Assisted living facilities in Toronto resemble retirement communities, complete with engaging social events and indoor and outdoor activities to keep you busy. Assisted living can also happen at home with help for activities of daily living (ADLs) by a home health aide. If you are having trouble dressing, bathing, grooming, doing light housework, getting to doctor appointments, or managing and administering medication, then assisted living may be for you.
Assisted living communities are geared towards those seniors wanting to retire and may need help with one or two ADLs. Sometimes a facility will offer aging in place, allowing a smooth transition into intensive 24 hour skilled nursing home care. Most communities offer studio, one, and two bedroom apartments with a kitchen or kitchenette. Meals are typically provided in a restaurant-style dining room as well as transportation to medical appointments. Utilities are included in the monthly charge.
Most facilities keep a nurse on staff and provide physical, occupational, and speech therapies to residents. The apartments are secure and private, but are usually equipped with an emergency response device in case you need help. An assisted living community is like home, but with less responsibility on your end and more help for your health needs.
14 percent of Ontario’s population consists of seniors.
Ontario’s senior population could increase to 20 percent by the year 2026.
12 percent of Toronto’s population is made up of seniors.
There are 14 Community Care Access Centers in Ontario.
The Retirement Homes Act and the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority protects seniors by regulating communities to make sure they are licensed and inspected.
Facilities vary in cost depending on location and services provided. An apartment can start at $1500 per month and closer to $6000 per month on the high end. Ask what services are optional. Some communities charge extra for hairdressing and salon services.
Before choosing an assisted living community, make a list of several and visit each one. Speak to the manager, staff, and residents to see if the facility is a good fit for you and your finances. Ask questions regarding refund and transfer policies, housekeeping services, and if all utilities are covered. You may need to obtain renter’s insurance while you live in the facility. You may wish to ask if there is an additional fee for overnight guests or to keep small pets on the premises.
The Community Care Access Centers in Toronto can help you find resources to fund your assisted living, find in-home care companies, and match you with assisted living communities to meet your budget and your needs. You can find the nearest CCAC by entering your postal code into the website’s search engine.
Consider a roommate to help split the cost as many facilities offer two bedroom apartments. If you plan to move to an assisted living facility, consider selling or renting your home to help offset the monthly charges.
Choosing a community close to a subway line, like The Annex, can save you money on transportation and cut costs in other ways. Other communities, such as the Beach Arms, are only a short walk from libraries, churches, restaurants, community centers, pharmacies, and a lake.
Government subsidies do not cover assisted living, but will cover long-term nursing care for older senior citizens. You can also pay using savings accounts and investments. The following are provincial and federal benefits:
Toronto seniors pay for assisted living with their Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Old Age Security (OAS). You may be eligible for a reduced amount at age 60 or the full amount at age 65 for CPP. If you have lived in Canada for at least 10 years of your adult life, you may qualify for the OAS at the age of 65.
If you are receiving OAS and are considered of low-income status, you can apply for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). If approved, the amount is added to your OAS each month.
Ontario seniors receiving OAS or GIS can apply for the Guaranteed Annual Income System to help meet the minimum income. The monthly amount can range from $2.50 to $83.00 depending on your private income. You may qualify, if you are a resident of Ontario, age 65 and older, and have lived in the province for 20 years of your adult life.
A senior planning advisor can help you locate more resources for assisted living.
Find assisted living in Toronto near you.