Living at Abbeyfield

Abbeyfield residents can expect:

  • Accessibility
    • Houses are wheelchair accessible
    • Elevators are in place where needed
    • Parking is provided at most Houses
  • Access to privacy
    • Each tenant will have a private room with ensuite bathroom
    • Residents are responsible for furnishing and maintaining their suites
    • A private locker is included at most Houses, where valuables can be stored
    • Telephone service must be arranged privately
    • Internet might or might not be provided by the House
  • Common Spaces
    • The dining room, kitchen, laundry, and living spaces are shared by all tenants
    • Houses may also have gardens that can be tended by the residents
    • Residents are invited to participate in activities and outings together
    • Shared spaces foster a sense of family and community
  • Staffing
    • Each Abbeyfield has a live-in House Coordinator who will manage the property, provide meals and housekeeping services, and organize activities
    • Volunteers often help out
  • Meals 
    • Breakfast is self-serve
    • Midday and evening meals are provided by the House Coordinator
    • Beverages and snacks are available at all times
    • Residents are able to use the kitchen if they choose to prepare their own meals

Some frequently asked questions about living at Abbeyfield:


The costs vary from House to House but are frequently more reasonable than other senior accommodation options due to the voluntary management by the Abbeyfield Society and the non-profit cooperative philosophy of Abbeyfield.

The residents must be able to care for themselves independently.

A private bedroom with ensuite facilities for each resident. Shared dining and sitting rooms, TV room, kitchen, laundry and guestroom. Some Houses have a garden.

The volunteer Board of Directors of each local Society is responsible for the House. The board members handle all applications, employ the staff, maintain the property, and takes an active interest in the well-being of the residents.

Yes. A House Coordinator is employed to do the shopping and meal planning/preparation. In some cases, the Coordinator has their own apartment in or near to the House. The Coordinator manages the House under the direction and supervision of the local Society's Board of Directors.

Typically, Abbeyfield Houses accommodate ten to fourteen residents.

Minor ailments are handled in much the same way as in a family home. If you have to go to hospital for any reason, it is assumed that you will return to Abbeyfield, provided that you don’t need ongoing assistance beyond that which can be provided by visits from a home care nurse until you regain independence.

Normally, men or women over the age of 65 years who often have ties with the area in which the House is located. The majority of residents are over the age of 70 but many Houses have a waiting list so it is wise to register your interest early.

This varies from House to House, depending on the physical layout.

Residents are responsible for furnishing their own suites and the Society furnishes the shared rooms of the House.

The rules are determined by the volunteer Board of each Society and usually are similar to those of a courteous normal Household.

Yes. Abbeyfield properties are entirely smoke free.

Each House makes its own decisions in relation to pets.

Yes. The Housekeeper does not clean residents’ rooms or handle their personal laundry. You may engage domestic help at your own cost, or a relative or friend may be able to assist you. Rooms must be kept clean.

Each incoming resident is asked to nominate one or two trusted friends, relatives, or acceptable alternatives who can be contacted and consulted in case of an emergency or difficulty, by either the resident or the Society. No financial involvement is required on their part.

You need to contact your local Abbeyfield Society and complete an application form. All Canadian Societies are listed on the web site.

Yes. In most Houses there is a guest room which can be used for a trial period by an interested applicant. Alternatively, prospective residents can usually trial the lifestyle by participating in events at the House.

Yes. Friends and family are able to stay in the guest room if there is one available. There is a small charge for the room and for meals.

All local Societies are bound by Abbeyfield’s Guiding Principles, but they are independent bodies and are responsive to local conditions which do cause some minor differences in practice. All local Societies are registered Charities affiliated to Abbeyfield Canada and bound by its policies and guidelines.