As we age, our lifestyles change. For example, we may no longer need or
want a large house. We may prefer something of a more manageable size because
the demands for maintenance increase or because of difficulties in managing
stairs, the house may be unsuitable.
For some of us, the demands of daily living may make it difficult to
achieve the lifestyle we desire. It may be difficult or tedious to shop for
groceries and prepare nutritious meals. Some of us might be living alone and
feeling a little isolated. And, if we have health concerns or our kids are
worried about our well-being, we may seek a more supportive environment.
If this describes you or your loved one, a retirement residence may provide
the level of support you need and, at the same time, enable you to maintain your
independence and privacy.
What is a Retirement Residence?
Retirement Residences meet the needs of those who need greater security or
who are no longer able to manage all the activities of daily living by
themselves. These facilities aim to allow residents to continue to live with
dignity and as independently as possible, enjoying life to the fullest, while
providing the security, care and supportive services necessary.
Retirement Residences are privately run and are not regulated or subsidized
by the government. In the absence of Province wide standards, some
municipalities have introduced bylaws and licensing requirements. The Ontario
Residential Care Association represents approximately 250 retirement residences
whereby membership is contingent upon passing and maintaining strict standards.
Retirement residences vary widely in terms of care and supportive services
provided, amenities offered, types of accommodation and physical structure.
Accordingly, prices also vary widely. Since most retirement residences are
privately owned and operated and do not receive any government funding, the
resident has to pay the full cost. Tenure is typically rental and accommodation
rates are subject to rent control.
Most retirement residences provide accommodation, meals,
social/recreational programs, 24 hour supervision, laundry and housekeeping
services. Other care and supportive services such as assistance with the
activities of daily living (ADLs), assistance with medications and personal
nursing care may also be included in the posted rates or available at an
additional cost. Residents may also qualify for services under the Ministry of
Health's Home Care Program (http://www.gov.on.ca/health
) and some
homes allow residents to purchase additional care services.
When making your decision to choose a retirement residence, you should keep
the following in mind:
- You, the person affected by the decision and key family members should be
involved in the process.
- Making life choices can be emotionally stressful and may strain
relationships. Assign one family member to assist with all the necessary
decisions and arrangements.
- Consider also the needs and health of your caregiver.
Finding an appropriate retirement residence takes time and research but
you're already off to a great start. TheCareGuide.com's search tool and
self-guided needs assessment tool can help you quickly find the homes in your
area that are best suited to your situation.
Once you've become familiar with the types of services and amenities that
may be offered at retirement residences, it's a good idea to make a list,
actually two lists. The first is a list of the things you must have in order to
live comfortably and the second, a list of what you would like to have, since
what we need is often quite different from what we want. This checklist will be
useful in helping you narrow your choices.
For Tips on What to
Look For When Choosing a Retirement Residence, Click