What’s next? A look at senior care.

With the impending “silver tsunami” fast approaching, most Canadians will be faced with finding long term care for themselves or a loved one.

According to Statistics Canada, the senior population (over 65) in 2013 was 5.4 million.  This number is triple what it was in 1963 and is projected to double by the year 2063 to between 11.1 and 15.1 million.

Not only is the population in North America “greying” but the number of older seniors (80 plus) is representing a growing share of this population. This number expected to peak by the year 2046.

With seniors living long past retirement age, the way we face old age is rapidly changing.  The growing trend is to “age in place”, to remain in at home with community and family support as long as possible.   A good place to start to find assistance is to contact your local Community Care Access Center at heathcareathome.ca for local agencies that provide care to help people live independently at home.

However, at some point, due to unexpected health changes, care needs or financial concerns, living at home may no longer be possible.  Navigating long term care can be made easier with the tools offered by Long Term Care Canada, an educational website offering information on government programs for seniors, senior care, long-term insurance and financial planning.

There is also a step-by-step guide to apply to a nursing home and nursing home ratings at Nursing Home Ratings. Ca.  The application process varies from province to province.

Comfort Life is a retirement and care guide website that offers assistance in matching community living options with care needs and finances.  The even have a mobile phone app that uses gps to locate retirement homes.  

There is a wealth of information about long term care and nursing home care online but nothing replaces “boots on the ground” discovery.  Once you have narrowed down your search with basic matters such as cost, location and services, make time to visit your top choices.  Ask friends and family for recommendations and talk with staff.  If possible, include your loved-one in the decision making process, the greatest fear for many seniors is losing all control over their lives. 

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” Author Unknown