DementiAbility (a montessori approach to dementia), Certified Positive Approach To Care Consultant (Teepa Snow), Certified Positive Approach To Care Certified Trainer, Coach, Consultant,Engagement Leader, Speaker and Mentor, Dementia Practitioner and President and Director of Operations of New Dementians. A registered nursing professional in the province of Ontario and have over 25 years of frontline healthcare experience primarily in Long Term Care. Dawn leads a dynamic team of healthcare  experts dedicated to one thing-making a positive impact in the lives of Seniors and their loved ones. Rather than focusing on “tasks” like most other homecare companies, Dawn and her team focus on “caring” and bringing as much joy as possible to the lives of each and every client, everyday. DawnI has served in a number of different capacities over the years and has a wealth of experience in acute care, long term care, psychiatric care, home care, rehabilitation and palliative care. Dawn’s greatest passion, is supporting  people living with dementia. Dawn has a deep and unique understanding of the disease that allows her to connect with clients and their families in a very special way. Dawn has designed and managed world class dementia care units at the institutional level and now She brings that knowledge, insight and experience to the local homecare market.

Dawn is in her final year of Masters of SN inDementia Studies and is an active volunteer at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital for the Senior Friendly Advisory Council, friendly visitor as well as a community representative on the Behaviour Strategy Implementation Task Force for the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN.

Ross Bingley

Ross is retired from the O.P.P. as an Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau Commander, Chief Superintendent.
He began his career in 1979 and retired in 2009.
He was the recipient of the Order of Merit from the Governor General of Canada for his leadership role in law enforcement efforts in relation to combating organized crime.
A senior police executive with a broad portfolio of experience covering both operations and administration, he has instructed in investigative techniques and police leadership across Canada and the United States.

Ross held the Director position in the O.P.P. elite Criminal Investigation Branch which is responsible for homicide and high-profile investigations across the province.
He has been the Officer in Charge of Joint Force Units such as the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Unit and the Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit.
Ross was the Director of the Ontario Major Case Management Unit which tracks serial predators across the province.
He has served as the Bureau Commander for the O.P.P. Career Development Bureau which is responsible for all human resources and training issues for the 8000 civilian and uniform members of the Force.

Ross currently is the Director of Street Arts Security Inc. where he specializes in self-defence training.
Ross is a Kung Fu Black Belt and has been a martial artist for over 45 years.
The Street Arts program has trained thousands of women in street proofing and self-defence since 1982.
Ross currently teaches Kick Boxing at various facilities in the Barrie area.

Marnie Courage

Marnie Courage is the CEO and Inclusion Specialist at Enabling Access Inc., an occupational therapy and accessibility services company based in Winnipeg, Canada and established in 2005 to increase ability and inclusion for people with disabilities living in the community.  Marnie is an advocate for disability rights and is passionate about creating more equitable and inclusive experiences for persons with disabilities. Marnie is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist, Certified Ergonomics Evaluator, Certified Life Care Planner and Medical-Legal expert in the areas of complex disabilities and catastrophic injuries, accessible housing and personal injury cost of future care. 

 

Marnie is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals who wrote and teaches Creating Inclusive Workplaces – Accessibility to Accommodation, at the University of Winnipeg for HR PACE program.  Partnering with a multidisciplinary team of experts across Canada, Marnie and her team provide workplace accessibility auditing, consultation and training. In alignment with “Nothing about us without us”, Marnie works directly with the disability community who are experienced in facing barriers to inform the professional services of Enabling Access.

 

With an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California,  Marnie sits on the Canadian Home Builders’ Home Modification Council,  the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists’ Home Modification Task Force and is on the Technical Committee of the CSA’s Accessible Housing Standard.  Marnie is a content contributor for both the Canadian Age Safe Senior Safety Specialist course and the Canadian Home Builder’s Association’s Adaptiv Home course. Marnie leads the national home modification assessment and consultation division of Enabling Access Inc. to support people living with disabilities and those wanting to live in place as they age.  Marnie continues to make positive local impacts and have global influence in the area of accessibility and inclusive experiences for people with disabilities.

Lesya Dyk

Lesya has been a clinical and professional leader in the Rehabilitation , Regulation and Professional organization industry for the past 27 years. Working primarily in the auto insurance sector as an Occupational Therapist since opening her own practice Lesya Dyk, O.T. Services Inc. in 1998, her focus is on individuals with Chronic Pain, Brain Injury, Muskulo-skeletal disorders and psycho-social disorders that arise from disability. She previously held positions as staff Occupational Therapist and Medical Legal Clinical Coordinator at Day Programme for Chronic Pain Management at Chedoke Hospital.

She has had involvement with McMaster University since 1990, tutoring in the Occupational Therapy programme, Programme for Faculty Development and the DeGroote School of Medicine. Currently holds position of Clinical Lecturer.

Elected to Council of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO) in 2005. First elected President of the COTO 2011. Held this office until her 3rd three year term ended, March 2014

 

Lonnie McInnis

As an independent Accessibility Consultant for residential and commercial applications, Lonnie has served and consulted in the accessibility industry for over 20 years.
He was a founding member of the Home Modification Counsel and was a recent member of the Rick Hanson Foundation Accessibility Certification, Technical Subcommittee.
Thirty years of design and construction experience combined with personal experience as a caregiver, along with certifications in both Project and Human Resource Management have made Lonnie a recognized consultant in accessibility for the built environment.

Lonnie served as a Barrier Free Design Counsellor and Manager for the Home and Vehicle Modification Program at March of Dimes Canada from 1999-2020. During that time, he assisted the program in serving over 15,000 Ontarians’ to remain safely in their homes and access their communities.

He has been a member of the Ontario Building Code Technical Advisory Committee as well as the Parliamentary Precinct Advisory Panel. He has consulted on multiple AccessAbility Advantage projects, and for the Ontario Ministries of Finance and Community and Social Services.

Extending his ability to help people stay safely in their homes and access their communities, Lonnie has expanded his reach into the financial services field where he welcomes the opportunity to positively impact caregivers and those they serve.

Julie Sawchuk

Julie Sawchuk (B.Sc., B.Ed., RHFAC Best-selling author, Build Your Space and Building Better Bathrooms) runs Sawchuk Accessible Solutions. As an accessibility strategist, Julie combines her professional and personal experiences with accessibility and education; helping people design and build the best, most accessible, space possible. She has worked on a variety of projects including libraries, recreation centres, apartments, restaurants, small town shops, and international airports. Julie also teaches the program Building Without Barriers, the online platform for Accessible Design & Construction. As a professional speaker and author, she shares her message about accessibility and inclusion with students, businesses and organizations across Ontario. When you work with Julie, you will enlighten your team, inform your designs and build without barriers.

Annj Ridsdale-Weddell, MBA, BScN, RN, GNC(c), SHSS

Annj has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years, and as founder of RNCare Inc. in Alberta, Canada, she has continued to fulfill her lifelong passion for helping others. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Annj has had many experiences in nursing including, nursing education, regulation, administration, research and author. She is also a former director of health standards compliance with the Government of Alberta. She has held a Canadian national certification in geriatric nursing for over 20 years and has worked in a variety of clinical roles in geriatric medicine, critical care, community care, and most recently an opportunity with the National Hockey League in Edmonton.

Daren Jones, President/Owner, HEAR RIGHT Canada

DAREN has been in the hearing care industry for the past 20 years. Getting his start with a manufacturing and now is a co-owner at HEAR RIGHT Canada and is a string advocate for hearing health in Canada.

Marianne Longo, Registered Physiotherapist, B.Sc.Kin., B.HSc.(PT)

Marianne has over 15 years of experience providing compassionate and skilled therapy for older adults. Prior to joining the PACE team, she has worked in St. Peter’s Hospital, long term care and retirement settings developing a passion and dedication to the care of older adults. Marianne continues to find tremendous satisfaction and joy in continuing to develop her skills and expand her knowledge of the art and science of physiotherapy. Marianne’s areas of special interest include balance and mobility training for older adults and persons living with neurological conditions. She practices a functional approach to rehabilitation focusing on exercise-based therapy to help clients achieve their goals.

Paula Bochnak, Registered Kinesiologist, R.Kin., B.Sc.Kin., ACSM/ACS-CET

Throughout her undergraduate studies, Paula gained valuable clinical experience first volunteering, and then working as a Student Program Assistant with the cardiac rehabilitation, cancer rehabilitation, and seniors wellness exercise programs. Paula has worked as a Registered Kinesiologist at PACE since 2017. She is passionate about student mentorship and guiding students’ application of academic knowledge into clinical practice. Paula recently completed the Cancer Exercise Trainer course through the American College of Sports Medicine to further her understanding of the role of exercise in cancer rehabilitation. Paula also has experience working in the Vascular Dynamics Lab, in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster.

Angelica McQuarrie, Registered Kinesiologist & Program Coordinator, R.Kin, M.Sc., ACSM-CEP, ACSM/ACS-CET

Angelica first became involved at PACE as a student volunteer in 2008 and continued to work at PACE through McMaster’s Work Study Program during her undergraduate studies in the Department of Kinesiology. Following graduation, Angelica transitioned to a full-time role at PACE while completing certification courses through the American College of Sports Medicine. She then pursued graduate studies in Rehabilitation Science while continuing to work at PACE as a Registered Kinesiologist. Her research focused on how long-term enrollment in PACE’s MacSeniors program affects fitness in older adults. As Angelica’s role at PACE continued to grow, she completed a graduate certificate in Clinical Management. Angelica is committed to lifelong learning and she has a keen interest in the role of exercise in the management of chronic diseases.

 

 

AGE SAFE® AMERICA TEAM

 

Steven Bailey

Steven A. Bailey

Founder/ Managing Director

Steven is driven by a passion to experience life fully; and to inspire others along the way. During the course of his entrepreneurial career in marketing, technology and training, Steven has been known as a communicator and an innovator. He was a founding partner in a successful “guerrilla” marketing consulting firm in 1987. After an extended sabbatical, Steven turned his passion for travel and adventure into a nationally distributed magazine and website and launched a video production company to push the boundaries of interactive multimedia marketing. Taking a further dive into technology, Steven served as VP of business development for a streaming media start-up in 2005 (pre-YouTube), and later developed an online university and integrated marketing certification for an international real estate publishing franchise. Some wins, some losses, always passionate, always driven.

In 2011 (the year boomers began turning 65) Steven joined the aging services industry to build and manage a network of resource sites dedicated to empowering seniors and family caregivers. In this former venture Steven had an opportunity to work with most every type of professional, organization, association, franchise and non-profit serving the senior community. He also had an opportunity to speak with hundreds of seniors and adult children over the years and realized a top concern for many was in fact fall related injuries. Upon further research Steven found the senior fall statistics staggering, and the impact on older adults, their families and the healthcare system, was devastating. At that time, the term “aging-in-place” really didn’t exist at the consumer level. A small number of remodelers, OT’s, geriatricians and academics delving into the concepts of “universal design” were using the term; however, it was still mostly unknown to the general public. Fast forward a few years and Steven was in a Starbucks and noticed a magazine above the New York Times, the top article read, “Re-Thinking Aging-in-Place”. That was a very telling sign; from seeming obscurity to Starbucks in a handful of years.

In the summer of 2015 Steven launched Age Safe America. In December he was introduced to Fritzi Gros-Daillon, a nationally recognized speaker, author and educator in home safety, aging-in-place and home modifications, whom shared the vision and became a partner and Director of Education for Age Safe America. The mission was to help prevent falls and their associated costs by helping seniors and families determine the steps necessary to maximize both Safety and Independence. At that time, there really wasn’t a senior home safety assessment industry, other than a few one-offs. Unfortunately, most had no formal training, certification, or an evidence-based senior home safety assessment tool. Leveraging his knowledge of intellectual property, Steven has guided Age Safe America, LLC to acquire multiple USPTO registered trademarks and a massive portfolio of relevant domains in several countries. After the impact of COVID, he negotiated a licensing agreement for Age Safe® Canada with a respected healthcare organization in Toronto to propel the mission and vision throughout Canada, and is currently targeting other countries for further international expansion.

In its first 5-years Age Safe® America had trained professionals in 8 countries and had become one of the most recognized brands in the now burgeoning Aging in Place industry, earning the respect of thought leaders, healthcare professionals, national associations, governmental agencies, entrepreneurs, non-profits and Fortune 100 companies. By effectively building its brand equity while raising the awareness, value and necessity of a comprehensive home safety assessment; Age Safe® America had developed a unique market segment and certification all its own. Steven maintains a hands-on approach overseeing all company activities. He has proven himself to be a dynamic and creative leader, coach and mentor who empowers others to move outside the box of self-imposed limitations. Steven is an admitted beach bum, avid hiker, recovering workaholic, loving husband and father.

 

Fritzi Gros-Daillon, MS, CAPS, CSA, SHSS

Co-Founder/ Director of Education and Advocacy

Fritzi is a highly successful entrepreneur in environmental consulting, senior move management and most recently, the aging in place home safety field. As a Senior Move Manager for 10 years, Fritzi worked with over 1000 families in New York while being a long-distance caregiver for her parents in California. In 2013 Fritzi founded Household Guardians, Inc. as an aging in place consulting firm. Her passion for keeping family members safe in their homes grew from years of watching families struggle to make hard decisions. Her education, licenses and certifications combined with thirty years of business experience bring a combination of expertise and perspective to Age Safe America. Fritzi provides strategic and operational oversight to ASA’s advocacy, communications and public relations efforts. Fritzi leads ASA’s training and education programs ensuring up-to-date industry knowledge to enhance the value of ASA membership. Her role includes training advisor members on business topics, home safety assessments, and communication skills to facilitate important conversations for older adults and their adult children as well as marketing and networking. She was instrumental in development of a new online course, Family Caregiver Essentials, designed to support individuals, caregivers and families faced with the challenges of caregiving.

Her book, “Grace and Grit: Insights to Real Life Challenges of Aging for Adult Children and their Parents”, has won five national book awards since publication in 2014 and the Canadian Book Excellence award. Fritzi is a sought-after Instructor for the NAHB Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) program, having taught students from 36 states and three countries; and was honored to receive the NAHB 2019 Educator of the Year award. Earning her Master Instructor designation in 2021, Fritzi continues to teach the aging in place and universal design essentials courses.

Her many credentials include Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP), Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS), and Certified Environmental Inspector (CEI). She is a graduate of Columbia University, M.S. Business Policy, Master’s Degree for Executives Program, and Bloomfield College, NJ, B.S. Business Administration. Fritzi is a founding board member of the National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC) of San Diego. She served two years as President of the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) San Diego chapter and became Chairman in 2020. She currently serves on the board for the Foundation for Senior Well Being and is a former board member of San Diego County Council on Aging.  Fritzi enjoys road trips, walking her dog and yoga.

 

 

 

Age Safe. Live Well.

Age Safe Canada is a national membership organization dedicated to meet the growing need for Home Safety Assessments and Aging-in-Place Home Modifications. Age Safe America members are committed to helping seniors and families determine the steps necessary to maximize both safety and independence. Age Safe Advisor Members provide evaluations, recommendations and solutions for Fall Prevention, Home Safety, Crime Prevention and Identity Theft to help older adults enjoy the comfort, freedom and independence to “age safe at home“.