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Costs of Care, Part 1: Options for Senior Living

Costs of Care, Part 1: Options for Senior Living

Options for Senior Living This is the first post in a three-part series on the costs of senior care. The series discusses options available for seniors’ living and care, the costs involved, and how those costs can be covered.  In this first post, we look at the various options available to seniors: retirement homes, assisted living, long term care homes (LTC), and in-home caregiving. In the second post, we will take a more in-depth look at how much these different options cost. In the third post, we will discuss how families can meet the costs of senior care. Options for senior living: First, the statistics about living longer Statistics Canada publishes figures on both life expectancy and ‘Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy’ (HALE). Life expectancy is the number of years a person would be expected to live, depending on the year they were born. HALE is an indicator of the average number of years that a person is expected to live in a healthy state, a summary measure that combines both quantity of life and quality of life.   In 2007 (the last published figures), life expectancy was 83 years for a Canadian woman, and 78 years for a man. HALE calculations show that women in Canada can expect to live in a healthy state to the age of 71 (i.e. without a disability or chronic disease), and men can expect to live in a healthy state to the age of 69. This means that Canadians with average life expectancy will likely spend the last years of their lives (12 years for women, 9 years for men) coping with a chronic disease or disability. These...
Costs of Care, Part 3: How to pay for Care

Costs of Care, Part 3: How to pay for Care

How to Pay for care This is the third post in a three-part series on the costs of senior care. In the first post, we looked at the various options available to seniors: retirement homes, assisted living, long term care (LTC) homes, and in-home caregiving. In the second post, we took a more in-depth look at how much these different options cost. In this third post, we discuss the ways in which elderly care can be funded. Savings and Investments Of course, the logical answer to how to pay the costs of long term care for our parents, spouses and ourselves is to use savings and liquidate our investments.  If you have them, or have any left after retirement while entering your ‘disability years’ (see the first post in this series), then that may be used up first to fund the cost of care. How to pay for care: The family home At the time of writing this post, the Canadian housing market is still strong, and house prices are favourable to consider using the equity in a home to fund the costs of long term care for elderly loved ones. If your parents own a home, the home can be sold and the money used to pay for your parents’ care. Parents can downsize into an apartment, or move to a retirement home or LTC facility. If staying in their own home is important to your parents, they can directly draw on the equity in their home to pay the costs of home care. The two most popular options used right now are the Home Equity Line of...
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