social services in northern ontario

Like all aging boomers, I’ve needed to look into support housing for my parents. My search is into the Canadian system, because my parents live in Northern Ontario. The advantage here is that it’s a small market and there are enough family and friends who can act of resources. The most surprising aspect is the cost. NOTHING like what the same facilities would cost in the US. And as my brother-in-law added, “Nothing like what it costs in metro Toronto.”

Currently, my parents tap into the various home-services that the provincial and federal governments provide. These services have allowed them to begin this phase of their lives while still living in their home. (My parents have always been practical people and we’ve begun the application process for an assisted living residence before we find ourselves with our backs against a wall, because one of them needs immediate placement.)

I’m using the farm photo for this post, because it’s a harkening back to an older time when grandparents, parents all lived in a multi-generational home; when extended families ran farms; when people didn’t move away from their communities and families. In today’s world, mobility, opportunities, schooling have dispersed family units and aging parents often find themselves alone in the town or city where they raised their kids. In my family, only my younger sister stayed in Northern Ontario. (I’m part of that age-group that ran to the cities for college and work.)