Your aging journey
Retirement living considerations
As we grow older, we will likely be forced to examine our living situation and whether it is suitable or appropriate as our health and wellbeing needs change. Many of us put off thinking about this transition, preferring to stick with our current arrangements; but the reality is that advanced aging means we will all likely need extra help. The question is, what degree of help and how should we plan for this phase of our life. Facing these key questions will help each of us determine the most suitable accommodation for our own unique circumstances.
One approach is to think of the later years in terms of three key stages:
- From 65-75: Ideally, you’re still active and healthy and enjoying retirement or semi-retirement.
- The late 70s and beyond: Many individuals may start to slow down, experience declining health and may require additional care.
- Additional care: The unfortunate reality for many of us is that we may eventually require more substantial nursing care provided by a long-term care facility.
What are some of the practical (financial and legal) arrangements you can put in place in advance and while you’re in the best position to make decisions? And if you’re an adult child, what can you do to help your parent or parents as they require increasing assistance?
One thing is clear, there is no single ‘best’ living arrangement for aging Canadians. The types of residential housing options cover the full spectrum of care. Beyond remaining at home as an active adult, perhaps with some additional help, these options include:
- Independent living
- Assisted living
- Long-term care (nursing home)
- Continuing care
- Home care
The key difference between independent living and other housing options is the level of assistance offered for daily living activities. If you require round-the-clock help with eating, dressing, and using the bathroom, or require regular medical assistance, other housing options such as assisted living facilities or long-term care (nursing homes) may be a better fit.