Expert Answers on Seniors Housing Questions!

by Amie Hautz 403.852.0262

Guest blog post Q & A for RiverLife Real Estate by Kathy Mendham, Founder of Proactive Seniors. February 2021

This week’s guest blog Q&A is with the lovely Kathy Mendham, an expert in all things related to senior living. If you or one of your loved ones is contemplating their next steps, including independent or assisted living, she is the go-to resource!

Q: What are the top signs that someone is ready to move out of their own home and into an independent living or assisted living facility?

A: Reasons why a senior might feel like it is time to transition to retirement residence setting can be grouped into two main categories.  The first category is health and safety reasons and the second is lifestyle reasons.  

In the first category seniors will often decide to move when they require physical help with activities such as cooking, bathing, dressing, taking medications, driving or housekeeping.  And/or they are lonely or need help remembering important self-care tasks.  And/or they are the primary caregiver for a spouse needing this support and they are getting burned out.  For some it is more convenient or more cost effective to have this support provided in a facility setting where the caregivers are available around the clock. Although home care and in home care services can provide many of these supports, it may mean having a lot of different people coming to one’s house and this can be overwhelming to schedule and manage.

In the second category, often seniors will choose a retirement residence if they are simply tired or no longer interested in managing the tasks and chores of a home themselves.  Whether it is the home maintenance, the housekeeping, cooking or finding people to socialize with, a retirement residence can provide all this and leave the senior with more time to focus on themselves. 

Q: What tips do you have for starting the conversation with a loved one about moving out of their home?

A: If you have a loved one who is interested in a seniors living setting or, perhaps they should be because they are not thriving at home, good conversation starters are:

  • I am worried about your safety at home, or that you are lonely. If we could find a really great retirement residence that you like, would you be willing to go take a look at it with me?
  • There are a lot of options these days for retirement living, many places have great food, great care support and lots of activities.  They are not your traditional nursing homes.  Can we talk about what you would like if you were to try one?
  • You have had a few falls or injuries and I am worried that you may end up in the hospital and then you won’t have very many choices of where to go.  Can we talk about moving to a more supported lifestyle now, before that happens?

Q: Care facilities are expensive! How do you find one that someone can afford for the rest of their life?

A: There is a broad range of prices for care facilities and a specialist like Proactive Seniors will be able to assess the seniors financial situation and make recommendations for great places that fit the budget. 

We can also help identify different financial supports that the senior may not have been aware of. 

Q: What kind of criteria do you look at to find the best fit for someone’s next home?

A: We look at three main areas, the persons health care requirements, their personal preferences and their finances.  We want to ensure that whether a senior is moving to a condo or a retirement residence that they have the right support to stay healthy and safe, that they have a good fit with what they like to do and what is important to them and finally that they can afford the solution and be comfortable with the payments.    

Q: If someone wants to stay in their home longer, what are your top tips for helping them stay safe and happy?

A: For seniors wanting to stay in their home we love making this a reality for them.  We do a comprehensive assessment that looks at their health and functional requirements, their safety in the home and then we create a plan to address any deficiencies. Whether they need caregivers, meal delivery or home modifications or any other supports, services or programs, we can pull everything together so that they can remain at home safely for a long duration.

Q: Aside from housing support, what other services does Proactive Seniors provide?

A: We cover a number of areas of support for seniors and their families:

  1. For seniors who want to stay home, we create the plan and actions to make that possible.
  2. For seniors who want to move we make sure they get into the location that is best for them.
  3. We have a new service which is matching seniors together who want to live in a shared home (like the Golden Girls)
  4. We support families who have a loved one with dementia through our dementia support and coaching program
  5. We visit and support seniors who don’t have family in town (or who are away) by helping with the tasks that a family member would normally do such as errands, appointments and weekly check ins. 

If you need any advice or support as a senior or if you have a senior loved one, feel free to reach out to us at:

Proactive Seniors