Help with: Selling your Home, Refinancing the Home, Home Renovations, Companionship, Retirement Homes, Homecare Services, Wills & Estates
I found myself in my mid 50’s with two aging parents who could no longer care for themselves and look after the family home. I became frustrated trying to obtain unbiased information on services that were available to assist with in home care and help for seniors outside the home. I had many questions and all came with financial considerations.
This site is dedicated to providing some guidance in terms of selling, refinancing or renovating the family home; will and estate planning; in home medical and homecare services; suitable retirement homes, and companionship. Let Help for Seniors Canada find you the answers you need.
Provide some basic details and ask your questions. A representative will reply with an unbiased, no cost, information on help for seniors for you and your loved ones.
SELLING THE FAMILY HOME
Do we need to sell? When is the best time?
Will the proceeds be sufficient for our ongoing needs?
What if there are mortgage or property taxes arrears?
Can I sell without strangers entering my home?
Do we need a realtor? Do we need a lawyer?
Which local retirement homes have vacancies?
Can they handle our current medical needs?
What happens when our health deteriorates?
What is the current waiting time for a home?
What are the costs?
REFINANCING THE FAMILY HOME
What options do we qualify for, on a fixed budget?
Is a reverse mortgage or line of credit better?
Paying for renovations, home improvement loans?
What are the hidden yet creative financing solutions?
How do we do an assessment of our needs?
What services will the government pay for?
What additional services can we purchase?
What is LHIN and CCAC?
RENOVATING THE FAMILY HOME
Does it make sense to renovate or sell the home?
How do we do an assessment of our needs?
How do we find qualified contractors?
Is there government assistance for seniors retrofits?
WILLS AND ESTATES
Do we have current legal wills?
Do we have an executor, powers of attorney?
How do we plan now to save on probate taxes?
Do we have a comprehensive estate plan?
What in home services are available?
What seniors programs exist in my community?
Are there fitness and recreational programs?
Seniors dating sites?
Is transportation available?
Your Questions Answered.
Providing some details on your areas of interest and you specific question will enable us to provide resource links that may help. A representative will reply by email or will call if clarification is required. You can view previously answered questions below the form.
Prior to the pandemic I was able to get 3 months of my meds but now my costs are over $100 more over a 3 month period for the 11 medications I need. This is just one of the many cost for me that have gone up.
Our 94 year old mother is moving into a retirement home. We want to sell the home but don’t want to deal with disposing of all the furniture and her belongings so it is vacant for the new owners. What can we do? Not up to organizing a garage sale.
Some of your mother’s possessions may be antiques and have some value. A local antique store owner could visit the home and purchase items of interest. Local charities like Goodwill, Teen Challenge, Habitat for Humanity etc, could arrange to pick up items they want, which may clear out much of the remainder. Alternatively, you can simply sell the home “as is”. All the contents are transferred to the new owner and it becomes their responsibility to dispose of the items.
Our air to air heat pump is 30 years old. We cannot get parts for it any longer as it is old. We are in need of a retrofit and find the cost very high. Is there any financial help for seniors for this type of replacement? We own this home.
Assistance may be available through an energy conservation program your energy provider could recommend or through both the provincial and federal governments. I would start with your local energy provider. Here is a link to a Homeowner Repair Program in your province that may be helpful as well.
I am a senior and not comfortable going to grocery stores during Covid -19. I have on a fixed budget and have limited funds. Are there places that will deliver for free
Here are some contacts for grocery services for seniors. Visit Southwesthealthline.ca for more details on who may be in best position to help you. See the Shopping and Grocery Assistance information.
I am recently widowed. I moved recently and find myself without friends as my husband was my life. What to do?
Getting out and socializing is important. You need to take the initiative to search out human interaction. People won’t find you unless you make yourself available. Meeting your neighbours while out on a walk would be a good step. In London the Hamilton Road and Kiwanis Senior Community Centers offer a variety of seniors programs. The City of London (through the Parks and Recreation department) offers a variety of sports or leisure activity classes though their Spectrum publication. You can sign up and meet others with similar interests. Volunteering also provides opportunities to meet people and help the local community. If you have a favorite charity, contact them and see how you can become more involved.
My husband and I are seniors on a limited income. While we were in Mexico we received an email from friends we share a house with in Vernon, saying that they had compromised immune systems and we wouldn’t be able to come stay with them there until we self-isolated. When we returned we had to stay in a hotel for 14 days and paid for it out of our own pocket. It set us back $2000. We didn’t qualify for CERB. There was no other funding available with our unique situation. Is there any funding that you know
of for this situation?
Beyond the previously announced, onetime $500 seniors assistance payments, I would check with your local federal MP and determine what programs are available. Your best argument is that you were mandated to self-quarantine for 14 days as per government guidelines, and without a place to stay, incurred $2000 in accommodation costs. You could make the argument the government should assist as the quarantine was mandated. I suspect others have found themselves in a similar situation. The city of Vernon may have funds set aside for temporary housing costs related to Covid, or there may be a local service organization like the Nexus BC Community Resource Centre that can provide some guidance.
Which attorneys are doing wills?
Most lawyers prepare wills as one of the staples of their business, similar to most that complete real estate transactions. Some will also act as an executor of the estate if you don’t have someone identified to undertake that function. Before preparing a will, I suggest you meet with a financial planner, as there are many variables to consider when deciding how best to handle estate planning and the distribution of your assets. I can provide a referral if required.
I am retired on a fixed pension and want to refinance my home. Can I qualify for a mortgage when I am not working?
When qualifying for a mortgage, lenders are going to look at all your revenue sources such as pension and investment income. You may still qualify for a traditional mortgage, a line of credit that will allow you to draw down on the funds as needed, or if income is insufficient possibly a reverse mortgage where you don’t need to make a monthly mortgage payment. I suggest a detailed review of your current situation by a mortgage specialist so you obtain professional advice and the right product to fit your needs. We are happy to assist with a referral.
My mother would like to sell her upper 63 year old duplex. Her nephew owns and lives in the lower duplex and does not want to sell. Oil furnace heating shared between both duplexes however the only thermostat is located in the lower duplex. Is it worth trying to sell only the upper duplex? We do not want to rent her part.
If a legal duplex, I suspect the ownership would comprise both units and they receive one property tax bill for the property. If separate units, you would incur separate property tax bills so selling the one unit would not be an issue. Assuming joint ownership and depending on the ownership structure, (joint tenants or tenants in common) your mother may be able to sell her interest independent of her nephew, or she may need his co-operation to sell. You will need to confirm the ownership structure and discuss how to proceed with a lawyer.
Do you have a form with instructions on how to write a will?
The internet provides “do it yourself” will templates, but I am of the opinion that wills and estate planning should be left to the legal/accounting professionals. For a modest cost you will have comfort knowing everything is prepared according to your wishes. You may also need to make provisions for your powers of attorney should you become incapacitated prior to death. There is a lot to consider, and you want to make this as easy as possible for your executor.