Seniors’ housing an election issue

Senior retirement housing, long-term care, and subsidized senior housing all are on the minds of Ontario residents in this year’s provincial election.
It also will be part of municipal elections in the fall.
Housing for seniors is an issue. For instance, what types of senior housing do we require in the district? As well, what are we willing to pay for senior housing and who should be building the units?
It’s important to understand many of the differences and who will pay for the services.
If you are someone who is retired, but who wishes to stop shovelling walks, wants to downsize, and is looking for services such as meals and organized activities, a seniors’ housing unit would be ideal for you.
One can expect to pay anywhere between $2,300 and $4,500 depending on the size and bedrooms of the unit, and the meals you take in the dining room each day.
Many such senior housing complexes have a person on full-time duty, a service to take you to malls or shopping, and co-ordinators to organize activities. You are responsible for looking after your laundry but staff will clean your apartment as part of the services you are paying for.
These retirement homes often are referred to as assisted housing. Assisted or retirement housing is not subsidized housing.
If you are a senior and need more personal care and regular support, but wish to remain independent, you may find yourself paying upwards of $5,000 per month. Other services such as assisted bathing will be offered a la carte.
Retirement homes are for-profit operations and you pay for all the services you wish. The homes are built with investor money.
Subsidized senior housing indicates you get help paying for your rent. It often is referred to as rent geared-to-income. You would pay about 30 percent of your income for rent and the province would pay the balance.
You would continue to be responsible for preparing your meals, the cleaning of your apartment, and utilities. Other provincial agencies would provide support in the way of personal hygiene, making sure you are taking your medicines, and physio, etc.
Subsidized housing often is provided by co-operative housing, not-for-profit housing operated by a not-for-profit group, or a local housing group. A housing co-operative (co-op) is a type of non-profit housing.
If you are eligible to live in a housing co-op, your rent likely will be lower than in a privately-owned apartment. But subsidized housing does not provide many of the extra conveniences found in retirement homes.
Long-term care homes are where adults can live and receive 24-hour nursing, personal care, and help with their daily activities. These also are called nursing homes, municipal homes for the aged, or charitable homes.
The waiting lists often are long and may take several years to gain admittance.
Across the district, we have both nursing homes and subsidized housing. We do not have retirement homes. If “baby boomers” wish to have retirement homes with all their added conveniences, then they should be prepared to pay.
“Vibrant Voices” sent out a questionnaire asking responses to 11 questions from the three provincial parties in this election. They received responses from both the NDP and the Liberals (as of press time, the Progressive Conservatives had not provided any responses).
If senior and long-term housing is an issue with you, I encourage you to begin examining the differences and consider what each of the parties is offering.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail