Our mission is to act as a resource to help seniors and their families in situations where their needs are changing and to assist them with these transitions.
Whether it’s about requiring adaptations at home, finding the right retirement community or not knowing how to open up the conversation about a loss of autonomy, we will provide solutions and help guide you through every step.
Through guided consultation, seniors, and their family members, discuss their specific needs. Can the senior remain at home, and if so, what are some different solutions? If a move is required, what are suitable options? Clients are supported throughout the moving and home sale process from beginning to end.
No matter the age, nor the specific needs, every life deserves the best, even at 96!
We want to take the weight off your shoulders. Just the thought of moving to a retirement residence can be very emotional and confusing. It is a delicate step in life with a variety of aspects and emotions to consider. We understand. Our goal is to respect your time frame and find solutions that fit your unique needs.
About the Founder
Marie-Claude Giguère, Founder of Helping Seniors™
For more than 20 years, Marie-Claude has dedicated herself to working with seniors. Starting out in her early years as the director of leisure activities in residences, her passion grew and in 1999, she founded Helping Seniors™, a business that specializes in adaptation and relocation services for seniors.
She has intimate knowledge of private retirement residences and the industry that surrounds them. She has personally visited close to 400 privately run facilities, located in the Greater Montreal area, other parts of Canada, the United States and Europe.
Marie-Claude has a B.A. in Recreation and Leisure from Ottawa University. She is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), the Canadian Association on Gerontology, and the American Association on Aging. In 2005, she became certified as a Real Estate Agent, as required by Quebec law to be able to refer seniors to retirement residences. She also became a Chartered Real Estate Broker in 2008, with the sole focus of assisting seniors in their current or new home and helping them adjust to their surroundings as their needs change.
Spreading the Word
In 2012, Marie-Claude published Stay or Move? How to Talk to a Senior About Their Changing Needs and Retirement Residences, which has received 5-star reviews and won awards in the United States. She later wrote and illustrated a children’s story, Grandma’s Place, which brings attention to the language we use when a senior is facing a loss of autonomy.
This award winning author works in close proximity with seniors and families every day. Her guide 65+ Key Questions You Must Ask When Looking for a Retirement Residence, first printed in 2002, details the steps to take before going out to look at private retirement residences.
A note from the founder: Helping Seniors™, Our Passion
Celebrating the older person in front of me, understanding their needs, and trying to find solutions to help them bloom is my passion.
How someone puts on their socks or gets in and out of the bath belongs to them. Ideally they feel safe doing these tasks. If not, what can be done to help? Can something be modified or implemented to make daily living more safe and comfortable? The answer is never the same nor is there ever a ‘one size fits all’ solution or approach as every life and set up is vastly different.
When our phone rings we often find a caring individual in distress on the other end of the line: “My elderly mother/father/aunt/neighbour needs help. When I offer my assistance, tempers flare. I am at a loss as to how to get involved. What can I do?”
Fully understanding that no one wants to move, especially to a retirement community or residence, exploring the options of staying at home is always where the conversation starts. We base ourselves on years of professional and personal experience to adeptly answer this difficult question and guide the client to solutions.
Seeing that we are living longer, many of us, at some point, may be faced with helping or assisting our parents, an elderly friend or isolated neighbour. Whatever your question or situation, Helping Seniors™ is here to help.
Breaking the Ice
The door opens a crack. “Hi. You must be Marie. My children warned me you were coming. Come, let’s go to the kitchen.”
“Have a seat,” she said, standing by my side in a defensive pose, hands on her hips.
“So what do you want? Do you want to see how I put on my socks?”
“No. Only if you wish to show me.”
“Oh, so you want to see how I go to the bathroom or get in and out of bed?”
“No. Not unless that is something you would like to show me.”
“Oh, you don’t even care about that? You just want me to move?! That’s why my family sent you here, right? Is the moving truck here too?”
“No. Not at all. But if there is a moving truck, I hope the guys are cute!”, I said as I winked to her. She smiled back and finally sat down.
“Well everyone else who comes in here wants me to do all these things, tell me what to do and boss me around. You don’t?” she said with a nod of her chin towards me. “Why? What do you want?”
A pretty intimated and intimidating person was sitting across from me.
“I was asked to come meet you to discuss what could be of help to you right now. Your children are concerned about the stairs, and I must say they are pretty steep. How long have you lived here?”
The conversation went on for 3 hours. We covered her current health issues, her sadnesses in life, her current struggles, her loneliness, her anger, her passions, her future and so much more. The intimidation turned to trust and sharing. I was hugged on the way out and asked when the next visit would be.