• Gary Hepworth

Do You Want to Age at Home? Then You Need a Plan

Updated: Apr 19


Covid-19 and Planning Aging at Home


If you want to aging at home, you need a plan. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many Canadians to rethink their retirement plans and specifically where they want to live.

The majority of older adults would now prefer to spend their retirement in their own home rather than a retirement facility. This same demographic now is prioritizing being closer to family and remaining in Canada, rather than living abroad.


The devastation caused in retirement and long-term care homes by COVID-19 has really got people thinking more about their options. This is not a surprising turn of events.

However, in order to stay in your home later in life, you have to prepare for that today. The luxury of staying in your home comes with a price tag and requires some pre-planning.


What pre-planning steps do you need to take?


1) Identify support services in your community – whether is it food delivery or medical support. In order to feel independent and self-sufficient, you need to set yourself up for success and align yourself with the resources that can help you. Prepare a list of services and contact information.


2) You may need in-home care.  In many cases, it is adult children that will step in to care for aging parents. Most of the care provided in Canada is by unpaid family members. It may be hard, but flexibility is key, and you need to know whether your family have the capacity to take this on…not only their willingness, but also their ability to do so.

Keep in mind that the publicly funded home care is limited. You may need to hire private care and you need to do your research about availability and costs.


3) Set up powers of attorney for health and financial decisions in the event you are unable or unwilling to make decisions for yourself. Use a lawyer as these are important documents and need to be written clearly.


The people you choose to serve as POA’s should be younger than you, preferably live relatively close to you and be very trustworthy.  In many cases it’s family members but in some cases non-family members and financial institutions should be considered. AND don’t forget to ensure your will is up to date.


4) Review your health coverage and make the necessary changes to your home so it is equipped for ease of mobility and to help prevent falls – a fall could seriously compromise your ability to live independently.


5) Review your numbers – just how much will it actually cost you to live independently in retirement when supported with the right people, services and products to facilitate the process.


Conclusion


The key here is to have a plan that you can put into place today, not on retirement day. Be very clear on how you want to spend your retirement and how you will fill that time in retirement. And it isn’t just about the money – wealth preservation, tax planning, health monitoring and lifestyle are all key components of a responsible plan.

A well thought out plan to aging at home can set yourself up for success today.

If you want to read more about the topic click here: https://greenlafleur.com/advance-care-planning-covid-19/

Another article from this author: https://greenlafleur.com/alzheimers-disease-aging/

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