In this day and age, there are a multitude of options when it comes to senior living.  To come to the best decision, there are three main things to consider – health needs, preferences, and financial capacity. The best options should be able to satisfy most if not all of these. 

If you’re reading this article, you might have already browsed through traditional retirement options such as senior communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. It may be that you don’t find these options appealing at the moment because of personal and/or financial considerations. So whether you are searching for alternative options for an elderly loved one or for yourself, you’re in the right place!

This article discusses alternatives to traditional retirement options. Let’s get started! 

Elderly couple sitting on the patio of their home

1. Ageing in Place

Ageing in place is, of course, the most obvious alternative to moving into a retirement home or community. A study conducted some years back revealed that about 90 percent of seniors in Canada wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. This is completely understandable. After all, staying in one’s own home offers familiarity and consistency. It’s natural to feel attached to the home you’ve known for years as well as its surrounding community. Moreover, some older adults are not keen on changes and would like to stick to their current routine and surroundings. 

Whether or not this offers a financial advantage over traditional options depends on certain factors. The need for in-home care would also raise the cost of this option. Additionally, modifications to the home could be necessary based on the needs of the elderly person. 

2. Senior Cohousing

The first model for creating a senior cohousing community was developed in Denmark way back in 1992. By the early 2000’s, the concept reached the United States. Since then, more and more senior cohousing communities have surfaced in North America. For more information on this modern housing community, visit the link here.

Among the options we have listed, this would be the closest option to a traditional 55+ community – except that it has its own set of benefits. Senior co-housing is a relatively new type of living arrangement wherein 20-40 single-family homes are arranged so that everyone shares the same lawn space and walkways. In this setup, everyone has their own living space plus a shared common house which typically includes a large kitchen, laundry room, dining room, and etc. This type of living arrangement is best suited for elderly persons who seek a close community where residents socially support each other, share resources, and have fun. 

Typically, this option is more cost-effective than most 55+ communities with the added advantage of a closer community.  

Seniors together in a cohousing common area

3. Senior Home Sharing

Senior home sharing is another great alternative option for elderly persons who want to stay in their own homes. By sharing their homes with individuals seeking a place to live, elderly persons can receive assistance with household tasks and/or rent from their housemate. This option may not be for everyone and may pose some safety concerns. But when done right, this can be a beneficial living setup for both the elderly person and the housemate/s. Additional benefits of this are companionship and peace of mind. The elderly person does not have to live all alone and can get help in case of an emergency.  

4. Multigenerational Living

Multigenerational living is when seniors opt to live with younger family members – which is typically the family of one of their adult children. More and more Canadians are embracing this option because this allows the elderly parent to save on housing costs as well as spend precious time with the younger family members. 

This option also offers peace of mind for all parties. The elderly person’s child won’t need to worry about their parent being all alone in the family house. Meanwhile, the elderly person knows that help and assistance from loved ones are always close by.  The downside to this option though could include lack of privacy. Also, the senior parent would need to adjust that the head of the household is their adult child and not them – if this adjustment in dynamic can be done, then this living arrangement can be very beneficial and hassle-free. 

5. Granny Pods

A spin on multigenerational living is the granny pod. Here, the elderly parent would live in a tiny house situated on the family member’s property. This is typically the property of one of their adult children. This setup has the same benefits as multigenerational living but with added privacy. 

Need More Insight on Retirement Options?

With all the choices available out there, finding the best option for your situation can be challenging. That’s why we’re here to help!

As one of the leading providers of full-service senior living transitions, we at Your Next Steps Inc. can assist you with putting together a plan for senior living and all the next steps after that. Our years of experience allow us to give the best insights to put you on the right track. So let’s get started! Contact us today.