Surprised to see this option on a real estate agent’s website? Don’t be. My priorities are yours—which means if you want to continue to live independently in your current home, my job is to help you find the community resources and supports to accomplish that goal.
PROS: Staying where you are means staying in a familiar environment—a home and neighbourhood that you’re used to and probably holds many special memories. There can be financial incentives as well. If your mortgage is paid off, your accommodation costs will be very low.
CONS: Living independently can be isolating, especially in a detached home…and there’s home maintenance, meal prep, shopping and repairs to think about, too. Safety can be an important concern, both in terms of falls and vulnerability to scams. Retrofits to a home that make it easier for you to live independently may devalue your home when it comes time to sell. And, if your spouse or partner can’t live independently, staying in your own home will definitely be a less attractive option.
NEED TO KNOWS: Reduce the stress of living in your current home by looking into community supports such as Meals on Wheels, the Community Care Access Centre (for government-funded home care), Home Health Care, and Seniors for Seniors (a fee-for-service agency that provides home cleaning, maintenance, companionship, drivers, overnight care and more). You can arrange for a Teletouch volunteer to check in by phone with you daily. Some seniors opt to rent a room in their home to someone who is willing to help out with tasks around the house in exchange for reduced rent—a win-win for both parties. Battle isolation by making the extra effort to connect with others who share your interests through seniors centres and clubs.
Often a few relatively minor renos—moving your laundry to the main floor, making a walk-in shower or installing grab bars, for instance—can make your environment safer. You can finance renovations with a “reverse mortgage”, which lets you access some of your home’s equity with no requirement to make monthly payments, or a line of credit through your financial institution. Renovations may also be eligible for forgivable government loans.