My parents are in their late 80’s and currently live in their own home, which has benefited them so far.  Sadly, most of their friends have now passed away, or have moved to other assisted living facilities and I worry about them being on their own, especially as their health has been slowly, but surely deteriorating.

Related: Settling In To A Retirement Community

As a result, I am now in the process of researching and trying to find them a more suitable place to live.  As my brother and I both live in different provinces it hasn’t been easy to co-ordinate.  I’ve found that there are several different types of senior care facilities depending on what is required.

Senior Care Facilities

Some types of senior care facilities that we have considered are as follows:

  1. A Plus-50 or Seniors’ condo complex where they can purchase an apartment in the $250,000-$300,000 range with monthly condo fees.   This allows for a private residence with a communal area with various activities.  The attraction is that they would be independent without the responsibility of shoveling snow or mowing lawns, etc and have close neighbours for companionship.  This seems to be the only option for purchasing.
  2. A similar option is a Supportive Living residence.  Residents here would be more in their age range.  This accommodation  mainly provides companionship and activities to seniors who can care for themselves but who have previously lived alone and there’s a fear of them being too isolated.  In both of these situations, however, there is a degree of concern should an accident occur with no one around to help.
  3. “Aging in place” residences offer independent living, assisted living and continuing care in a single setting.  Residents can move from one care option to the next, as health needs change.  It benefits couples whose care needs are different, as they can remain together in the same complex.
  4. Assisted living complexes have self-contained suites with central dining room and common areas for socializing, recreational opportunities and regularly planned activities as well as an emergency response system and housekeeping and laundry services as required.They are for people who don’t need full time care.  These residences can be publicly funded (less expensive, but huge waiting lists), or private.  Private pay options are expensive ($1800 to $4500+ a month depending on size of suite and amenities included) but there is a better chance of obtaining a suite as these complexes are being built in many cities at quite a fast rate. (Could be a good investment opportunity in a REIT specializing in such residences.)
  5. Finally, there is long-term care also known as nursing homes.  These offer private or semi-private rooms for seniors who have long-term nursing needs.  Subsidies are available for low-income earners and costs may be covered by provincial health care.  Waiting lists areextremely long and these senior care facilities suffer from a bad reputation with regard to the care given (warranted or not).

The choice I’m leaning towards for senior care is the assisted living facility.  I know my dad will balk at the high rent and would prefer an apartment condo they could purchase instead.

However, his legs are getting wobbly and he has recently fallen several times while getting up at night.  My mother is not able to pick him up when this happens.

Luckily, they would be able to afford the monthly rent, and they will have a financial cushion after they sell their house, and I will feel better knowing they will be looked after if and when help is needed.

The challenge is finding a suitable place soon in the area we desire.  Waiting lists are so long in some senior care facilities that I’m tempted to put my own name on a list now so there will be a spot for my husband and me should we require such accommodation in our later years.

Meanwhile, the house has to be sold, the contents sorted and trashed (mostly), or sold (maybe), or kept in the family (as little as possible).

My next few months are going to be busy.

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4 Comments

  1. Gary Daniels on February 3, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Thank you for an excellent post. My parents are 87 and 84 and my wife are struggling to convince my father to move into assisted living. It is hard to broach the subject with them without appearing like a goal but we just want them to be safe and have help available to them if needed. There generation have a different vision of assisted living — the old nursing home, end of the line thought proccess. We have looked at several of these communities and I am ready to move in today. Thanks again for the info and good luck in your search.

  2. Boomer on February 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    @Gary Daniels: My challenge is to convince my dad that this will be best for him. He has never rented before in his life and would really prefer to purchase, but that option is not available for the type of residence we have in mind for them. He is of the opinion that we are shuffling them off to a nursing home but the retirement homes we’ve looked at are really nice – if pricey – with lots of activities for them. I believe they’ll have a better quality of life not to mention MY peace of mind. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Senior Care & Living Services on February 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I would have to believe that in the aging process losing your home would by far be the worst. Its the last thing you have to hold on to and have worked so hard for so many years to keep. Many times lost loved ones memories are attached to the home so that adds another difficult level to over come. Good luck in convincing your parents but also remember what they are giving up for your peace of mind.

    • Boomer on February 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm

      Senior Care you make a good point about how hard it is to give up your long term home. However, this is not the case with my parents. They are not giving up my childhood home at this time. That occurred 30 years ago when they moved to a different province to retire and they have subsequently moved four times, giving up more of their belongings each time. I think giving up the memories has affected me and my brother more than them.

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