Housing Options for Seniors

Canada has many housing options available for seniors that suit a wide range of budgets, health needs and personal preferences. Asking the right questions and understanding the different options will help you make an informed decision if you decide to move.

For information on adapting your current home to fit your changing needs, see Aging in Place.

What are You Looking for in a Home?

Take time to think about your current and future housing needs. Consider downsizing or “rightsizing” if your current home is unable to meet your changing health or mobility needs.

If you decide it’s time to move, consider the following:

  • What will your monthly budget for housing expenses be in your retirement?
  • What are some of your housing must-haves?
  • Will you want to be closer to family or friends?
  • Will you want to be close to any specific services or facilities?
  • Will you need convenient access to public transit now or in the future?
  • Will you need specific accommodations for health or mobility needs?
  • How much home or yard maintenance will you want to do?
  • How much space will you need?

Housing Options

Depending on your needs and preferences, you may want to explore some popular housing options for seniors that offer more support.

  • Co-housing
    Co-housing involves sharing a home with a friend or family member. In addition to cutting costs, sharing a home can provide mutual benefits like companionship, help with daily tasks and extra support in case of an emergency.
  • Co-operative Housing (Co-ops)
    Co-ops are legal associations that provide housing in return for a share in the maintenance or other tasks. Some co-ops cater specifically to seniors and may be seniors-only buildings.
  • Life Lease Housing
    Religious or charitable organizations often operate this condominium-like option. Residents pay upfront and monthly fees for the right to live in the home for a specific period.
  • Supportive Housing
    Supportive housing refers to independent apartments with access to services like housekeeping, personal support and healthcare available for free or at a reduced cost. Residents usually pay their own rent and any other living expenses.
  • Retirement Communities
    These residences combine independent living with access to support and recreational facilities. They provide a community setting for active seniors.
  • Retirement Homes
    Retirement homes are for-profit businesses that offer a full range of accommodations, services and healthcare support. The costs vary depending on the facilities and the level of service and support offered.
  • Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
    These are similar to retirement homes but are sometimes operated as not-for-profit residences by the federal government. They also offer a wider range of healthcare and support services for seniors with more demanding care needs.

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