If you’re like most Canadians—93% of them, according to this Ipsos survey—you’ll want to stay in your home during your retirement. After all, your home holds many precious memories and is likely close to friends and family, as well as the community you love.
Unfortunately, living at home can become increasingly challenging as we age. Health and mobility issues can make it difficult to manage a home or carry out simple tasks. Many retirees feel that their only option is to move into a full-time care home or retirement residence.
It doesn’t have to be this way, however: there are services available to help you stay in your home. In this article, we take a look at your options when health or mobility issues make living at home more of a challenge.
The pros and cons of care homes and retirement residences
There are clear advantages to moving to a retirement or assisted living home where everything is done for you. You’re helped with dressing, cooking, cleaning and bathing. Many of these homes also have a doctor or nurse on site.
For many retirees, however, losing independence is hard to accept. There are also several other disadvantages of moving into a retirement or nursing home:
- They can be expensive, depending on the home and where you live. The average cost for just a single room is $2,210 per month, with fancier retirement homes charging as much as $6,000 per month.
- You may have to move away from your old neighbourhood.
- Making big changes to daily life can be stressful for some people and become difficult to find a new routine.
- Being around so many others in these types of homes can mean there is a higher chance of catching contagious illnesses, such as colds and flu.
- It may take some time for you to adjust to your new normal and certain aspects you were used to may no longer be possible
- Many people miss their garden and other ways of enjoying their outside space.
- It can be hard to adjust to a much smaller living area and having to share common areas (like recreation or dining) with other residents of the home.
These disadvantages deter many people from moving into a care home or retirement residence. So, how can you stay at home when health and mobility issues restrict you?
Home care: the help you need to stay in your home
There are several companies that offer home care services across Canada. Depending on your budget and location, there may be one that more suited for you. Some of the most well-known options in Canada include:
If none of these companies provide services in your town, you can carry out an Internet search for “home care options for retirees” + your city/region. It is important to research and read reviews to ensure the company is reputable and will provide the home care you need.
Home care companies provide a huge range of services that can help you to continue living at home. Home care services include:
- Personal services and companionship
These include help with getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, toilet care and any other difficult tasks. Home care workers may also provide companionship, as well as help with fitness programs that are developed around your abilities. They can also help you to enjoy hobbies, such as puzzles, crosswords, seated yoga and playing cards.
- Help around the house and transportation
Home care workers can help with grocery shopping and preparing hot meals. They can carry out household chores, including cleaning and tidying up. They can also take you to medical appointments or social events.
- Medical care
Home care companies can provide you with a nurse and provide care for a range of medical needs, including hospital discharge care, wound care, medication reminders, prescription pick-up and physiotherapy. They can also provide updates or raise health concerns with your family members or doctor.
- Specialized care
Many home care companies also provide specialized care for retirees with a range of ailments, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, mobility issues, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.
What home care costs – and how to pay for it
Prices for home care services vary, depending on the company you hire and the region you live in. However, typical rates for general home support and personal care/ companionship are between $20-30 per hour. Many providers require a minimum number of hours per week. For professional services, such as nursing or therapy, the rate per visit is usually between $50-60.
Receiving the home care that you need could end up costing several hundred dollars per week. While this can still be considerably less costly than moving into a retirement home, it’s still a significant amount to come out of most people’s retirement income.
If you’re a homeowner aged 55-plus, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage® could help you to pay for the home care that you need. You can take the funds from a reverse mortgage as a tax-free, regular payment, rather than a lump sum if that suits your needs to pay for this regular in home care. This amount could be used to cover all or some of your regular home care costs.
Also, because you don’t have to pay what you owe until you decide to sell or move out, there are no regular mortgage payments, so there is no negative impact on your retirement income. Plus, you maintain full title and ownership of your home.
Call us at 1-866-522-2447 to find out how much money you could get to keep you in the home you love and get you the home care you need.