Choosing the right housing

Choosing the right place to live is a complex decision and will depend on care needs, financial resources, and individual preferences.  It is important to gather all of the information needed to make the right decision.  Taking the time to visit several housing options and ask questions about the services available at each one will make the decision easier.

Health care providers, family members and close friends will all have information and ideas about the housing options that should be considered.  Health conditions and chronic illnesses are important considerations in the decision as care needs may increase over time. 

A VIHA Case Manager or a contact at the VIHA Access Line (250-388-2273) will be able to provide advice on eligibility for subsidized housing options and information on what is currently available.  Those who receive disability benefits from the Ministry of Housing and Social Development pay a fixed client rate.

When you have made the decision to move and chosen your new home, the actual move itself can sometimes seem overwhelming.  Family and friends are often willing to help, but now there are also other options available.  See the Seniors Serving Seniors Directory for a list of several local businesses offering downsizing and relocation services.

What to consider when evaluating housing options

  • Current and future housing needs in terms of size, accessibility, affordability and support services.
  • How needs may change over time with age or as chronic illnesses progress.
  • Adaption of current housing versus moving.
  • When to move, bearing in mind that a move should be made before a different level of housing is required.
  • Long-term financial sustainability of housing options. 
  • Eligibility for subsidized living or subsidies from agencies such as Veterans Affairs.
  • Family, friends and health care providers that can help research options and make a decision.
  • The logistics required to downsize possessions and move into a new home.

Questions to ask when considering a facility

  • What does the facility offer for meals, housekeeping, services and support?
  • Are there optional support services available if needs change? At what cost?
  • What is the total base cost per month and what are the costs for additional services?
  • What social and recreational services are offered?
  • Is the location going to allow continuation of familiar activities and be easy for family and friends to visit regularly?
  • Does the facility offer multiple levels of care or will a move be required should care needs change significantly.
  • Is the identical unit being considered available for viewing to ensure suitability?
  • What are the other residents like? 
  • What are the current menu offerings?
  • Does the facility offer assistance with downsizing and moving?
  • Can changes be made if the housing or care do not meet requirments?