The desire of older Canadians to age in place is high, and the governments of Canada are keen to invest in better supports for aging in place. But one of the biggest barriers to aging in place is the inadequacy of current housing to meet changing needs. The fact is, health factors can force individuals to seek other living arrangements due to the inadequacy of current housing. The need for housing options for older adults is a pressing issue for many communities, including Ottawa.
Homeshare programs facilitate aging in place
There are several benefits of homeshare programs for older adults, and many homesharing experiences have a positive impact on their health and well-being. These programs have the potential to increase the safety and independence of older adults and lower their health care costs. Homeshare programs are a great alternative for older adults who are unable to care for themselves. They are a great way to provide extra hands-on assistance to older people who need help.
The program was developed by HomeShare International, a non-profit organization that first began operations in Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Since then, it has grown to 16 countries. The main objective of these programs is to pair up older adults who are looking for help with their daily activities, like cleaning, grocery shopping, and household maintenance. Many participants in these programs are in the same age range as the home providers, although they can come from different generations.
One of the major challenges of aging in place is finding affordable housing. Often, older adults cannot afford the necessary modifications to their homes, and need assistance finding affordable living options in their communities. While older adults with higher incomes may be able to self-finance aging in place costs, many are unable to do so due to lack of resources. As a result, paying for these modifications can become a major challenge.
Fortunately, there are many homeshare programs available to meet the growing need for affordable, age-appropriate housing. Many of these programs connect people looking for affordable housing with people in need of help with daily tasks. As a result, these programs facilitate aging in place and connect residents to important services and resources in their area. This can be a great option for seniors. And if you are a caregiver, homeshare programs can provide an invaluable service.
Some people may be retired, empty-nesters, or widows/widows. They may be looking for a way to reduce the costs of their home, and want the companionship of a young adult or a couple with a baby. Others may be retired and just want an extra hand around the house. Either way, homeshare programs facilitate aging in place by helping people stay in their own homes.
Barriers to aging in place
The Canadian government’s Age And Opportunity Housing strategy aims to help seniors age in place by meeting their core housing needs. There are many barriers to aging in place, including the need for adequate health care, isolation, and a lack of social support. Fortunately, there are many ways to help seniors age in place, including supportive housing. The research in this document highlights some of the solutions that have been implemented to help older renters age in place.
Accessibility, adaptability, and safety are some of the major barriers to aging in place. Research has shown that one-quarter of Canadian seniors have difficulty with at least one activity, such as walking, hearing, or communicating. Environmental adaptations can help mitigate such challenges as bending over and climbing stairs. For example, the design of a bathroom is a key component of aging in place housing.
A growing senior population and declining government investment in social housing have led to long wait lists. In 2015, there were 171,360 households in Ontario who were on a wait list for rent-geared-to-income housing. The proportion of seniors on these wait lists increased to 32%. Some communities have even higher wait lists. There is a need for ‘aging in place’ policies to help these individuals age in place.
One of the main reasons for seniors to delay moving is a strong emotional attachment to their current home. They want to maintain their social networks within their neighbourhood. Many seniors avoid making the move because they fear the cost, disruption, and lack of options. In addition, they may be scared that their new dwelling will not meet their expectations. Finally, they may be unable to afford a new home because there are few affordable housing options in their area.
Options for affordable housing
There are a variety of options for affordable housing in Canada. For seniors, the main concern is the ability to afford the costs of their housing. However, there are also some benefits to living in an apartment, condo or house shared with another person. These types of housing are often referred to as social housing and are often subsidized by the government or set at an income level based on the needs of the residents.
In addition to affordability, housing options for seniors should also contribute to the development of the country as a whole. Age diversity provides significant economic and social benefits to Canada. Seniors are the social backbone of communities, ensuring that younger generations connect with their elders. They also act as mentors for younger citizens and are essential community leaders. While seniors are considered an underserved demographic, they hold considerable wealth and control a significant portion of the economy. As a result, they have more assets than other groups and are less likely to be in debt.
Government initiatives to improve housing for older adults
While most federal programs are aimed at low-income renters, many local efforts have also helped seniors find affordable housing. Until 1981, many rental subsidy programs were only open to lower-income families, but since 1981 income targets have been tightened to provide assistance to households with less than 50 percent of the area’s median family income. In recent years, CDBP funding has helped local agencies coordinate services for older adults, creating age-friendly communities.
Several federal agencies have also developed housing assistance programs to help older Americans find affordable housing. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, for example, provides states with a unique opportunity to create person-centered infrastructure and sustainable systems. Below, we’ll examine some of the most significant provisions of ARPA and how they can help older Americans. ARPA affects state government officials, from Medicaid agencies to housing and community development agencies. It also has implications for state legislators and advisors to governors.
The US Department of Treasury’s Supportive Housing for the Elderly (SHFE) program supports efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing for the elderly. This program provides private nonprofit sponsors with interest-free capital advances to build or renovate affordable housing. While SHFE funding is intended to improve housing quality for older Americans, it can also support efforts to increase health services for the elderly. Therefore, affordable housing for older adults is an important way to improve their quality of life and reduce costs of health care across the country.
In addition to affordable housing, government-funded programs also help the elderly maintain their independence. The HARP provides grants to nonprofit organizations and public housing authorities to help low-income elderly people remain in their homes and remain safe and independent. These projects improve accessibility, functional capabilities, and the health of elderly residents. In other words, government-funded housing programs make it possible for elderly citizens to age in place, rather than relocating.
Federal housing policies for the elderly should include public assistance and make community-based housing an integral part of the long-term care system. However, current housing policy only pays this issue passing attention. And the programs that are currently in place are inadequately designed to meet the needs of older adults. This lack of focus and funding have led to an overall decrease in affordable housing. The federal government provides assistance to low-income renters and homeowners.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.