After witnessing the impact COVID-19 had on the elderly population living in nursing homes, an overwhelming majority of Canadians over 65 surveyed said they want to age in place, staying in their own home rather than make a move into a retirement or assisted living community. But according to a recent Ryerson University National Institute on Aging report, many are not aware of the out-of-pocket expenses for care and home modifications required to remain at home.
Up to 75 percent of care hours for older Canadians are done by unpaid or informal caregivers, but with smaller families and more single seniors, a growing number of elderly adults will require formal care services. Some of the funding for at-home care may be covered by government programs, but added hours may need to be financed privately. A 2016 Statistics Canada report found that among older Canadians who received formal home care services, only 52.2 percent had all of their care costs covered by the government.
Being able to successfully age at home doesn’t end with being able to afford care expenses – there are many home modifications that need to be made in order for seniors to age in place safely. Too many older adults wait until they have an injury, illness, or surgery that creates mobility problems to address accessibility in their homes. When things are done in a hurry, not only are they less well-planned, the cost can skyrocket.
For older adults who plan on staying in their homes indefinitely, budgeting for and making adaptations that support aging in place should start early. Converting a shower to be wheelchair accessible, installing bathroom grab bars, or updating flooring and lighting are just a few of the modifications older homeowners can start now to make their living space more accessible. Some of the expenses may be eligible for a tax credit or government grant.
Learn more by visiting Reno Studios where you’ll find videos and audio playlists to learn more about steps you can take now to ready your home for aging in place.