Planning to 'Age in Place'

I love hearing from you about the ways you are using The Perfect Home For a Long Life to plan your housing for the future. Here's Drew's story.

 We applaud your new book and have found it interesting reading. Moreover, we are integrating much of what we learned from it in the design for a new house that we are in the process of buying. Your book came out at exactly the right time.

 After considering that my father-in-law was able to stay in his home, on his own until he was almost 99, (except for an occasional housekeeper and in the last few years some 'Nurse Next Door' help), we decided we wanted to create our own 'old age' home. We figured this is the time to take these decisions and your chapter regarding your parents reinforced that decision.

 We did not want to move from our neighbourhood. Fortunately, our elderly neighbours decided to move into an apartment. We had asked them to speak with us first if they were interested in selling. They did and we are proceeding with a private deal. The house is directly across the street from us and has a large pond with the park at the back.

 After the sale closes, we'll begin renovations to make it into a home we can live in until we are 100. We have a great architect who is very sympathetic to our needs.  We're opening up the back with more light and French doors to the garden, as well as new kitchen, baths, etc. We'll be integrating a suite on the top floor for eventual live-in help. We are considering the design of an elevator and having the doorways and bathrooms easy access regardless of mode of transportation.

 It is a year-long project and we will live in our existing house while it is undertaken. So we are taking what we think to be the right steps.

 Thanks for your inspiration. 


Launch on the Ottawa River

On July 10, Mother Nature blessed us with the perfect evening to launch The Perfect Home and celebrate the work of Ottawa Salus Corporation. About 50 of us discussed housing ourselves for the future while we watched the sun set over the Ottawa River and took inspiration from the sailboats running the regatta course on the far shore. Dwayne Wright, President of the Board of Salus told us about the work of this charitable organization that has been supporting adults with mental illness for over three decades. Providing supportive/supported housing is a big part of their strategy and demand for Salus housing is at a five-year high. They are responding with an exciting plan to build a 42-unit supportive housing building on Clementine Boulevard, and their vision includes integrating Passive House design and technologies in their building design plan. The goal is to use approaches, materials and standards for maximum energy efficiency, sustainability and improved quality of life for the residents and staff of the building. This is an organization that is truly making a difference. You'll find photos of the book launch here.


Halifax Book Launch

Check out photos from our Halifax launch here.


The Housing Boomers Book/Study Club

In The Perfect Home For a Long Life, I discuss reasons for optimism when it comes to housing ourselves for the future. One reason is the wave of retirees who are applying their expertise to senior housing issues. Pat Kipping is a perfect example. She is using the skills she developed through a career in community and fund development to spur people in Nova Scotia to develop creative housing options for an aging population. Pat was the catalyst for the book launch held last week in Halifax, hosted by reBoom, a program of the Northwood Community Centre. The evening was a spirited discussion with a group of some 60 people. The icing on the cake was a splendid acapella performance by "Mom & I" (Pat Brennan-Alpert and daughter Katie Guitton) who had scoured the musical landscape for songs about our home. At the event, Pat invited people to form a "Housing Boomers Book/Study Club" and signed up about a dozen enthusiastic participants. 

Here's some feedback from the evening. "One friend had read both of your books by the next day. She is in the throes of making some very difficult decisions about her retirement, which she is already two years into. Reading your books helped move her to think in ways that her friends have been trying, unsuccessfully, to do for a few years. I'm sure there are thousands of stories like that. This book will help move our whole generation!"


Reader Review: "Great Resource"

"I have just finished reading The Perfect Home For a Long Life. You have done an amazing job of laying out the stark realities of aging and accommodation with optimism and hope for people moving into this period of their lives.  I particularly liked the examples in the final chapter where you show how one's whole life is in fact a preparation for your growing needs as you age - the projects one puts effort into, the caring for others and the building up of a community. I am sitting on the board of my condo and finding out how things run. As I am interested in doing some renovations to join my two units together I realize that the Condo needs a defined process for something like this to happen as it has an impact on the 'Common Elements'. By being on the board and learning more about how a condo works I can shepherd such a bylaw through the next AGM  and so clarify things for myself and for others down the road. All of this takes time so I can see that I am doing some of the forward planning that you recommend.
I also work with Cornerstone here in Ottawa which is the reality of what you described in the section Religious/Ethnocultural/Spiritual Communities.
I have spoken of your book to many of my contemporaries - many have read your first book and are anxious to read this one.  I think it is a great resource. You have included many practical solutions but it is the voices and experiences of all those you interviewed that make it more than a handbook of facts."
Peggy Lister, Ottawa