There is a shortage of supportive housing for seniors in this area. Present choices are to downsize to an apartment or go into long-term care. There are fewer choices in-between. This was one of the findings recorded when seventy people gathered to talk about what types of housing and services seniors will need in the future.
Beattie Haven has retained SHS Consulting to help staff and directors complete a needs and demand analysis for the Four Counties region. Offering up insights on June 3rd were service providers, children of residents, funders, housing developers, and younger seniors who are thinking about their own aging needs. Perspectives vary depending on one’s age.
As the decades go by, the needs and wants of older people change. An expansion to Beattie Haven must serve seniors for many decades.
Future options are:
- Wing of supportive apartments, built to modern standards for active seniors who need little to no personal care services but want three meals a day and an active social life.
- A wellness centre with programming and supports for seniors aging at home.
- Appropriate programming and recreation for active seniors.
Participants listed the assets that could be maximized. Country atmosphere. Four Counties hospital and services, West Elgin Community Health Centre, surrounding villages, McNaughtons, golf, Skunk’s Misery (potential passive recreation), Thames River, 35 attractive acres of serviced lands, easy access to 401 and more.
The wants and needs of those in their 60s and 70s need to be better understood. What types of recreation and amenities will this cohort be looking for? What percentage will spend six months in the south? Will increasing energy costs change seniors’ lifestyles? These questions about the next generation were harder to answer.
It’s said that after the age of 65, seniors move an average of 5 times. These moves become more difficult as one ages.
Wardsville hosts not only Beattie Haven, but also Babcock Community Care Centre (long-term care) and the Wardsville Golf Club. Carl Kennes described his housing research to date and the Golf Club’s target housing market of young active seniors.
It was suggested that through partnerships and marketing, the village could offer a continuum of housing and care for seniors. As needs change, residents could shift with minimal disruption from suite to suite as their needs change. Such senior communities are common in cities.
Those born in the 1920s should be thinking about downsizing from their large homes, but this age group often avoids the decision to move prior to a health crisis. There was a strong consensus that older seniors need to be encouraged to move when they have good health. Moving after a major health crisis is disruptive and hard on everyone involved.
Some who need supportive housing enter Long Term Care (LTC). These moves fill up beds needed by people who really need the heavier care. When LTC beds are full, hospital rooms are used by people who should be in LTC beds. This, in turn, clogs emergency departments.
Beattie Haven wants to hear from everyone who has insights into our community’s needs. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519 693-4901.