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Popular Amenities Offered with Senior Living in Canada

Last updated on: Friday, 5 May 2023
  • What You'll Learn

Whether it is a retirement community, assisted living, or independent living, there are various amenities provided to residents to maintain a high quality of life. When you begin to sort through the various options, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration. For example, location and cost can be the major ones, but the amenities play a significant role. Leaving your home and entering a senior living arrangement means getting used to many new things. Overall, it is an adjustment, and having amenities available onsite makes the adjustment better and easier.

Retirement Community and Independent Living Amenities

Retirement communities are well known for providing extensive amenities and services to residents. The reason being is because residents live independently and are fairly active. Retirement communities and independent living can consist of condos, apartments, or stand along with houses, and the configuration varies from place to place. Most residents in retirement communities are not looking for medical supervision as an amenity. Typical retirement communities or independent living is comprised of residents who want to remain active and look for amenities that support staying active.

Common amenities found in retirement communities or independent living include some of the following:

  • Common areas or social rooms are used for games and entertainment.
  • Group trips to local events, markets, movie theatres, etc.
  • Laundry and housekeeping services.
  • Art classes or music rooms. 
  • Restaurants or dining services.
  • Libraries and reading areas. 
  • Chapels or transportation to church services.
  • Beauty salons and or barber shops. 
  • Swimming pools and fitness areas.

Assisted Living Amenities

Assisted living facilities in Canada offer a different type of care, and residents are active but require assistance with some of the activities of daily life. Generally, the resident is fairly independent, which means they can still enjoy many of the amenities that are provided. Common amenities at assisted living facilities include:

  • Laundry and cleaning services.
  • Medication management and supervision. 
  • General housekeeping services.
  • Beauty salons and barber shops, massage therapists, and other forms of physical therapy.
  • Private dining rooms, common dining rooms, or individual suites. 
  • Transportation services.
  • Entertainment like game rooms and social areas. 

Nursing Home or Long-Term Care Amenities

Living in nursing homes is not usually long-term for most residents, and residents typically need extensive medical supervision and support. Residents are monitored 24 hours a day and also receive various physical therapies as part of their stay. Some residents of nursing homes are there to recover from surgery or illness, whereas others are there for the duration. However, nursing homes have changed over the years, and facilities encourage independence and help residents with physical and mental rehabilitation. Families helping a loved one enter a nursing home should not feel as if they are stripping their independence away.

While there is a focus on medical care and rehabilitation, nursing homes do provide various amenities to give residents well-rounded care. Some common amenities in nursing homes include:

  • Common areas, social rooms, and or games and entertainment areas. 
  • Group trips to local events or shopping plazas.
  • Laundry and housekeeping services. 
  • Chapels or transportation to church services. 

Common areas help seniors that have individual hobbies and interests participate in these activities. The social and recreational areas keep residents in a nursing home engaged and active as possible. Overall, the purpose is to promote good physical and mental health.

Retirement Living and Considering the Cost and Location

It is estimated that Canadian retirees live on approximately 62% of the income they had before retiring. A report released by Sun Life Financial found that 88% of retired Canadians described life in retirement as positive. Approximately 32% said their biggest financial surprise was how they were able to manage on a reduced budget, and 10% said they were spending less than expected.

There can be high costs with retiring and living in a retirement community—even assisted living homes have an out-of-pocket cost. Amenities, for example, at some retirement communities or even assisted living homes could be an added cost. Some retirees consider moving to access different amenities, whereas others age in place within their original home.

According to a BMO Health Institute Report, 70% of Canadians surveyed aged 45, and older had given thought to a plan for retirement. Many Canadians talk about a change in scenery during retirement and having amenities or services that remove the hassle of owning and maintaining a home. However, most Canadians choose to retire close to home and will look for services based on that decision.

The survey results revealed that Albertans were most likely to relocate, while residents of Atlantic Canada were more likely to retire in the different Maritime provinces. Overall, most respondents planned to remain in Canada, and only five percent planned to retire in the United States. Nearly all of British Columbia residents plan to retire in the province of BC, along with most Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada residents plan to retire in their home province.

When considering any type of senior living, financial planning is key. According to experts, there are generally multiple rules of thumb when calculating retirement income. For example, the 4% withdrawal rule infers that you build up a retirement portfolio that provides a certain amount of income to you each year at a 4% or so withdrawal rate. Moreover, there is a rule that would require between 70% and 100% of your pre-retirement income in retirement. When deciding on retirement living, assisted living, or any form of independent living, it is a good idea to work with a financial advisor and find the best options.

Additionally, according to data, there is the added cost of healthcare; typical annual costs for long-term care can range from between $25,000 to $200,000 per year. Private 24/7 care by professionals costs, on average, $200K per year. Assisted living in a private facility costs between $40K and $100K, while government-run nursing homes cost $25K to $40K per year. Approximately 12.5% of Canadian seniors are living in poverty, and the median value of retirement asses for Canadians ages 55-64 is $3,000. Moreover, one-third of Canadian adults are not prepared for retirement.