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Combining Condos and Long-Term Care Homes in Toronto

Kimberley Fowler
By Kimberley FowlerAugust 10, 2017

For seniors who live in the downtown core of a major city, the prospect of moving away from their neighborhood — or worse, being forced to leave due to declining health or financial hardship — is a real concern.

Affordable long-term care accommodations are inadequate and scarce in the city of Toronto, and this issue is even more troubling for seniors who suffer with progressive medical conditions, such as dementia; or for those living in low income areas. However, two Toronto-based organizations have partnered in hopes of addressing this housing crisis.

Combining Condos and Long-Term Care Homes

The Rekai Centres and Options for Homes have the goal to improve living standards for seniors by combining affordable housing with long-term care support:

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  1. The Rekai Centres are made up of two long-term care homes located in downtown Toronto.  These centres aim to provide excellent care and service to senior residents, while ensuring they live fully and safely within the downtown community.
  2. Options for Homes is a non-profit developer of condominiums, dedicated to “providing quality homes in great communities at the best price possible.”

A Community Hub for Seniors

Together, The Rekai Centres and Options for Homes will construct a long-term care condominium made up of 200 units that will be a “community hub” dedicated to all aspects of aging with dignity.  This is an exciting new development since there is a dire need for more senior housing in Toronto. The city has not seen construction of a new long-term care residence since 1990, despite the fact that long-term wait times are longer in Toronto than any other city in the country (and are they longest they have ever been).

An article from CBC News states that the new facility will include dedicated “spaces for seniors suffering from dementia,” and will be open in 2020 if all goes according to plan.

Some of the benefits of combining condominiums and long-term care include:

  • A central, downtown location so residents can benefit from the many amenities in their community — with a focus on senior inclusion.
  • A health care partnership. In this case, established with the Toronto Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) that will provide healthcare services and ensure that every senior in the building has the opportunity to age in place.
  • A shared focus which will ensure a smoother, more synchronized collaboration between home care, community care and long-term care.
  • Dedicated beds for seniors living with dementia to meet the growing need in the community.
  • Shared development costs, which equate to more affordable housing options for seniors.
  • Quality palliative care for end-of-life patients to provide enhanced care in the comfort of the persons own home.

“Our parents and grandparents deserve to live in comfort and safety with access to the right care, at the right time, in the right place…”

“This new [facility] is exactly what we want to see in redeveloped homes: it will be modern, comfortable, and ready to accommodate people with increasingly complex health needs,” Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care told the press at a conference announcing the collaboration between The Rekai Centres and Options for Homes.

There’s no doubt that better access to health care and affordable senior living are important, but numerous studies show that keeping seniors connected to their communities is a strong indicator of mental health and well-being, which is why the concept of combining condos and long-term care homes is so exciting.

Allowing seniors to age in place while they move through a continuum of care will allow them to stay connected with their community, friends and neighbours and age in a place they know of as “home.”

Would you like to see a combined condo and long-term care home in your community? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Kimberley Fowler
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Kimberley Fowler
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