When CMHC did a national survey, they found that 84% of Canadian elders would prefer to age in existing communities, close to shops, medical services, and entertainment, as well as learning and volunteer opportunities. The problem is that not many existing homes are really visitable ones—barrier-free, 0-step houses with grab bars, extra light, roll-in showers, higher toilets, lower counters, shatter proof tables—places that are safe to age-in-place. Plus the cost and nuisance of retrofitting an existing building make it an unacceptable alternative for many people.
multi generational living
That’s why Matthew Maxsom and his Phoebe Services group stepped up. Matt says, “We decided to do something about this. We bought our first bungalow in Nepean last year and spent six months and nearly $200,000 making it what we call a ‘multi generational’ living space. It’s now ready for elders to live safely and comfortably on the main level of a truly visitable home with younger folks living on site in their own lower-level apartment.”
Phoebe Services model no 1
The idea is not new. NBC aired a sitcom in the 1980s called the Golden Girls. The show featured four older ladies (including the indomitable Betty White playing Rose Nylund, a Norwegian American) sharing a house in Miami and having many adventures, and much fun together. The series finale aired in May 1992 when more than 27 million viewers saw one of the leading ladies exit one final time saying, “You’ll always be my sisters, always.”
Another member of the Phoebe Services team, engineer Patrick Trahan says, “In addition to being a fun, shared place to live, residents get a yard, deck, BBQ, garden, free parking, a family room, a kitchen, laundry room, a private room, free storage space plus free Netflix, wi-fi, cable, home phone and Ethernet as well as a new system that makes communicating with family and medical workers available to everyone because it simply requires touching a large picture on an even larger screen and saying, ‘Hello.’ We also have an excursion service, event coordinator, meal plan, personal care workers, personal security and health monitoring, plus nursing staff that visit each resident, and who are on-call 24/7.”
Phoebe Services roll-in shower
Co-living dates back to a movement that began in Denmark (sorry Betty, not Norway) in 1964. They defined co-housing this way—
The purpose of co-living is to create a home environment that inspires and empowers its residents to be active creators and participants in the world around them. These environments cultivate collaboration and serendipity amongst residents and the extended community. Co-living houses enable sustainable lifestyles through sharing and efficient use of resources and space.
Phoebe Services live together
“Phoebe Services takes care of everything—house cleaning, snow removal, grass cutting, maintenance, repairs, insurance, you name it, we do it. We even have students who will come in and teach residents how to use facebook, Instagram, skype, build an etsy store, what have you—anything that keeps people active, sharp, in touch and part of the greater community at large. And we are about 1/3 less expensive than traditional retirement residences,” Mr Maxsom adds proudly.
Phoebe Services real living
For more information and to take advantage of this limited opportunity, please contact Ms Marilynne Ball, Phoebe Services assistant transition adviser, Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc salesperson, REALTOR, office: 613.422.6757 cell: 613.250.8016 fax 613.422.2877 marilynne98 @ gmail.com helping professional
Bruce M Firestone, PhD, Ottawa Senators founder, Century 21 Explorer Realty broker. Follow him on twitter @ProfBruce. Bruce is an adviser and mentor to the Phoebe Services group and an active real estate investor. 613.422.6757 x 250 bruce.firestone @ century21.ca making impossible possible