Data shows a lack of home care could put seniors’ plans on ‘life support’

Canada’s leading reverse mortgage lender sounds the alarm for what retirement could be like without adequate home care

While a majority of older Canadians expressed their desire to age in place, the overwhelming majority would have to make financial sacrifices in order to afford in-home care, according to data commissioned by HomeEquity Bank in collaboration with research firm Ipsos.

While the data focuses primarily on issues faced by Canadian seniors, similar issues persist for their American counterparts. According to the data, 90% of Canadians have expressed their desire to age in place within their own homes. Similarly, a majority of Americans have expressed their desire to remain in their own homes as they get older.

Research released by AARP in 2021 showed that 85% of American seniors wishing to age in place, while an American Advisors Group (AAG) survey pegged the figure at 92%.

The Canadian data also showed that 87% of seniors said they would have to make financial sacrifices in order to afford late-life home care, while 78% of respondents said they would only consider moving into an assisted living facility if they were unable to afford home care.

Late-life care is also a serious financial hurdle for older Americans. According to data from Genworth, the average monthly cost for different types of senior care is lowest when looking at an in-home care aide ($4,690). The average cost of assisted living is $4,977 per month, while dementia care averages $6,709 per month. Nursing homes are the most expensive option at over $10,000 per month.

“Our goal is to help our clients age in place. However, without access to adequate in-home care, it may be challenging for many Canadians to live retirement on their terms,” said Vivianne Gauci, CMO at HomeEquity Bank. “The retirement plans of Canadians are often much simpler than you’d expect, with many expressing a desire to age in the home they love.”

Similar to the dilemma faced by older Canadians, dedicated home care staff in the U.S. is necessary to accomplish aging in place goals with adequate care. Home care workers are in short supply to meet senior care needs in the U.S., according to a March report published by the Washington Post.

However, the issue of aging in place recently took center stage with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Last month, HUDt announced the disbursement of nearly $15 million in new grants to help with health and safety home repairs for low-income seniors with the express purpose of enabling them to age in place.

Still, the leading desire for older people to age in place conflicts with a lack of human and financial resources across North America.

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