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.
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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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:
“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.