Retirement Homes in Alberta

Overview of Retirement Homes in Alberta

Retirement Homes in Alberta is a popular choice among Alberta senior housing options. Seniors Independent Living communities in Alberta are designed for adults 55+ who are able to live autonomously and want a chore-free lifestyle in community of peers. It’s not unusual for retirement homes in Alberta to offer amenities such as fitness centers, gardens and walking paths, libraries and beauty salons.Independent Living in Alberta

Retirement homes in Alberta come in a variety of styles from apartment buildings to condos and cottage-style homes in both urban and small-town settings. They are generally located close to medical centers, shopping, churches and public transit. In Alberta, retirement residences typically don’t offer support services but residents may receive personal assistance services through Home Care, which they arrange separately from their accommodations.

Alberta is one of the ‘youngest’ provinces in Canada with seniors representing about ten percent of the population. It is projected that Alberta will remain the youngest province in the future. It is estimated that by 2036, population of seniors in Alberta will surpass one million, which means one in every five persons will be a senior. The majority of Alberta seniors rate their health as good or excellent. More than 80% of seniors population of Alberta lives in the urban centers of Edmonton and Calgary. Senior residents in the cities of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat total nearly fifteen percent.

Costs of Retirement Homes in Alberta

Alberta retirement residences may be rented, privately owned or life-leased; they may be operated for profit or non-profit. In 2012 the average rent for standard seniors’ independent living unit in Alberta was $2691 per month – according to CMHC Seniors’ Housing Program Report for 2012.

  Studio One Bedroom Two Bedroom Average
Calgary 2,435 3,273 3,951 3,075
Edmonton 1,744 2,454 3,109 2,482
Rest of Alberta 1,821 2,488 3,097 2,399
Alberta 2,108 2,761 3,352 2,691

The following are excluded from the table above: non-market/subsidy units; respite units; and, units where an extra charge is paid for Heavy-care (1½ hours or more of care). Source: CMHC - 2012

Government Programs and Subsidies for Alberta Retirement Homes

Alberta is the only Canadian province that supports all senior living options by providing capital funding for affordable housing to all senior housing sectors.

Rental subsidies may be available to qualified seniors in Alberta Independent Living communities funded by the province.

Senior Citizen’s Self –Contained Housing Program
This program provides affordable apartment style accommodation to low and moderate income seniors who can and prefer to live autonomously and are unable to pay for private senior housing. Residences operated under this program typically do not offer 24/7 on-site staff, however in case of emergency, tenants have access to staff who can help. The monthly rental cost, including heat water and sewer, is geared-to-income and is based upon 30 percent of the household adjusted income. The tenant is responsible for costs such as electricity, cable TV, telephone and monthly parking fees. Applications to the program are prioritized based on need. For more information, see the Alberta Municipal Affairs website.

Seniors Lodge Program
Alberta seniors over age 65 may apply for Seniors Lodge Program. Alberta Seniors Lodges are operated by non-profit government subsidized associations that provide meals, housekeeping, linen service and 24-hour emergency response to qualifying seniors. Residents must be self-supporting, however they may engage help from an outside Home Care service.  

Additional Programs and Supports for Seniors in Alberta

The Alberta Seniors Benefit program is available to eligible seniors (65+). The Program provides support to Alberta seniors in addition to federal benefits (Federal Allowance, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the GST credit).  Information is available and application may be made on the Alberta Health website. 

Special Needs Assistance for Seniors provides one-time financial assistance for extraordinary expenses to qualifying individuals.  Examples might include one-time medical expenses, certain home repairs and appliances to a maximum of $5000.

Seniors have access to Alberta Dental Assistance for Seniors and Alberta Optical Assistance for Seniors. More information about eligibility and access to these programs is available on Alberta Health website.

Blue Cross Coverage for Seniors in Alberta – This program assists seniors with payments for prescription drugs, ambulance costs , and offers other benefits like prostheses, clinical psychology, and in-home nursing.

Seniors’ Property Tax Deferral Program - The Property Tax Deferral Program is designed to assist seniors with the cost of home ownership by giving them the option to defer all or a portion of their residential property taxes through a low-interest home equity loan with the Government of Alberta. This leaves them with more of their monthly income helping Alberta seniors to age in place.

Regulation of Retirement Homes in Alberta

Alberta Independent Living residences that provide accommodating under Senior Citizen’s Self –Contained Housing Program are legislated under the Residential Tenancies Act and the Alberta Housing Act.

Operators of Retirement Homes in Alberta may belong to the ASCHA - Alberta Senior Citizens Housing Association. The ASCHA represents more than 60% of Alberta senior housing and care providers of all sectors including public not-for-profit, private for-profit and non-profit. The ASCHA is the only seniors living association in North America that represents all options in senior housing continuum.

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