Retirement Residences May Be the Perfect Solution
If you’re tired of spending the time, energy and money to maintain your home, are looking to interact with others at your age and stage of life and don’t require constant medical care, you’re probably ready to look into retirement residences.
Keep in mind that retirement residences and retirement homes are interchangeable terms.
Carefully Read the Menu of Services Provided
Retirement residences core services include –
- shared rooms to spacious apartments
- cafeteria style to fine dining
- social and recreation programs
- 24 hour security and emergency response
- laundry and housekeeping services
Many retirement residences will also supervise or administer medication and help with bathing and or dressing.
Residents may also qualify for services under the Ministry of Health's Home Care Program and some retirement residences allow residents to purchase additional care services through outside agencies.
When you’re reviewing your options, make certain that all your requirements can be met at the residence and that you understand exactly what the facility offers and at what cost. Given the large number of options, it’s no surprise that resident rates vary widely.
Since most retirement residences are privately owned and operated, and don’t receive any government funding, the resident pays the full cost.
Tenure in retirement residences is typically rental, and retirement residence rates are subject to rent control.
Tips on Choosing a Retirement Residence
- Start your research with the Care Guide and TheCareGuide.com.
- Make a list of the retirement residences you’re interested in.
- Before you book appointments, consider the critical question of location.
Are you close to churches, hospitals and shopping?
If you’re not, transportation may restrict your ability to enjoy shopping, outings and increase the cost of getting to and from scheduled medical appointments.
- Book appointments to see each one.
The Top 10 Things to Note on Every Visit
The most important thing you’ll be looking for is whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
Ask for an Information Package from each retirement residence. This should clearly set out what’s included in the posted monthly or daily rental rates and what services are available at additional cost. Take time to be introduced to other residents. These people will be your neighbours and it’s important that you feel comfortable with them.
- Was the staff member who took you on the tour polite and interested in finding out what you were looking for?
- Did the staff member who took you on the tour know other residents you met on the tour and speak with them?
- Take time to be introduced to other residents. These people will be your neighbours and it's important that you feel comfortable with them.
- Stay for a meal! If you don’t like the food, you’re not going to enjoy living there.
- Ask to be seated with current residents for your meal. This is a common request, and will give you some time to get to know them.
- Schedule your tour at a time that activities are in progress. This will give you a good idea of how the staff interacts with the residents.
- Determine whether the level of décor and cleanliness is consistent with what you’re used to.
- Are there transportation services to get you to local shopping areas where you can do your banking, pick up any other essentials you might need?
- Do you feel safe in the building?
- Don’t skip a reference check: Ask for family resident references and speak to them.
If You Still Can’t Decide...
Many retirement residences offer short-term trial stays ranging from a couple of nights to a few weeks, which is an excellent way to truly "test the waters" at each retirement residence.
If you need more help in finding an appropriate retirement residence, call us at 1-800-311-CARE  or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government Regulation and Retirement Residences
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 residences with more than six units and the establishment of complaints procedures.
Some municipalities have their own retirement home bylaws and licensing requirements.
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