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Is Aging in Place Right for You?

posted on December 12, 2022 in retirement

When you picture your retirement, where are you living?

If your answer is in your own home or apartment, you are part of a growing majority. Canadians are increasingly choosing to age in place, meaning they want access to health supports and services that will allow them to live independently and safely in the comfort of their own home, for as long as possible.

Choosing to age in place comes with benefits such as: retaining independence, receiving personalized care, and minimizing the stress of changing environments.

So, with all the inherent benefits of aging in place, why is it only now growing in popularity?

COVID-19’s Impact

Though the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the retirement plans of some workers, Canada is now staring down the barrel of what Economists are calling “The Great Retirement.” More Canadians are retiring, and many are at a younger age. This phenomenon is only going to intensify in the next few years.

poll by the National Institute of Aging found that over 90 percent of Canadians aged 65 and older intend to stay in their home or apartment as long as possible, rather than relocating to a long-term care facility or a retirement home.

Planning to Age in Place

The Government of Canada has an online checklist you can review with several factors for Canadians to answer as they consider aging in place. We have come up with our own checklist to consider when deciding if you want to age in place:

Cost Savings of Aging in Place vs Retirement Home

Retirement homes can be a great resource for individuals that need 24-hour care and generalized services. However, for those that don’t require such an all-encompassing approach to care, aging in place can prove to be the better option financially.

An accurate comparison would be that of most retirement home services to an all-you-can-eat buffet. All services are included at one price, regardless of what you will actually use. Whereas aging in place is more comparable to ordering off the menu at a restaurant, allowing you to tailor your services specifically to your need and price point.

Services such as Home Instead offer tailored services, in your own home or apartment, that meet your specific needs. This can be beneficial if you need light help with things like meal prepping, cleaning, or bathing but do not require the round-the-clock care provided at retirement homes. Even if you are just looking for weekly companionship or someone with whom you can go on a daily walk, services such as Affinity Health offer companion care. Personalized retirement services can help enhance your daily life while still retaining your sense of independence.

seniors laughing with digital devices

Availability of Online Services

Pandemic restrictions also had the unintended side effect of changing how people shop, buy groceries, and receive in-home services, with many companies expanding their online service offerings. This ease of access means that aging in place is now more doable than ever. If you enjoy cooking but can’t get to a grocery store, there are online shopping and delivery services, such as  Instacart for groceries, that buys your groceries for you at a much cheaper cost than retirement home meal plans.

Additionally, meal subscription services such as Chef’s Plate can be customized for the number of people being fed and the number of meals cooked each week. They are then delivered to your door with proportioned ingredients so there is very little meal prep and no waste is produced.

If you want someone to come in and clean your place a few times a month, services such as Mopify can send a professional cleaner to your apartment to focus on any tasks that you may not be able (or want) to clean.

A Good Apartment/Townhouse

Maintaining a house and property can be exhausting, especially as you age. Rental properties offer amenities that can simplify your retirement, eradicating the concerns of property maintenance and repairs. Panoramic Properties offers furnished apartments, beautifully maintained buildings, and 24-hour emergency maintenance staff on-call should issues arise. You can also speak to your landlord about any mobility or health needs that you may require in your apartment.

The location of your residence also has an impact on the success of your aging-in-place plan. In cities that support age-friendly community initiatives (AFCI), the policies, services and structures related to the physical and social environment are designed to help seniors "age actively." This includes well-lit sidewalks, health and community support, and accessible public transit. For example, Panoramic Properties has buildings on Nesbitt Drive in Sudbury that are located directly on a bus route. They also manage apartments in Wallaceburg where a bus will take you anywhere in the city for $2 – with pickup anywhere on the property.

Ten Canadian provinces are currently promoting age-friendly community initiatives, including Ontario and Nova Scotia. ACFIs are present in cities such as Ottawa, Halifax, and Niagara. Panoramic Properties offers apartments or townhouses in each of these cities.

senior woman browsing online on her laptop

Start Planning Today

The earlier you start your retirement planning, the better. Whether you want to spend your golden years in a retirement home or stay in your townhouse/apartment as long as possible, early planning will help to set you up for success. And, should you decide you want to age in place in a beautiful apartment, Panoramic Properties has an abundance of properties for you to choose from.