What is the difference between Independent Living, Supportive Living and Combined Living?

Independent Living is strictly accommodations where no supports are offered regularly on-site.  All supports (including meals and housekeeping) are the responsibility of the individual.  Individuals would arrange for any supports needed with homecare or a community program (for example, Meals on Wheels).

Supportive Living offers accommodation and support services.  Supports can range from having one meal provided a day, to weekly housekeeping, to personal care, to 24/7 Health Care Aides on site, to LPN and RN services.

Combined Living offers both independent living options and supportive living options under the same roof or “campus setting.”  This means that independent individuals would live alongside those requiring more supports and services.  It also means that individuals who are currently independent could have support and services provided if their future needs change, possibly without having to move to another building.

I’m seeing listings with their pricing specified as “Rent Geared to Income” (RGI).  What does this mean?
Rent Geared to Income (often abbreviated to RGI in the housing industry), is subsidized government and supported housing.  The accommodation and services fee is calculated based on an individual’s income.  Individuals must qualify to receive these subsidies.  We recommend that you contact the site directly for an application to see if you are eligible.

Why are some of the listings so low in price and others higher?  Is there something I should know?
Some units are listed with minimum prices, and there are a lot of different factors that could determine cost.  The three main factors are as follows:

The listing is an RGI unit.  In this instance, the minimum price that appears will be based on  what the individual might pay once subsidized.

What is being included in the minimum price. Each site has different services and supports   available (if any) and they may or may not be charged separately.  Some sites will include service   and support fees in the minimum price that is posted, while others may only list the  accommodation fee, with the “service package” fee applied separately.  We recommend   contacting the site listed to see what is included in the prices listed.

Size of the unit/suite and available amenities. Larger units with more amenities will usually cost more than modestly equipped units of a smaller size.   The minimum price will usually   reflect the most basic type of accommodation offered on site.

I notice some listings have the Priority Rating checked.  What is that?
Some sites may use a priority rating system to determine the eligibility and the need of an individual for social housing accommodation in accordance with the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation.  If the site indicates a Priority Rating, it means that when a unit becomes available, it will be given to the applicant deemed most eligible and most in need of social housing accommodation.

Why do only some of the listings have pictures?
Some sites will have pictures as they are Premium Listings.  Premium listings are available to member organizations of the Alberta Seniors Communities & Housing Association (ASCHA) free of charge, and they may or may not choose to post pictures.  Sites that are not members of ASCHA must pay a fee for including a photo with their listing.

Some listings contain very little detail or information.  How do I find out more?
Each organization/provider is responsible for creating or validating their listings on the Alberta Seniors Housing Directory.  ASCHA assumes no responsibility for incorrect or incomplete data in the directory.  If you require more information about a particular unit or site, please contact the site directly.

I’m finding units that I really like, but when I phone the provider, they inform me that there are no vacancies.  Why are they still listed on this directory?
The Alberta Seniors Housing Directory is NOT a directory of current vacancies.  It contains a full listing of all independent, supportive and combined living sites in the province for reference.  The directory is a resource for those in need of housing options, but it also provides information, profiles and industry-related data to government, stakeholders and housing associations.  Furthermore, a building may experience both capacity and vacancies at any given time.  We encourage you to remain in contact with sites you are interested in should an opening come available. If you are looking for vacancies, some listings will have this information available in the Vacancies section of their listing. We also have a Vacancy Page available for ASCHA's regular members available here.

If you are a housing provider, see the Housing Directory how-to guide here.