Is Retirement Home Living Right for You?
Retirement homes offer accommodation in a residential setting, along with varying levels of care and support services. They typically provide meals, social and recreational programs, laundry and housekeeping services. Many offer a level of personal care with supervision or administration of medications, bathing, dressing, grooming assistance and 24 hour supervision.
If you have complex medical needs, a retirement home may not be your best choice.
Since retirement homes don’t receive any government funding, residents pay for the full cost of accommodation and services. Tenure in retirement homes is typically rental, and rates are subject to rent control.
Start by Setting a Budget
Retirement home costs vary widely, given the levels of service they provide.
spacious apartments to shared rooms
small converted homes to high-rise buildings
laundry and housekeeping services, dining rooms, libraries, workout rooms, pool etc.
daily help with personal hygiene and dressing to nursing care
Residents of retirement homes may qualify for services under the Ministry of Health's Home Care Program and some retirement homes allow residents to purchase additional care services through outside agencies.
Tips on Choosing a Retirement Home
For each retirement home you consider, start with the basic questions of cost and location:
- What is your monthly/annual budget?
- What services are included in the base price?
- What additional services - and at what cost - are offered?
- Are there transportation options for shopping, medical appointments and social outings?
Identify your top retirement home candidates using The Care Guide and TheCareGuide.com, and then rate each one.
Don't forget to ask for an Information Package from each retirement home you visit. This document clearly sets out what services are included in the posted monthly rental rates and what services are available at additional cost.
- Schedule a tour of each residence.
- Is it clean?
- Is it secure, e.g. is the front desk manned 24 hours a day?
- What social and recreational programs are offered?
- Ask if you can wander around on your own to get a better feel for the environment
- Ask residents about what they like and dislike
- Ask for references
- Food quality is really important – definitely stay for a meal.
- Many retirement homes offer short-term trial stays ranging from a couple of nights to a few weeks: an excellent way to "test the waters" and see if it's right for you.
Government Regulation and Retirement Homes
There are proposed regulations under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 to create standards of care and safety and resident rights. These will include a licensing requirement for retirement homes with more than six units and the establishment of complaints procedures.
Some municipalities have their own retirement home bylaws and licensing requirements.
If you need more help in finding an appropriate retirement home, call us at 1-800-311-CARE (2273) or email us at email@example.com.