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There are roughly six million seniors aged 65 and over living in Canada in 2016, slightly less than half of whom are over 75. Of these individuals, 7.5% live in retirement residences or long-term care homes. Some interesting facts about seniors’ living include:

  • About 1.7% of those 65 to 74 and 16.9% of those over 75 live in retirement residences and in long term care homes.
  • The average age in retirement and long term care homes is 85.
  • About 75% of residents are women.
  • 21% of those aged 65 to 74 and 34% of those over 75 live alone.
  • 76% of those aged 65 to 74 and 64% of those over 75 live with a spouse or partner.

As the population continues to age and more baby boomers enter retirement, these numbers are all expected to go up.

Connected to this expected rise and anticipating the wants and need of boomers, retirement residences have also begun to follow certain trends in how they function that are worth keeping in mind when planning out where to spend your golden years. Learning about these trends can help you understand what changes may have already happened or can be expected over the coming years, and potentially give you ideas on what to look forward to.

Trends to Hospitality and Lifestyle Services

  • Shifts from mostly studio accommodation to larger residential apartments, including two bedrooms to accommodate couples.
  • Decline in shared residential rooms.
  • More included amenities, such as pools and fitness centres.
  • Development of cyber cafes, and Internet-ready suites.
  • Art centres and educational programs to either nurture or rekindle artistic ability.
  • Increased focus on healthy eating with more choice, varied eating times, specialized diets like vegetarianism and expanded eating hours.

Trends in Community Interaction

  • Education programs are being increasingly offered to promote lifelong learning.
  • More diversity among planned programs and activities.
  • More emphasis on keeping mentally active with activities like brain games and other methods of maintaining memory and mental acuity.
  • More community outings and activities.

Trends in Health and Wellness Programs

  • Health and nutrition classes
  • Increased presence of physical recreation
  • Targeted therapy programs for physical rehabilitation or therapy
  • Use of aquatic therapy in pools
  • Fall management programs

Finding the Right Retirement Residence Option

Although the above describes broad trends in retirement housing, what you find at individual locations can be quite different. Some sites lag behind when it comes to integrating new programs or technologies, and others are very much on the cutting edge. It takes time and effort to do the research needed to find the living arrangement that offers what you want, but fortunately there are tools that can make this task easier.

TheCareGuide.com is an online repository of information and guidance for seniors and their families that has been providing insights into elder care and housing solutions since 1996. Our guide can be used to help determine the best living and housing options for you or your loved ones. More information and advice on senior living solutions can be found by contacting us at 1-800-311-CARE (2273) or info@thecareguide.com.