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Plan now for the future

By Florence Gordon

Published 12:57 PST, Fri November 24, 2023

Last Updated: 12:58 PST, Fri November 24, 2023

For those who have never visited a senior-retirement facility, the fear of ending up in an ‘old folk’s home’ is understandable.

Recently I walked into senior lifestyle residence and received a warm and welcoming experience from the front door throughout the many amenities: the lounge, dining room, bistro, barber shop, hairdresser, movie theatre, library, billiards room, a large verandah/patio, courtyard, activity room and each individual suite has a balcony.

Many seniors express concern that the monthly fees are beyond their means, but when you calculate: mortgage payments, property taxes, water, hydro, heating, general maintenance, insurance, cutting lawns, shovelling snow, upkeep of exterior and interior of a home, the lack of security, unexpected damages, groceries, entertainment, a social life and any other expense I may have overlooked that a home or condo owner faces every day, then maybe it is affordable.

Before taking that first step to shop what the available options are in your community, here are a few ideas to consider before making a lifestyle decision. 

Peace of mind

• You’re never alone

• Make new friends

• Be as busy as you like

• No more shopping or preparing meals

All-Inclusive at a senior residence

• Cost to maintain a home versus one monthly payment

• Worry free

• No surprise expenses

Freedom of maintenance

• No plumbers, electricians, furnace technicians

• No windows or roof & gutter repairs

• No servicing or replacing appliances

Safety and security offered

• Entrance secured & a concierge at front desk

• Twenty-four hour staff on duty

• COVID-19 visitor testing


• Some residences offer luxurious amenities

• Some smaller communities offer a home-like living

• Your budget & comfort dictates what you choose


• Nutritious well-balanced meals

• Qualified chefs

• Most offer in addition snack bars or a bistro

• Private dining room for family get togethers


• You know longer want a vehicle expense

• Most residences offer transportation services 

• Many residences arrange shopping or tour outings


• There are activities, classes & hobbies for everyone

• Exercise & dance classes

• Organized games

• Social events


• Most retirement facilities offer specialized care

• Nurses on staff

• Doctor on call

Personal finances—compare budgets

• Current monthly expenses

• Short-term and long-term maintenance 

• Monthly income (pensions, CPP, OAP)

• Value of your home if you were to sell or 

• If you rent out your home— expected income/expenses

Alternative Options

This is not to say, that seniors who chose to live within the comfort of their home, there are options within the community offering support to make this happen: caregivers, homemakers, support workers, live-in caregivers, private nursing, companions. Contact Vancouver Coastal Health

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