Videos: Planning for aging in place

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What is planning for Aging in Place?

Duration: 2 minutes


I've lived here for 40 years.

What can we do to make sure we can stay in our home

as long as possible?

As I get older, what can I do to feel part of the community?

Will I find the supports and services I need?

How will I stay connected with family and friends?

Can I continue to share my knowledge and skills?

Am I financially prepared for my changing needs as I age?

What services will I need if my health changes?

And what community supports will make my life easier?

If I am no longer able to drive,

what are my options for getting around?

What if I need to care for someone else?

How can I prepare?

Aging in place means having the health,

social and physical support you need to live safely

and independently in your home or community.

Aging in place takes planning.

Understanding and preparing for your future needs is the key.

For more information on Planning for Aging in Place and

the Forum of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers

Responsible for Seniors, visit or call

1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

My home and neighbourhood

Duration: 5 minutes


It’s... an interesting age, 60: a time of great change,

that occurs just when you thought that life was going to be a bit… easier.

On the plus side, we’re living longer and even though we may be healthier at this age,

living longer means making some serious decisions. And that means planning- ten to fifteen years ahead!

Awww – here’s an email here from my cousin in Sackville.

That’s Ed. He just had a family meeting with his kids where he and his wife shared their plans –

you know, financial, health, and even the legal stuff.

They wanted to be safe and take steps now just in case their memory or abilities start to decline sooner rather than later.

I guess I should start thinking about doing the same.

I try to get in a good long walk every day… and today is no different. Come on, let’s go.

That's my next-door neighbour, Harpreet. She's my age… and we’re planning to get together soon over a coffee

and talk about how we will be able to help each other as time goes by.

These days I drive. But in the future, as my health changes and I’m unable to drive,

how will I get to things like grocery stores, the pharmacy, and the clinic?

How safe will I feel in my neighbourhood as I grow older?

I have several neighbours with young kids.

I plan on asking those kids to shovel my driveway in a few years if one day I can’t.

There’s lots more. My own family – are they a resource I’ll be able to count on?

How do they feel about being there for me and helping me out with things like errands and daily chores?

My neighbour Polly is 85 years of age, and she’s involved in all kinds of things

from aqua-fit to volunteering at a hospital.

She’s told me that there are a lot of great services for seniors right in our community,

and that they help her stay in her home and keep active.

You need to be realistic and think about what works now… and what may or may not work in your future as you age.

So data-begin planning for aging in place today.

Take a hard look at your home or your apartment. As I do things around the house, I need to ask:

How will I manage in ten years if I am sleeping on the second floor, but doing my laundry in the basement?

Will it be safe and practical for you in ten years?

If you made a few small changes now or got some services in to help, could it work?

Or should you think about moving or downsizing?

Figure out who will be able to help you, and open up the conversation with them about your hopes for the future

and how they might be able to support you. Don’t delay – start this discussion soon.

Look carefully at your financial picture.

How much money will you need to live on and what might you need to save for if your health or living situation changes?

Think about your neighbourhood - bus routes, safety and security, and location of grocery stores and medical services.

Will this work for you if your mobility declines?

Lots to think about, but take it a step at a time.

There are lots of resources out there –

from local agencies to government websites and even your bank - that can help you with this planning process.

But DO get started.

It’s a matter of quality of life – and it’s worth it!

My social connections

Duration: 5 minutes


I’ve always been self-sufficient:

my own tools, my own equipment, and my own approach to solving problems –

everything from well pumps to wireless Internet.

But when I hit my mid-sixties, I realized something, and it’s this:

If I want to be able to stay out here, in my homestead, on my land,

as I get older, I’ll have to reach out to my neighbours –

or as my nephew likes to say, do some social networking.

Here comes my friend Jacques.

We’re going to run a couple of errands and grab a coffee – our Wednesday routine.

In rural Canada, your neighbour isn’t ten feet away.

He or she might live a few kilometres away, just down the road.

By the way, I still drive, but as my eyesight changes,

I may have to stop driving a bit sooner than what I had once hoped. So I plan!!

Friends like Jacques, and some of my nieces and nephews will be a very important part of my social network

if I want to be able to participate in the community and if I want to get to things like medical appointments, too.

First, we’re going to drop in to see Al.

He’s in his seventies, and he’s still staying on his farm, although it’s becoming more of a challenge.

Al has always been involved with his service club, and he’s quietly helped people out his whole adult life.

Now that he’s older, people are helping Al out at key times of the farm

like haying and calving, and by persuading him to come to meetings and stay in touch.

He wants to live out his life on the farm.

It’s been his wish his whole life, he says, and I know Al – he’s realistic and practical.

He has a cell phone now just for emergencies so his nieces and nephews can talk to him.

He’s cut the size of his herd down, and leased out a lot of his land to neighbours, who he knows will look after it.

Al said to me a couple of weeks ago, “If I didn’t keep half a dozen cows around, I’d forget to get up in the morning.”

Al knows that you need to have a reason to keep going, and a series of realistic goals too.

Here are the things I need to remember, and so should you:

Whether it’s curling with old friends, going to the hockey game, or being part of a club,

your social network is more important every day as you get older. Invest in it and value it.

Your transportation and mobility are things you need to continually assess,

because without them, your choices can be limited.

Your friends are aging too… so your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, younger neighbours

and younger people in your community are just as important… in your network.

Okay. We’re going in to grab a cup of coffee and see who’s around.

You know, at the end of the day, this is how rural Canada has always been:

we look after each other and we stay in touch.

It’s a matter of quality of life. And it’s worth it!

My supports and services

Duration: 5 minutes


While I’m not technically a senior yet… I’ve given this whole thing a lot of thought.

... I’ve helped parents and aunts and uncles and the parents of my friends

navigate the ever-changing world of aging in place.

The fact is, I’ve become quite committed to the idea of planning for my own aging in place.

As you can see, I’m sitting here with Penelope, my laptop… and my trusty telephone.

I see computers as a great way to make life easier for seniors,

whether you’re at the controls or someone you trust, like a younger family member, is working alongside you.

But whether it’s by computer or by phone, here are the kinds of things

you need to be able to manage and control as you age in place.

• Banking– and that includes watching your Registered Retirement Income Funds

or Registered Retirement Savings Plans as well:

you can get information about your investments 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the phone or on line!

• Accessing information and services from government:

from passports to driver’s licenses to filing your income tax or getting pension information.

Do it on line, by phone, or as an excuse to get out if you’re able.

• There are lots of other things, too, like registering for advance polls at election time so you can avoid the big rush.

In your community, there’s a lot you can do as well without having to leave your home.

• Practical things: like checking bus, streetcar, and train schedules.

• The ability to find out, and even register for things like swimming or bridge

at the recreation centre or the seniors’ centre in your area.

• Check with different volunteer agencies and services that provide all kinds of things seniors need,

from friendly visits to driving people to medical appointments

to getting access to mobility aids like walkers, canes, and other things.

• You can also order your groceries in many communities,

or order meals delivered once a week or every two weeks that you simply thaw and serve.

… and lots more.

You CAN manage almost every aspect of your life as you age in place, if you understand how to reach out

to the systems and services and organizations that are important to you.

So… here are some things to remember:

Get into the habit of finding out the different ways to get your information and accessing the services you need.

Consider the computer and your phone to be your primary tools.

One more thing: Safeguard yourself:

You don’t want to be vulnerable to scams, so always ask questions, and protect your personal information.

Your ability to reach out and access the information and services available to you

and make them part of your aging plan will reduce your stress, give you peace of mind

and generally just make your life much easier as you age in place.

It’s a matter of quality of life… and it’s worth it!

Okay… now to pay some bills…

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