RiverLife Real Estate


Giving Seniors Housing Options

Recently, Amie and I gave a presentation about exploring options in Seniors Housing. We partnered with Kathy Mendham from Proactive Seniors and we covered off all of the for-purchase and for-rent options available to Calgary seniors who are mulling over all of their housing possibilities, from luxury villas to supportive living.

We touched on that dreaded word “downsizing” and what it means. We feel that downsizing is a philosophy – simplifying your life to free up time to focus on things that matter: your family, health, community, travel, hobbies and volunteer roles.

As baby boomers age, they want to continue their quality of lifestyle, so it just makes sense for them and older seniors to consider a few of these questions:

  • Is looking after a larger house and yard becoming more burden than pleasure?
  • Do I still host friends or family gatherings or overnight guests?
  • Do I worry about steep stairs, getting on a ladder etc.
  • Do I use all of the rooms in my house?

Considering options early can help seniors feel more in control of their future and able to make a thoughtful decision about their home. So, we presented five options:

  • Staying in your home (but modifying it and outsourcing some or all of the maintenance)
  • Buying a smaller home
  • Buying a townhome
  • Buying an apartment
  • Alternatives such as basement suites, laneway homes, mobile homes and co-ownership

Equity also plays a large role in downsizing. If most of it is tied up in a house, it can be useful to free it up and put it to work for you now.  For each of these options we ran sample budgets to demonstrate how much average monthly costs would be. The most expensive option is always staying in your home, as your equity is tied up. Selling an existing home and buying a smaller one is much more affordable, even with condo fees for townhomes and apartments because of the extra profit made from selling the original home.

We can email you a PDF of our full presentation if you or anyone you know might want to explore these options for themselves!

If home ownership no longer appeals, Kathy touched on the various seniors facilities available for rent. She explained the differences between independent, supported/assisted living and long term care facilities – all framed within the public or private systems. There are numerous price points and service offerings. Feel free to email her for more details at Kathy@proactiveseniors.ca.

No matter what option seniors are contemplating, their decision is going to be an important and emotional one. It’s difficult to face moving out of a beloved home they may have lived in for decades and holds many cherished memories. Aging comes with some tough choices.

As my 89 year-old dad has often said “getting old isn’t for sissies.” No it’s not – but with some planning and a whole lot of information and family support, the move to downsizing your home doesn’t have to be traumatic, unexpected, rushed or forced by a crisis.

We understand that. If you – or somebody you love – are facing these questions and maybe don’t know how to get started exploring their options, please give us a call. We’re always here to help.


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