How much does it cost to retire in Alberta?
Alberta has a wide range of costs for retirement living (independent and supportive living), long-term care (facility living) and home care services. Alberta’s continuing care system ensures that whether you are single or a couple, looking for a retirement community or supportive home care, you’ll find affordable retirement options within your cost range.
In a broad sense, retirement homes cost between $2,000 and $3,000 per month, in the province of Alberta. This includes retirement homes and lodges offering independent and supportive living.
Average cost of Alberta senior care
According to the CMHC’s Senior Housing Report for 2018, the average cost of renting a seniors’ housing space in Alberta was $2,780 per month. Actual costs you will pay will vary widely based on needs and other factors (see more below).
Home care costs in Alberta average between $15 and $75 an hour depending on the type and level of care you are looking for. Alberta Heath Services provide some home care living support costs based on a needs assessment.
Costs for independent living in Alberta
We surveyed a variety of retirement homes from across the province of Alberta. The following provides an overview of what you may expect to pay, based on size.
|City||Suite||Sq footage||Cost/mo (starting)|
|Calgary, AB||1 br||685 sq ft||$3,500|
|Calgary, AB||2 br||925 sq ft||$4,500|
|Edmonton, AB||1 br||700 sq ft||$2,950 (estimate only)|
|Edmonton, AB||2 br||900 sq ft||$3,900 (estimate only)|
In independent living, some care services may be hired in through home care providers, or provided by the retirement homes themselves. When seniors require more detailed care, this may require the move to supportive living or memory care facilities, where care is likely to be more expensive.
Supportive living retirement home costs
Supportive living in Alberta is roughly synonymous with assisted living elsewhere. In this type of care, you get extended, specific care such for activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, etc. This may be part of an umbrella fee covering any detailed care option, but more often specific care options may be charged on a fee-per-option basis.
|City||What’s included||Cost/mo (starting)|
|Calgary, AB||meals, housekeeping, all ADLs||$4,500|
|Calgary, AB||925 sq ft||$4,500|
|Edmonton, AB||meals, housekeeping, all ADLs||$3,900 (estimate only)|
For more supportive care beyond these (such as that required for Alzheimer’s sufferers in a memory care facility), you can expect the cost to be higher. Generally, the cost for memory care is about 15-18% higher than it is for supportive living.
Long-term care costs
Alberta’s long-term care costs (nursing home or facility living costs) are regulated by the government: Alberta Seniors and Community Supports and Alberta Health and Wellness. The costs depend on the type of suite, duration of stay and the individual’s income. Spaces in long-term care residences are determined solely by need through the Single Point of Entry process with Alberta Health Services.
Approximate long-term care residence costs:
|Length of stay||Daily- Monthly Rate|
|Long-stay basic||$54 – $1620|
|Long-stay semi-private||$62 – $1863|
|Long-stay private||$72 – $2167|
|Short-stay||$35 – $1053|
Whether you’re looking for an active adult living community or need a greater amount of care that an assisted living or long-term care residence offers, you will find housing options that fall within your budget. The cost of each will vary, depending on the level of care you need, the type of retirement community or home care service you choose, and your location within the province (Calgary, Edmonton or Medicine Hat). It is important to first determine your needs, before you start your search. This way, you will be able to compare each option easily and make the best decision based on your available budget.
Factors that affect the cost
Your final costs can vary quite widely depending on where you live and what care you require. Here’s a look at factors that affect the cost of seniors care, and how you can reduce these costs.
- Location of the retirement home. If you move away from a city center or move to a smaller town, the cost of real estate is lower, and you will pay less for a retirement home stay.
- Size matters. You may be paying as much as 50% more for a few hundred square feet, so consider the possibility that less is more: less room means more money staying in your own pocket.
- Type of care offered. There’s not much you can do if you need to have assistance or supportive living care. However, you can shop around, and many homes will allow you to hire in your own home care service, if you think that’s cheaper than paying for that same care provided within the services of the retirement community.
Paying for a retirement home
For anyone moving into a retirement home, you need to know the full costs associated with each home or residence before you move in and you need to be aware of potential changes to those costs such as lease or rental increases or changes to your income or investments.
Paying for a retirement home may be easier than you think when you consider that the monthly rate covers many living expenses including everything from home repairs to property taxes to heat and hydro.
Basic ability to pay begins with Government of Canada benefits, Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and any relevant supplements that apply to you. Beyond that there are a variety of source of income you can tap into. Many people are fortunate to have a workplace pension that covers additional costs of living. If you have investments or other income, those also can help you pay rent or other fees associated with retirement care.
We provide an overview of how people in Alberta afford to pay for senior care. For more information about subsidies, tax credits and support for seniors in Alberta visit the Canada Revenue Agency. The website of Alberta Health Services covers a wide variety of topics including standards, an overview of the system and much more information.