Aging at Home with Community Support

ITEM Monthly Cost
Property tx $275.00
Repairs & maintenance - snow, lawn, repairs $144.00
Electricity $125.00
Gas $130.00
Water $15.00
Cable TV $25.00
Phone including long-distance $55.00
Groceries $250.00
Drug & department store $50.00
Liquor $100.00
Entertainment & gifts $50.00
Clothing $50.00
Sundry cash $400.00
Travel (1trip/year to east coast) $250.00
Taxis for errands and appointments $100.00
Personal Alarm System $45.00
Meals on Wheels $200.00
Home-making - 4 hours/week @ subsidized rate of $15/hour $60.00
Assistance with bathing - covered by provincial health plan $0.00

In this scenario, home safety must be addressed. It will require some one-time capital improvements in minor renovations for safety and access, and some basic safety equipment, which could include a stairlift, an armchair with an electric lifting seat to help Ethel get out of a seated position, or a “superpole” to help her get out of bed. Other items like commodes, shower benches and raised toilet seats cost less, but they still add up. This one-time investment cost is consistent with the usual estimate of one per cent of the home’s market value.

Graham is quoted $73,000 per year: $25 per hour for homemaking and personal support services or $200 per eight-hour day, not including any overnight support. Carefully assess what services are actually needed. Graham and Ethel only need assistance with laundry, general tidying, and one bath a week for Ethel, and, ideally, Graham as well. A subsidized community service is used for homemaking, and assistance with bathing is provided through the local Community Care Access Centre and covered by the provincial health plan.

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They also order two meals a day from Monday to Friday from Meals on Wheels. This halves their grocery bill and is arranged through the local community care agency. Sadly, Graham has to give up driving so they choose taxis for transportation. They also pay for a personal alarm system. Graham and Ethel should be able to afford this approach on their current income for the next two to three years.




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