A new take on the ‘granny suite’

Written on October 7, 2015 – 7:45 am | by Audrey Miller

With the sky high price of housing in many provinces, families may be looking for residential alternatives.

The October 2, 2015 Globe and Mail  wrote a story on expandable shipping containers being used as homes.
In 2008, shipping containers were touted as being eco friendly  and had been used reportedly for decades for housing and workspace.
The article highlighted that many millennium children are not leaving home (reported to be more than 500,000 three generation households in Canada) and with our aging demographics responsibilities towards parent care continues. Within some cultures multigenerational living is the norm. For others who may not be able to afford to remain living on their own, this adds another option to the residential mix. For those considering living with family, a ‘Block Container Structure’ may provide the required supports and comforts- with just a little extra distance.
An in law apartment, granny suite, or an expandable shipping crate are creative options that may be worth considering if having mom and dad live with their adult children, is the desired outcome. At the cost of approximately $120.00 a square foot, an accessible unit fitted with all necessary equipment may be a sensible and cost effective solution.

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National Senior’s Day

Written on October 6, 2015 – 6:00 am | by Jasmine Sweatman

October 1 was National Senior’s Day.  This national day was created (by statute called the Celebrating Canada’s Seniors Act, S.C. 2010) to acknowledge the contribution of seniors to Canadian society and to the Canadian economy which this contribution being identified by the sharing of their experiences, expertise and knowledge with other generations and which was declared to be invaluable and ongoing in November 2010.

October 1, 2015 was also the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons.

For the first time now in Canada there are more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15.  The demographic shift has led to particular focus across all forums on raising awareness and being “sensitive” to seniors; to educate and understand the particular motivations and life experiences which affect the perceptions and decisions of seniors and to appreciate the role and contribution of this segment of the population.  This is especially true as this segment is now being divided into smaller slivers as more and more of the population heads into the 55+ age range.

We used to say for those of us who practice in the estate and trust area that seniors represent a significant segment of the practice.  With this it is now more and more the case that dealing with “seniors” (and I am purposely using this term in a generic not technical sense) is pervasive throughout society and our individual lives.  Use the last couple of weeks as an example: in the last couple of weeks I have meet with couples 86 and 88 years old, 88 and 89 years old, a 90 year old women, a 92 year old man and a 98 year old women who unbelievably still drove a car (her licence – I checked – was renewed last year and did not expire until 2018).

She told me the story of how her granddaughter wanted to “highlight” what she had seen in her almost 100 years and how her presentation captivated her classmates.  I in turn told the story of my grandmother born in 1888 who lived until the age of almost 104 and how she used to talk about all the changes she had seen in her 100+ years.  We shared a common experience across the generation. Time to reflect on this and to continue to celebrate the seniors in our lives.

Until next time,

Jasmine Sweatman

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