Housing for seniors – what is your next move?

Graphic credit: Susana Tort, MIT AgeLab

By Pat Eakins and Janet Sutherland

The Seniors Watch of Old Ottawa South (SWOOS) Housing Project Team has for the past year been exploring innovative housing options to assist seniors to age in place. We are considering the development of an Abbeyfield (abbeyfield.ca) model of housing in the new tower planned for the west side of Bank at Riverside.

Before proceeding too far along this path, we are planning a series of workshops for late April/May that will help all seniors be better informed of various housing models for older adults, from living independently in the community to living in a shared residence with a range of supports. The workshops will provide an opportunity for us to share some of our ideas and receive the input and feedback from the surrounding community (Old Ottawa South, the Glebe, Glebe Annex and Old Ottawa East). Three workshops are being planned: the first to provide an overview of the issues and options for seniors’ housing; the second to focus on residential design and adaptations to support aging in place (e.g., universal design, inclusive design, design for all, life span design); and the third to introduce innovative housing solutions such as the Abbeyfield model that have been successful in Ottawa and beyond. We will consult experienced resources and hopefully actively engage them in these workshops. Stay tuned for more details!

In the meantime, we continue to welcome volunteers to our Housing Project Team and the Abbeyfield Riverside Board of Directors. While SWOOS looks at our community through the eyes of seniors, we believe that an age-friendly community requires the participation of all ages for the development of optimal amenities and for intergenerational social health. If you are interested in being involved in this seniors’ housing initiative or want more information, please contact us at: SWOOSadmin@oldottawasouth.ca.


Pat Eakins and Janet Sutherland are members of SWOOS Housing Project Team and Abbeyfield Riverside Board of Directors. Sutherland is a Glebe resident participating in this initiative as a member of the Glebe Community Association Health and Social Services Committee.

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