It’s that time of year that many seniors are looking for Edmonton snow removal assistance. This is a task that frequently we don’t have the energy for as we age. So how do you coordinate this task in order to age in place at home and keep your walks and driveway clear of snow for the winter?
Shovelling snow can be excellent exercise. The fresh air, cardio workout and moving a full body of muscles can be a great health benefit. But if your doctor suggests you stop or you can’t physically do the work anymore, then it may be time to activate your age in place plan to have snow removal done for you.
Costs to Aging in Place
When planning to age in place, it’s important to remember there is costs to staying in your home. You need to research and know what snow removal costs can look like for your home in advance of needing the services so you aren’t caught off guard. Hiring in these services keeps your home safe for you and your visitors (and the general public using the sidewalk). Snow removal is an important service to prepare for in your age in place planning.
Most removal companies require a contract – you pay a set monthly rate, and usually within 12 or 24 hours of the end of snowfall, they will clear your walks. This way you have consistent reliable assistance. These contracts are frequently over $250 a month, so do your research. A longer driveway or having patios cleared off may cost more. If you want to be one of the first homes cleared, you might have additional fees as well. Some companies will provide ice melt and others do not. You’ll want to fully understand what your snow removal contractor provides.
If affording these services is too much – you may have to make some choices. Can you hire a student in your neighborhood to pay per time the snow is removed? Do you have a neighbor (maybe one with a snowblower) who would volunteer to do your driveway and walks too?
Finding Edmonton Snow Removal Companies
Finding a professional and efficient company who can remove your snow may take some work. There are some ways you can find some reliable referrals:
- Ask friends, family and neighbors – if they have a snow removal company they love, it may be a good snow removal company for you to consider as well
- Edmonton Seniors Home Support Program – offers referrals of vetted snow removal companies, many with a senior discount
- Contact your Community League or Neighborhood Block Connector (if you have them) to see if they have some company referrals for you
- Some programs such as AISH or Veteran’s Affairs, the case managers can provide assistance or know some low cost options
- Watch community pages on Facebook or NextDoor platforms online for snow removal services advertising
You will want to understand how each company manages their contracts, size of their team, removal timeline, and any additional services they can provide. You want to ensure they have a business license in the city you live, have business liability insurance and have equipment that is in good repair. It’s up to you to do your due diligence to make sure you are working with a reputable company. Good companies are happy to provide references from other clients so you can hear what they like about the company they work with.
When You Can’t Afford Snow Removal Services
This is a common expense for maintaining a home. There is very little government or program support assistance to help you with snow clearing.
If you’ve exhausted all low or no cost options with neighbors, then it may be time to consider if you can successfully age in place at home if you can’t afford basic maintenance costs. Winter falls are a huge hazard and a leading reason for many people having to move from their home. City bylaws require that you safely manage snow removal on your property. A home is only safe and allows independence if you can afford to hire in the services to help keep you safe.
As snow removal is a significant expense, I’ve seen people reconsider their living situation to move somewhere with a smaller driveway or sidewalk to shovel, or move to a condo or apartment to no longer have that snow removal stress. Many bungalow villas or half duplex complexes give you the feel of a home but they manage the snow and lawn maintenance. Moving into retirement living where bus transportation is often a great option for those past managing snow removal and driving. Know your housing options and what will promote your safety and your independence as long as possible.
If you need help figuring out whether staying at home or making a move could be more cost effective for you, then let’s chat in a Discovery Session so I can learn about your situation too see how I can guide you to successfully age in place or in a right place! And find the beauty in the snow – it’s here for a number of months each year, so we might as well enjoy it!