What kinds of support do you need to stay in your home?

Did you know, according to Statistics Canada, that only five per cent of seniors over 65 years old live in residential care facilities?

Most of us, regardless of age, want to stay in our own homes for as long as possible.

Did you know, according to Statistics Canada, that only five per cent of seniors over 65 years old live in residential care facilities?

Simple math points out that 95 per cent of people over 65 are living in their homes or move to a supportive housing environment designed for seniors.

Last column, readers were asked to mull over the question, “When would you consider moving from your home?

If the answer is, “The only way I’ll leave my home is feet first” or in other words, “to age in place”, the next questions to ask would focus on the “how.”

What type of support are you willing to receive to keep yourself and/or your spouse as independent as possible? What type of help do you currently receive? Is your family able/willing to help?

The reality is that over 70 per cent of people 65 years and older require some type of long-term care services during their lifetime.

It may also mean asking yourself if your home needs modifying to meet age-related changes.

Do you have stairs? Can you install a ramp? Are hallways and doorways wide enough for mobility devices? Are bath/shower facilities amenable to changes in mobility?

Aging in place requires examining your support network and finances to better understand the costs of long-term care, not just monetary but the emotional and physical costs to those caring for you.

Staying put is more challenging with limited mobility. Not being able to leave your home can lead to isolation, depression and loneliness.

If your answer includes responses such as, “When I’m no longer able to cook for myself,” “when I’m no longer able to do personal care,” “if my husband dies before me,” then considering a more supportive housing option may be a good fit.

If some of following statements ring true, this may validate a move with more supports in place:

• I sometimes feel lonely or I live too far from town and no longer drive or feel comfortable driving under certain conditions.

• I worry about falling and not being found.

• I am not eating as well as I should be due to an inability to shop and prepare meals.

• I have trouble remembering to take my pills, or worry I have taken too many.

• Things like housekeeping, laundry, gardening are challenging and I have little energy left to enjoy life.

• My house is too big and I want to downsize.

• My home is difficult to move around in due to stairs, bathroom set-up, etc.

• I need regular assistance for activities such as bathing or dressing.

• I don’t have family nearby to help with my future care.

A variety of seniors housing choices exist and there is no simple answer as to which one is right for you.

The next column expands on how to better assess your housing needs followed by a review of seniors housing options in B.C.

Wendy Johnstone is a gerontologist and is the founder of Keystone Eldercare Solutions. Her column runs in the Comox Valley Record every second Thursday.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools