Manitoba Senior Housing


Manitoba offers its senior citizens diversity in housing options, from Independent Living to Personal Care Homes. Diversity often breeds confusion, and we present this basic information about the various options in senior living in Manitoba to help you understand what kinds of living arrangements are available to you and your loved ones.

This primer provides basic descriptions of Independent Living, Life Leasing, Assisted Living, Companion Care, Supportive Housing, Intermediate Personal Care Home and Personal Care Homes.

Independent Living
If you are a senior who is able to take care of yourself, and is mobile, meaning that you do not help walking or getting of bed, you are a candidate for Independent Living.

11 Fast Facts About Independent Living in Manitoba

  1. An independent living facility can be expensive or quite reasonable, just as a regular apartment can be.
  2. There are subsidized Independent Living facilities in Manitoba. You should expect to pay 25% of your gross income, if you are single, and up to 27% - 30% of your combined gross income, if you are paying as a couple, to live in a subsidized Independent Living facility.
  3. An Independent Living facility is not always called by its name, it is sometimes called a “retirement residence”, a “retirement community” or simply “apartments for older adults.”
  4. Independent Living offers private accommodations: Studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments are usually available.
  5. Independent Living means that you might have access to prepared meals – or that you might not.
  6. Some Independent Living facilities offer services like laundry, housekeeping, transportation or recreation programs. Some do not.
  7. You may have to pay for extra services like laundry and housekeeping, or these services could be included in your monthly rent.
  8. Independent Living facilities do not provide personal care services, such as assistance with bathing, bathroom use and dressing.
  9. The best way to find an Independent Living situation that suits you is to directly contact the manager of facilities you are interested in; this allows you to ask specific questions and  assess any waiting lists. 
  10. You should expect to be asked for your banking information and to undergo a credit check when applying to be placed on a waiting list for Independent Living.
  11. As a Manitoban, you have several outstanding options when it comes to Independent Living, including non-profit, subsidized, mixed and co-ops - and sometimes your pet dog is welcome and sometimes not.


Life Leasing
Life Leasing is a special kind of Independent Living which is regulated by the Manitoba government and involves renting a apartment. How does it work? You pay what is called an entrance fee that ranges from about 25,000 CDN to 80,000 CDN. When you move out of the apartment, your entrance fee is refunded, either by the landlord or as a result of the sale of the apartment.

10 Fast Facts About Life Leasing in Manitoba

  1. The interest collected on your entrance fee is used to help pay for the costs of operating the unit you are renting: If you pay a higher entrance fee than required, your entrance fee generates more interest and so reduces your monthly fees.
  2. You must be at least 55 years of age to sign a Life Lease.
  3. Life Leasing units are designed to provide desirable amenities, recreational facilities and security systems that are specifically tailored to the needs of seniors.
  4. Most landlords of Life Leasing projects have a goal; they want to provide seniors with affordable housing of a high quality.
  5. Life Leasing programs have a board of directors, which directly represents the interests of residents.
  6. Generally, you need to provide 90-days notice to vacate a Life Lease in Manitoba.
  7. Should the unfortunate happen and a resident die, the entrance fee will be returned to the estate or to a spouse who has also signed the Life Lease, unless other arrangements have been made.
  8. The Life Lease organization is responsible for paying property taxes, arranging property insurance, maintaining the property, administration and utilities, while residents pay for cable TV, telephone service and household insurance.
  9. Life Lease’s are not easy to understand, it is absolutely recommended that you hire a lawyer to carefully manage the signing process.
  10. To find an apartment in a Life Lease facility, you should directly contact the manager of the facility you are interested in.


Assisted Living
Assisted Living is designed for seniors who wish to live independently but need some help to do so. Seniors who choose Assisted Living rent an apartment, just as those who choose Independent Living, but have access to services like laundry, housekeeping and provided meals. Assisted Living does not, importantly, include 24-hour care.

10 Fast Facts About Assisted Living in Manitoba

  1. You will find that there are a wide range of services and amenities available in Assisted Living, it really depends on what an individual facility decides to offer.
  2. You should know that Assisted Living facilities are not licensed by the Manitoba government, which means that you should be vigilant when choosing a facility.
  3. Assisted Living offers you a private apartment or room, laundry and housekeeping services, meals, opportunities to socialize, common spaces for recreation and defined assistance with daily living.
  4. Assisted Living costs more than Independent Living, as a rule. As you would expect, as the number and quality of services increases, the amount you pay does as well.
  5. It is important to visit Assisted Living facilities before deciding to move into one, as it is best to experience the lifestyle being offered before committing to it.
  6. You should feel absolutely welcome at any Assisted Living facility you visit, no matter what time of day your visit is. If you are seriously considering an Assisted Living facility, drop by a few times, at different times, to help you accurately evaluate what is being offered.
  7. Tours can be fun, and do allow you to experience some of the facilities being offered.
  8. You should invite a trusted friend or family member to join you on a facility’s tour: Two heads are better than one, especially when your decision is this important.
  9. If you have a motorized wheelchair or scooter, make sure that the Assisted Living facility you are considering allows you to have it - not all do.
  10. Contact the organization that manages the Assisted Living facility that you are considering as a first step.


Companion Care
Seniors who want to live in a family home, but require some help with personal care and other needs can choose to move into a Companion Care Home. Government health authorities choose and monitor Companion Care Homes.

10 Fast Facts About Companion Care in Manitoba

  1. The success of Companion Care’s situations is largely based on matching up a senior and a family who are compatible.
  2. A Companion Care Home provides 24-hour support services.
  3. Your medication is managed for you.
  4. You have access to social outings when living in a Companion Care Home.
  5. Companion Care Homes provide access to health consultation services.
  6. Companion Care Homes provide assistance with personal care.
  7. Companion Care Homes provide nutritious home-cooked meals.
  8. Companion Care Homes provide laundry and housekeeping services.
  9. The cost of living in a Companion Care Home is determined based on your income.
  10. To find out more about Companion Care Home’s you should contact your local health authority.


Supportive Housing
Supportive Housing refers to a lifestyle that combines living in a private apartment with having access to services like housekeeping, laundry services and meals and - importantly - 24-hour care and supervision, as necessary.

10 Fast Facts About Supportive Housing in Manitoba

  1. Supportive housing, as stated in the definition above, provides 24-hour supportive and supervisory care.
  2. Supportive housing means living in your own private apartment.
  3. Supportive housing offers a communal kitchen that can be used by all residents.
  4. Supportive housing offers common lounge areas where residents can spend time together.
  5. If you are eligible for private home care services, you can receive them while living in a Supportive Housing facility.
  6. You can receive help with personal care in a Supportive Housing facility.
  7. Meals are offered to you in Supportive Care.
  8. You have access to recreational and social activities in a Supportive Housing Facility.
  9. Costs for Supportive Housing vary according to the number of services and quality of amenities and accommodations offered.
  10. You can access Supportive Housing through the home care system in Manitoba, or through a hospital should you be in one.


Intermediate Personal Care Home
Intermediate Personal Care Home is designed to provide the proper level of care for seniors who need more support than is on offer in an Assisted Living facility or Supportive Housing, but less care than is available at a Personal Care Home.

10 Fast Facts About Intermediate Personal Care Homes in Manitoba

  1. You live in a bed-sitting room in a Personal Care home.
  2. The Manitoba government approves Intermediate Personal Care Homes.
  3. Private owners manage Intermediate Personal Care Homes.
  4. 24-hour supportive care is offered in Personal Care Homes.
  5. Personal Care Homes provide at least 40 hours a week of social activities.
  6. Laundry and housekeeping services are provided.
  7. Your medication will be managed at a Personal Care Home.
  8. An Intermediate Personal Care Home has a more flexible approach than a Personal Care Home.
  9. Intermediate Personal Care Homes are relatively costly when compared to options that provide fewer services, or a less flexible environment.
  10. Intermediate Personal Care homes are less common than other options.


Personal Care Homes
The Minister of Health in Manitoba designates particular Personal Care Home facilities as providers of the Insured Personal Care Home Care Program in the province. When a senior can no longer have their needs met in their current living situation, be it in their family home or by community services, they are granted access to a Personal Care Home.

8 Fast Facts About Personal Care Homes in Manitoba

  1. Personal Care Homes have a Resident’s Bill of Rights that govern their treatment: It is reviewed annually. For example, all residents have a right to be treated with respect.
  2. Residents of Personal Care Homes have direct input into the Resident’s Bill of Rights that applies to them.
  3. All Canadian citizens are eligible for entry into a Personal Care Home in Manitoba.
  4. The Health Services Insurance Act, Personal Care Services, and Administration Regulation in Manitoba, taken together, determine Canadian residency.
  5. Your local health authority has a Personal Care Panel that is responsible for determining whether a resident requires the level of care offered at a Personal Care Home.
  6. Personal Care Homes have been designed to keep their resident’s safe, as they are no longer able to manage their own safety.
  7. To access information about Personal Care Homes, you should contact your local health authority.
  8. You should know that the term “Long-term Care facility” refers to Personal Care Homes, Companion Care, Respite Care and Supportive Housing.


In Closing
Choosing a new home as a senior, whether you are physically and mentally fit or are living with some of the real challenges that can be attached to aging, is an extraordinarily important decision, one which will affect your happiness, health and well-being. Fortunately, the province of Manitoba provides seniors with highly desirable options in retirement living - involving your trusted friends and family in your decision making process is a proven way of making the right decision for you.

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