AGING
IN PLACE

Co-op members are getting older. Aging in place is the ability to continue to live in one's own co-op home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, benefiting older members, their families and co-op communities.

Aging In Place: Introduction | Aging in Place Committee | Century of Co-operation Awards | Advance Care Planning | Health and Home Care Services | Resources for Seniors | Frequent Questions from Seniors | Transportation Services

Considering the
needs of all
members makes
co-ops stronger.

 
 

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Aging In Place: Introduction

As housing co-op members get older, they may face challenges that make it more difficult to continue to live safely in their units, to remain fully involved in their co-op communities and to know where to get support when they need it.

Co-ops may need help to support their valued aging members.


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Aging in Place Committee

CHF BC has created an Aging in Place Committee to provide a focus for the Federation’s work in this area.

The committee will identify ways the Federation can help co-ops to adapt to the changing needs of their members as they age. To get involved, or to send a message to the committee, please contact the CHF BC office at members@chf.bc.ca or call 604-879-5111 (toll-free 1-866-879-5111).


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Century of Co-operation Awards

CHF BC’s Aging in Place Committee initiated the Century of Co-operation Awards in 2016. Every year the committee welcomes new nominations and applications.

Are you eligible for our Century of Co-operation Award? Do you know someone who would be eligible for this honour?

To qualify, you must be living in a CHF BC member housing co-op, and your age plus the length of time you have lived in co-op housing must add up to 100 years or more.

Here’s the formula: (Member’s age) + (length of time living in co-op housing, current co-op or other co-op) ≥100.

For example, a person who is 80 years old and has lived in co-op housing for 20 years qualifies with an even 100 years.

Century of Co-operation – Application form 2018. The deadline to apply for 2018 is September 14.

CHF BC will recognize the members at a luncheon at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver on National Seniors Day, October 1.


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Advance Care Planning

Many older co-op members understand they should prepare for their future in case of failing health. This is considered advance care planning.

Recording wishes and choosing advocates can be confusing and complicated, often resulting in the elder being unprepared for later medical events. Experts recommend writing down your wishes and choosing which legal documents you may need. Remember three key legal documents:

  • Will: Is used only after you are gone. Without one, settling your estate can take years, with the courts deciding who inherits. If you already have a will, does it need updating?
  • Power of Attorney: Gives authority to someone you trust to speak or act on your behalf, especially regarding financial matters. An enduring power of attorney could allow the representative to sell the owner’s real estate. Often two people are named.
  • Representation Agreement: Used for medical issues or decisions when you cannot speak for yourself. It is important to have your wishes put in writing.

For more information about end-of-life planning, see the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre or Dying With Dignity. The provincial government offers an Advance Care Planning Guide.

 


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Health and Home Care Services

Often older adults or their caregivers find navigating our healthcare system difficult and confusing.

You can learn how to access home healthcare services through a case manager, or if in hospital, through a social worker. You can find more information about free and subsidized care services through the Health Authorities, the Better at Home program and the Choice in Supports for Independent Living (CSIL) option.

  • Case managers: determine your eligibility for wait lists in subsidized care facilities (e.g. assisted living or full residential care). To get one, you need to register with the Community Care section of your local health authority (CMs are assigned based on where you live). An intake assessment will determine your eligibility for future subsidized personal care services in your home. The intake-assessment is done once, except for annual changes to your income and/or residence, or if your last assessment was more than five years ago.
  • Social workers: play the same role as a Case Manager if you end up in hospital and require further help at home when released. Social workers will communicate with your CM, providing you are registered. They are part of your medical health team along with your doctors and other therapists.

Tip: Be nice to your CM or social worker because you need their help. Be aware that they have very demanding case-loads.

More on Navigating the Health Care System


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Frequent Questions from Seniors

Some questions come up again and again:

How can seniors access information, home services, or financial assistance? What kinds of legal documents do seniors need? What are the alternatives to remaining in a co-op home? For answers to these questions and others, take a look at our 10 Tips for Seniors (FAQ, December 2017) sheet.


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Transportation Services

Getting around, especially for seniors with health and mobility issues, can be a daunting challenge.

The provincially run Better at Home program offers subsidized driving and light housekeeping services. Those with incomes under $30,000 receive a pro-rated reduced rate.

Many BC communities offer a variety of seniors’ bus programs which are free or low-cost, as does TransLink BC with its HandyCard and TaxiSaver vouchers. For those undergoing cancer treatments, the Freemasons run a Cancer-Car program. Another door-to-door regional service is HandyDART.

If you or someone you know is driving and may be a danger to themselves or others, DriveABLE offers self-assessments and other advice.