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Healthy Aging: Long term planning for remaining independent

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For many Canadians, retirement planning is about remaining independent and in the family home for as long as possible.

You want to stay in the home where you raised your kids and have so many memories, but there’s also a financial advantage. It can be considerably cheaper than moving to an assisted living facility.

You can overcome the potential challenges of staying in your home by preparing now.

Getting around

Mobility can be a major issue for many, especially when you can no longer drive. Getting to health appointments or socializing can be a lot trickier.

Some municipal transit systems offer a door-to-door service for people who are unable to use regular transit, often charging the regular transit fare.

Some charities and not for profit organizations offer free or discounted transportation. Medical charities often provide volunteer drivers to take patients to their appointments.

Private transportation services specifically designed for older Canadians usually cost considerably less than taxis.

Dial 211 or go to 211.ca to find out which transport services are available in your area. This is also a great way to find other local resources.

Adapting your home for successful aging

Mobility issues can also affect the suitability of your home as you age. Stairs often pose the greatest challenge, as well as getting in and out of the bath.

Many people need to carry out some kind of renovations to make their home more accessible. Ramps or stairlifts can be invaluable ways to give you access to your home, inside and out.

Fitting grab bars in the bath and handrails for stairs, installing first floor bathrooms and renovating your kitchen can all improve your home’s accessibility.

Making daily life manageable and keeping you safe

If you find that some chores are becoming too much for you, in-home care services can help to keep you in your home. They will do everything from helping you to get in and out of bed to cleaning the house, doing the laundry and preparing meals.

Personal emergency response systems can be lifesavers. Worn as a pendant or wristband, you simply press the button if you need urgent help.

Making your retirement fun

Loneliness and isolation can be a serious challenge in retirement. There are plenty of websites listing activities for most communities.

They provide information on entertainment, local hobby and interest groups, ideas for indoor and outdoor fitness programs, community centres and government programs. Most offer discounted or free transport.

Taking the pain out of grocery shopping

In-home services can provide you with someone to do your shopping or accompany you to the store.

You can avoid the grocery store altogether by ordering food online. You can have it delivered to your door at a time convenient for you.

Delivery charges vary, from free to around $11.95. Grocery delivery also helps with budgeting because you know exactly how much your bill will be, before you place your order. Plus, you can avoid making impulse purchases for stuff you don’t need.

Planning for successful aging

Ensuring you have a happy and healthy aging can cost money. You could tap into savings, sell some assets or take out a home equity line of credit to cover the costs.

Another option is to take out a CHIP Reverse Mortgage with HomeEquity Bank. You can borrow up to 55% of your home’s value and you won’t have to make a single payment of principal or interest until you move out or sell.

Imagine, turning your home into the perfect place to enjoy your retirement, for many years, without reducing your income. That’s certainly one key to successful aging.

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