The concept of ‘aging in place’ has become an important trend for older adults, as well as younger individuals planning for their senior years. A common goal and vision many people have for their retirement is to stay as healthy, strong and independent as possible, for as long as possible – and aging in place aims to do exactly that, while also evolving with the changing needs of a senior.
Making plans to age in place ensures that as you get older and your abilities become more limited you are not forced to move from the beloved place you call home; rather you will have a safe and comfortable home environment set up with everything you need to remain as independent as possible, while also having all of your increasing needs met.
Whether you plan to stay in your own home, move to a retirement community, or some combination of the two, location, cost of living, life expectancy and livability are all important elements to consider when planning to age in place.
Canada is consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world for retirees. A combination of safety, natural beauty, and an accessible health care system are just a few of the reasons that Canada is a top choice for many people looking to age in place. When choosing a location within Canada, consider things like weather, transit and community amenities.
According to MoneySense, here’s a few of the most highly ranked places in Canada for retirees:
- Lacombe, Alberta. The economy in Lacombe is strong, but housing is still affordable here, which makes it a great option for retirees looking to get the most value out of a retirement property.
- Canmore, Alberta. With gorgeous views and tons of activities and amenities to take part in, Canmore offers seniors year-round opportunities to stay active and connected with their local community.
- Westmount, Quebec. This suburb of Montreal has a vibrant community with tons of amenities for seniors. It’s also an area with a rich artistic community, which makes it a great place for patrons of the arts to call home. The extensive public transportation system here is a good option for seniors who, as they age, may no longer feel comfortable driving.
- Saint-Lambert, Quebec. Located on the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal, this quaint city has a fantastic public transport system. With a stable economy and wealthy neighbourhoods, this is a fantastic place to grow older.
- Halton Hills and Milton, Ontario. As part of the Greater Toronto Area, Halton Hills and Milton are close enough to Toronto’s amenities while still offering a smaller town feel that’s surrounded by nature. Plus, the crime rate is very low in both communities.
While they didn’t make MoneySense’s list, don’t exclude the Atlantic provinces just yet. Canada’s East Coast has one of the oldest populations in the country, and as such has a lot of infrastructure already set up for seniors to age in place. Housing is affordable, and it’s possible to find a place with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
For nature lovers, British Columbia has it all – ocean and mountain views, take your pick! While you may think that property in B.C. is too expensive, according to MoneySense there are many areas, like Fort St. John, where housing is affordable and there are tax-friendly options for residents.
For Canadian snowbirds, purchasing a place in the United States may be a great way to enjoy Canadian summers while escaping the harsh winters.
According to an article published by Cheat Sheet, the following states offer the top places to age in the United States:
- According to data compiled by Caring.com and published by Forbes, Utah is one of the best states to grow old in. The state ranks the best in transitioning in and out of nursing homes and assisted living costs are relatively low. Also, U.S. News & World Report’s data also found Utah ranks as the ninth best state for health overall, and eighth best state for physical activity.
- U.S. News & World Report data finds this state ranks second best in terms of overall health for its residents. In addition to this, it was also ranked the sixth-best state for physical activity and the number one state for both life expectancy and nursing home quality. Unfortunately, health and nursing care is quite expensive in Hawaii.
- South Dakota. According to U.S. News & World Report, South Dakota ranked number two as the best state for reduced stress levels. It also ranked well in terms of life expectancy, Medicare quality, and able-bodied-ness. The cost of living for seniors in South Dakota is also quite low in comparison to other states.
- According to data published by Forbes, Washington ranks number one when it comes to the quality of services that will help you age in place. In addition to this, U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington as the second-best state for physical activity and seventh-best state for overall wellness.
- According to U.S. News & World Report, Oregon ranked number four for physical activity, and ranked in the average range for life expectancy, cost of care and mental distress. Forbes also identified Oregon as a great state to age in place with great quality of care in the short and long-term.
When it comes to aging in place, it is important to consider both what you require and what you desire. Especially when choosing the location in which you will spend your senior years, considering important factors such as population 65 and older, life expectancy, Medicare quality, nursing home quality, cost of care, health, mental distress, able-bodied-ness, physical activity, primary care, cost of living and unemployment rates will help you make the best decision for yourself and ensure that you will age in the way – and in the place – you desire.