The need for seniors housing

Over the next 20 years, Canada’s seniors population — those age 65 and older — is expected to grow by over two-thirds, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Locally, the City of Kingston predicts that seniors will constitute a quarter of Kingston’s population by 2036.

Those seniors will need places to live. Yet, while you might like to stay in the same neighbourhood you have lived for years or even decades, there are many challenges in doing so due to a lack of senior-geared housing particularly near Kingston’s downtown core.

Staying in your long-standing family home can be difficult because you might find you have ‘more house than you need’ and want less to take care of as you age. You may also notice that your home no longer supports your physical needs. Or perhaps you have been planning on the sale of your current property to boost your retirement nest egg and wondering where you will live in retirement.

These are all reasons to downsize. But what tends to hold us back from making this change?

A major obstacle is the potential loss of community and the need to establish a whole new routine. If you sold your home and moved, you might worry about losing touch with friends, your favourite stores or parks, and other familiar comforts.

This is why smart governments and planners are increasingly adopting ‘age in place’ strategies – essentially, finding ways to help seniors who are downsizing remain in their familiar neighbourhoods. This can take a lot of different forms, but the main idea is building senior-appropriate housing within existing neighbourhoods.

Currently, if a senior in the Portsmouth area wants to stay in their community postretirement, their choices are limited. On top of this, Kingston has had a low vacancy rate for all types of residential real estate in recent years, making housing a challenge for all ages.

A fully built-out Union Park Kingston would add housing that supports a continuum of care for seniors right in the Portsmouth area. This would include everything from seniors apartments for more independent seniors up to a retirement home that offers assisted living and respite care.

The Seniors Apartments at Union Park will offer residents complete independence with fully equipped kitchens in each suite as well as a number of mobility features that offer enhanced safety at home. 

Residents can also take advantage of additional services such as access to fitness programs and indoor swimming as well as dining packages. The Retirement Home suites will offer independence and assistance to meet a variety of seniors’ needs from gourmet meals prepared by a Professional Chef lead culinary team, daily activity programming, and weekly suite housekeeping to more specialized personal care support catering to each resident’s needs.  

Union Park Kingston would also include on-site amenities that will especially help mobility-impaired seniors access important services with ease such as a Library, Theatre, Private Dining Room to host family and friend events, Bar, Bistro-Café, Fitness Facilities that include an indoor saltwater pool, Hair Salon & Spa, and outdoor patios & terraces overlooking Portsmouth Harbour.

As we age, our needs change. You may decide to lease an Apartment suite for a few years and eventually, when you need more support, move into a Retirement Home suite. These life transitions can all happen in the same community. Our team’s goal for Union Park is to provide seniors in the Portsmouth neighbourhood and City of Kingston with a choice to stay in their community.  A choice of what type of suite best suits their current needs and what services will support them in having the most independence, peace of mind, and access to enjoying life to the fullest.

This weekend marks World Senior Citizen’s Day (Aug. 21) and this quote from American writer Betty Friedan struck us as appropriate: “Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” As we transition this important parcel of land into a new stage of life, we look forward to the coming years where, if our development is approved, we will be welcoming many seniors who will call Union Park home.

An overhead view of the Union Park Kingston proposed development, facing westward.