My brother and I have spent several months investigating various senior care facilities and retirement communities for our parents. They are in their mid to late 80’s and still live in their own home but it has become more and more difficult for them to manage without assistance and neither one of us live close enough to provide it regularly.
We decided on a retirement community close to my brother’s home. My parents at first were wary about giving up their independence, but after a trip out to see the residence they actually were quite excited to start another phase of their lives and promptly put down a deposit to hold the apartment.
They will live in a regular apartment with two bedrooms, full kitchen, ensuite bathroom and a large balcony. At a bit over $3,000 a month it seems at first quite pricey but we did a cost comparison and it really is fairly reasonable.
They currently own their own home outright so they don’t have mortgage payments but they will no longer have to pay for other home expenses such as:
- Home insurance
- Property taxes
- Utilities – heat, electricity and hydro
- Security service
- Repairs and maintenance
- Lawn and garden care and snow removal
They will also enjoy laundry and housekeeping services in the retirement community.
The residence has a full service dining room and meals are included in the monthly cost so their grocery bill will be greatly reduced.
They will no longer need a vehicle (my dad shouldn’t be driving anymore anyway), as there are bus excursions for shopping and such, as well as bus trips for recreation. That will save on car expenses such as:
- Auto Insurance
- License and registration
- Gas and oil
- New Tires
- Maintenance and repairs
In house facilities at the retirement community are quite extensive. They include a hair salon, library, on-site pharmacy and activity room as well as a concierge service.
I was worried that they were becoming isolated as most of their friends have either passed away or moved to other retirement communities and they were not getting out much. This should no longer be a problem with the activity room, lounge (with big screen TV), and billiards and shuffleboard room. They are usually quite sociable and I’m sure they will make many friends among the other residents.
One thing that provides us with peace of mind is the monitoring service and assistance should they require it down the road. There are extra charges for these services, but it also means they shouldn’t have to move again should their health deteriorate somewhat.
The house has been put up for sale and all that’s left to do now is to go through their belongings to determine what will go with them, what will be given away and what will be sold, donated to charity or tossed. In the next few weeks I’ll be helping them with this chore.
They are set to move into their new home at the retirement community in June. Luckily they have enough income to cover their expenses. The proceeds from the sale of their house will be a cushion for potential future costs, if required. Plus it will make them feel more secure, having that extra savings.
It’s been a difficult process for all of us, especially emotionally, but now that everything’s settled we are all ready to move on.