August 13th, 2015
Assisted living has become increasingly popular with seniors who want to maintain an independent lifestyle while getting some help with daily life activities and reassurance that help is available round the clock, if required.
For those planning for their future, a retirement community is a great option for when you need additional help and don’t want burden your loved ones.
However, as assisted living arrangements are not covered under provincial health insurance plan, many people are not financially prepared to foot the costs of these living arrangements.
The price of living in a retirement community varies significantly depending on where one lives in Canada, the type of accommodation required, quality of care provided and the number of amenities a facility offers.
On average, in 2013, residents of retirement communities paid anywhere from $1,453 to around $3,204 monthly.
These rates are only rising, as according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporations' Seniors' Housing Report 2014, the average rent rose from $1,995 to $2,043 from 2013 to 2014.
In provinces where the cost of assisted living is highest, like Prince Edward Island, residents paid an average of $4,752 more in 2014 than they did in 2013.
Average Monthly Rent Across Canada 2014
- Newfoundland and Labrador $2,105
- Prince Edward Island $2,782
- Nova Scotia $2,707
- New Brunswick $2,395
- Quebec $1,497
- Ontario $2,776
- Manitoba $1,815
- Saskatchewan $2,536
- Alberta $2,329
- British Columbia $2,021
Provincially, the highest average rents were recorded in Prince Edward Island ($2,782) and Ontario ($2,776) while; the lowest rents were in Quebec ($1,497) and Manitoba ($1,815).
Additionally, the cities with the highest average rents include:
- Toronto at $3206
- Regina at $3105
- Ottawa at $3017
While, Saguenay ($1,246), Sherbrooke ($1,308) and Trois-Rivières ($1,575) offer some of Canada’s lowest assisted living rents.
Type of care and facilities
Depending on the size of accommodation and the number of facilities provided, the costs of assisted living can vary diversely. When planning for the future it is important to assess the rates of different amenities and care options.
Over 90 percent of assisted living facilities offer 24-hour call bell service, while only 50 percent offer an on-site nurse service. Amenities like exercise facilities and swimming pools are more rare, and there availability can cost you even more.
Generally, the greater the number of facilities offered the higher the rate will be charged. At the top-end, residents of retirement communities pay around $6,000 for their living arrangements.
Another consideration when deciding on an assisted living facility is the intensity of care required. For those who require 1.5 hours or more of daily care, a heavy-care facility is ideal. However, this increases expenses as most heavy-care facilities cost an average of $3,651 per month. That is $1,608 more than that of regular care in Canada.
When planning for the future, it is important to consider the type of living arrangements and the amenities you might require to ensure that you are financially prepared.
Being financially prepared
In addition to being informed about the types of assisted living options available and their financial cost, investing in Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance plans can help you prepare for the future.
LTC plans cover what provincial health plans do not. This coverage ensures that the care you require in the future does not become a strain on your retirement savings or burden your loved ones.
To qualify for the benefit, the insured person must meet one of the following criteria:
- Require constant supervision because of deteriorated mental ability
- Require psychical assistance with at least two activities of daily living, such as, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence and feeding
Some examples of requiring assistance include:
- Needing assistance getting in and out of the shower
- Requiring assistance getting your clothes on an off
- Always needing helping getting on and off the toilet
- Needing help moving in and out of a chair
- Being unable to control your bowel, and requiring assistance with personal hygiene and upkeep
- Requiring assistance to eat
The insured person must need stand-by assistance during bathing and transferring. Stand-by assistance means another person must be with-in arms reach, to ensure the safety of the individual.
It's never to early to prepare for your future, as once a change of health occurs, long-term care insurance may not be available.
For additional details on assisted living costs, visit: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/65991/65991_2014_A01.pdf?fr=1434057636636