The natural effects of aging can sometimes make independent living more complicated than it once was. While some barriers to independence in aging are inevitable, it is essential that REALTORS® take the time to understand the importance of autonomy in senior living and look for ways to increase opportunities for independent living.
Many times, seniors are encouraged to sell their home and move to an acute care facility; however, not all seniors are at that stage of their life. It is important that REALTORS® encourage options other than acute care facilities that many times take away all senior independence.
Adult Lifestyle Communities*
Many people live in a home they bought years ago under different circumstances than those they are living in now. Adult lifestyle communities are growing in popularity for those 55 and older and are expected to continue to grow in numbers over the upcoming years as the population continues to age.
These adult lifestyle communities are created for active seniors:
- Haldimand County:
- Shelter Cove (not entirely occupied by seniors)
- Niagara North:
The phrase “life lease” means that once an initial lump sum is paid out as a deposit, there is little change in rates, and the purchaser will own the home for life. In recent years, these communities have become increasingly popular, since they meet the housing and support service challenges faced by Canada’s aging population.
Life Lease communities allow residents to take an active role in managing the property and organizing activities and programs to help seniors have a sense of purpose that may not be possible if they are isolated in a single family home.
Additionally, a Life Lease community is restricted to adults 55 or 60 and older.
Life Lease communities available:
Garden Suites/Secondary Suites*
Garden Suites are a pre-made residential structure installed on a one unit basis in the backyard of an existing home, where a secondary suite may be contained within the primary residential dwelling of a family member. Both Garden Suites and Secondary Suites allow for independent senior living while still being close for family support.
The Ontario Government is attempting to make it easier to create secondary suites and garden suites as proposed in their Housing Supply Action Plan.
Many seniors wish to stay in their home; however, they may need some additional support to remain at home. There are many home and community healthcare services in Ontario that will help seniors retain their independence, while still providing some assistance.
Many home and community healthcare services offer:
- Personal care services like companionship, meal prep, medication reminders, housekeeping, and fall prevention
- Medical services like nursing, wound care, and therapy
This at-home wellness support is offered by:
- Bayshore Healthcare: Hamilton, Niagara, Burlington and Dundas
- Home Instead Senior Care: Hamilton
- Home Sweet Home Care for Seniors Inc.: Hamilton
- Senior Support Service: Haldimand
In summary, there are many options available that are focused on allowing for greater autonomy for seniors during the aging process. Being aware of all the options and showcasing these options to a client or their family is vital to showing that you are supportive of the client’s needs and wants.
*RAHB does not endorse the resources above and there may be others that are comparable.