We're All Getting Older
Over 30% of Canadians are “Baby Boomers” and by 2031 they will all have reached the age of 65 and above.
It is obvious that over the next 20 years the need for more appropriate housing for this population will grow substantially. Owen Sound is recognized as one of the top retirement communities in Ontario and in Canada. At this time there is a significant shortage of housing for the retirement market in all Canadian cities. This need will continue to develop at an accelerated rate in the near future. The general consensus in the senior services business sector is that, if started now, the industry cannot build enough housing in time to handle the “Grey Tsunami” that is on its way.
The Retirement Market Housing Options:
Our provincial government’s policy is to have people stay in their homes longer and have care come to them. The biggest challenge is current living situations and homes are not designed to adapt and accommodate lifestyle changes and/or to be suitable for home care services.
A combination of smaller single-family residences or townhouses for independent living. All designed with accessibility and convenience of location in mind.
Apartment style buildings for independent living with smaller suites along with common areas for activities and services. (Life Lease or condo).
Lodge-style living with a combination of small suites or single rooms with common areas for meals, activities and a range of care services. These homes can provide independent living and assisted living.
LTC (Long Term Care)
Full nursing care and services controlled by the Ministry of Health.
Retirement Market Requirements
One floor level throughout the unit
Fully accessible washrooms to accommodate mobility aids
Larger bedrooms to allow access for mobility aids and lifts
Kitchen designed for easy mobility
Non-slip/trip flooring and transitions
Little or no hallways within the unit
All doors at least 38" wide
Located in city centres for access to ammenities
Housing units grouped together to accommodate over 55 social activity and service
If designed with these things in mind, whether they are apartments, condos, or townhouses, full accessibility within the home will allow people to stay in their home much longer.
Many people believe that they are invincible.
Just like teenagers - adults, boomers, and seniors are in denial about their bodies and future. People often say "that won't happen to me" or "I have many years before I will have to use that!" However, people don't think about the "what if" scenario. We need to realize that the future is unknown. Everyone hopes to never need a mobility aid but they may have a knee or hip replaced at some point in their life span.