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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Bell

It Costs How Much?

Older adults and their family members are often initially shocked at just how expensive it is to move to a retirement residence in the GTA.    Prices typically range from $3,500 - $10,000 monthly and these can be numbers that leave many people virtually speechless.

The reality is though that Mom and/or Dad just aren’t coping well anymore in their existing home. They aren’t feeling as safe, if the truth be known, but fortunately their overall health has not deteriorated enough to warrant a move to a long term care facility.  They could certainly benefit from the social aspects of life in a retirement residence and they are more than ready to have someone else prepare and serve them some yummy, potentially chef-inspired, meals.  They may need assistance with medications and there is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that Mom and/or Dad aren’t going to be alone if something should happen.

There is often the intermediary step of arranging for some supports at home, either through CCAC and/or someone from a home care agency or private placement.   I often work with clients who have one or more personal support workers who assist with meals, bathing, light housekeeping and/or accompanying them to doctor’s appointments.  This sometimes works for a while but in many cases more supports are eventually needed to ensure a consistent quality of life.

The good news is that real estate in the GTA has often been these older adults’ most profitable investment. The average detached home in Toronto is now selling for well over $1,100,000 and, let’s face it, this older generation has never been inclined to use the equity in their home as their personal ATMs.  Their houses were purchased decades ago and any mortgages are long gone.  For many the equity in their homes can well provide them with a safe, comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle in their later years.

Once a decision has been made to make such a transition, there is the move itself to consider.  I have taken a few calls from folks who believe that all that is needed are a few boxes and a moving truck – keeping things affordable… .   But engaging the services of a knowledgeable and objective Senior Move Manager can be the most practical option in the long run. In almost all cases the older adult is moving to significantly smaller space.  What to take? What to sell? What to give away? What to do with what’s left over? There are usually significant emotions attached to these items and it can help to have someone outside the family to assist with these decisions.  It can also be helpful when loving and basically well intentioned family members may not agree on the best way to help… .

Packing can be done in one day, keeping things safer for the older adult in transition and, perhaps best of all, unpacking and set-up can typically be accomplished in one day as well. Towels are hanging in the bathroom(s), art is installed on the walls and the older adult is not left waiting for family members who may not have the time (or a hammer drill handy) to install that favourite mirror on a concrete wall.  A savvy Senior Move Manager can provide all of these services as well as arranging to ship sentimental items to family members who are not in the GTA and/or sales of the remaining contents that are no longer needed.  We have current market knowledge and experience dealing with reliable service providers and contractors who can ensure that your re-location is not any more stressful than need be.

It has been my experience in life that price is not as important as value when considering available options. Peace of mind takes priority. Once people can get past any initial sticker shock they genuinely appreciate the benefits of choices that they find they can afford after all … .

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