Aging in the “Right” place

Photo by Scott Webb

The “Golden Years” are how my parents referred to their retirement years. There comes a time in life when we all should be thinking about our future. You might be in the same situation. So often it is family members, caregivers or even strangers who are making decisions for someone who can no longer do it for themselves.

Aging in the right place takes planning. There are many questions to consider. It can be overwhelming, but — with a little research — it often can turn into an exciting time. Aging in place does not necessarily mean forever living where you do now. Sometimes this just is not possible. Life situations tend to show up suddenly. They could include the loss of a loved one, a health setback, financial struggles, feeling lonely and isolated, or needing more supportive services.

Just the thought of moving can be overwhelming.  We have lived in our homes for many years. Everything is familiar. We know our neighbours and community. It is a very hard decision. It may even feel like leaving your best friend behind. Just remember that the memories you cherish will go with you.

We are lucky to live in Calgary. There are so many options to consider. Everyone’s situation is unique and personal. Take the time to plan. First steps first! Your personal health and financial situation will determine the best housing option for you.

If you currently own a home, it is important to know the costs involved with selling your home and the amount you should be planning to budget for your new home.

Are you nearing or in retirement and want to have extra funds available for investment? This will influence your decision.

Are you healthy to live independently? Many retirement communities are specifically designed for older adults. This type of housing is typically one-level living and you can have home care services come in as needed. They can range from the “villa” concept to apartment living. It all depends on what you are looking for and your price range.

Every complex is different. Many offer amenities such as swimming pools, bowling alleys, libraries, craft rooms, gyms, and many social activities. There are even apartment-style condominiums that have dining rooms and offer optional dinners.

When more supportive services are needed, there are retirement residences that offer meals, housekeeping, and health care. These residences are usually a month-to-month lease and all vary in cost and services provided.

It is important to do your research while you can. The housing choices you make today, while you can, will only benefit your future. You will be able to live the lifestyle you have chosen and age in the “Right” place!