Retirement is evolving and how retirement in Canada looks has changed drastically in the past few years. This is mainly because people are living longer – a whopping 28 years past retirement for most.
Living longer and remaining active for longer than ever before also means people are living at home longer and well past retirement. That’s just fine with most Canadian seniors based on a number of surveys that found that the majority of Canadian seniors prefer to remain at home for as long as possible.
Aging in place isn’t just the preference, but also the answer given the changing needs of seniors and retirement plans that don’t afford most the ability to pay for quality long-term care facilities. And even those that can afford assisted living facilities don’t feel they can justify the cost of these facilities when they’re still reasonably active and don’t require ‘round-the-clock care.
To make this work, people are thinking outside the box and utilizing in-home care services and some other creative arrangements to make aging in the comfort of home possible.
Multigenerational housing isn’t a new idea. Adult children taking in and looking after their aging parents is fairly common and in some cultures it’s expected. What has changed is that it’s no longer just seniors who are unable to live on their own that move in with their children. Many active and independent retirees choose this alternative because it’s more affordable than a mortgage or rent, or the high cost of a retirement community. This frees up funds that can be used to supplement the cost of in-home care services to take some of the burden off of adult children who are also juggling work and kids.
Student renters from other parts of the country/overseas
Many seniors are renting rooms to students from out of town or even the country. This mutually beneficial arrangement is appealing to students who are offered low rent in exchange for help with chores like minor home maintenance and repairs and taking out the garbage.
Not only can this provide extra income during retirement, it also makes in-home care services more affordable because chores can split between the student and a professional caregiver.
Young Professional Renters
Many young professionals find themselves having to move to a new city or town for jobs and unable to afford the high cost of rentals—if they can even find one. With so many empty nesters having empty rooms collecting dust, renting to a young professional offers mutual benefits. It provides the an affordable housing solution that helps a young person get on their feet while providing a senior with supplementary income that can contribute to in-home care services when the need arises.
The Golden Girls were onto something! Taking in other seniors as roommates is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to retirement homes and helping seniors age more comfortably. Seniors who live together can share the cost of hiring a caregiver to assist with the tasks of daily living, basic housekeeping, and other in-home care services.
For those who want to age in place, these alternatives make retirement affordable so you can continue to live on your terms. These options are also wonderful ways to stave-off senior loneliness and remain social, which can help keep you healthier and happier, according to various studies.
David Porter, CPCA
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care