As it is our clear objective to keep you or your loved ones at home and away from Retirement Facilities, sometimes it just can't be avoided. With so many care options, lifestyle options and price factors to consider, choosing the right retirement residence can be an overwhelming process.

We can remove most of the stress when it comes down to choosing a home and disposing of your own.

How we can facilitate this process:

  • Research seniors residences or care facilities to provide you with a selection of appropriate choices.
  • Advise your family about what questions to ask.
  • Review the residence’s contract.
  • Access and transfer pharmacy records and medical files from hospitals, CLSC, and doctor’s office to the new residence.

How we will coordinate the entire move:

  • Refer you to a trustworthy and compassionate real estate agent who has experience with seniors.
  • Clean, organize and stage the house for sale.
  • Arrange professional estate sale.
  • Book the moving company.
  • Pack and unpack your belongings.
  • Make sure that the staff at the new residence has all necessary information to care for you.
  • Help you settle into your new surroundings.

Things to consider when choosing the right home

  1. Location, Location, Location

    Much like choosing a home or an apartment, location of a retirement residence is of paramount importance. You have to survey the neighborhood and determine if that community is right for you:

    • Do you have friends or family nearby?
    • Is there easy access to public transit?
    • What's within walking distance? Are there good restaurants, grocery stores, libraries, museums, movie theatres or other amenities close enough to walk to?
    • Is it close to doctors, dentists or health practitioners?
    • Is the neighbourhood safe to walk around in at night?

    All of this is important because no matter how nice your retirement residence is you'll want to be able to enjoy the community it's located in. Make sure you spend some time exploring the vicinity of the retirement residence and make sure it fits with the lifestyle you want to live.

  2. Research and Visit

    Before selecting a retirement residence, don't just take the standard tour, to really get a feel for the place you have to:

    • Sample the cuisine – enjoying the food is very important.
    • Talk to the other residents and staff
    • Try some of the activities, attend an event, workshop or take an exercise class
    • Check out the assisted living and care facilities, because if one day you need them, you'll want to be sure they meet your standards
    • Check out "less-traveled" parts of the residence and see how clean and well maintained they are such as stairwells and kitchens
    • Get a feel for the size of the accommodations. Think about how much stuff you want to bring in and determine whether your life can fit in there
    • Ask for a trial stay so you can "test drive" the residence

    Remember, you're not just choosing a place to live here, you're choosing a way of living, and you need to be sure it feels right to you, because nothing is more important than your happiness.

  3. Extras

    Retirement residences offer a variety of services, from meal plans and health and fitness services, to spa and beauty services, optional day-trips and outings and specialized medical care. It's important that you read the fine print and find out exactly what's included and what costs are extra, so you don't wind up paying "hidden costs" or unexpected fees.

    Take a look at the list of included services and estimate how much you would use each service per month and how much it would cost retail. Then compare the optional services with retail prices. Don't forget to account for convenience and personal preference!

    Make sure you're getting the most value for your money. You don't want to be paying for services you won't use.

  4. Don't Pay For Things You Don't Need

    Care options vary widely in retirement communities. They range from:

    • Independent living, for seniors who need little or no help with their daily activities and just want to live somewhere convenient and fun
    • Assisted living, for seniors who might have some mobility issues and require occasional assistance with certain tasks
    • Long Term or Nursing care, for those with health problems who need full-time skilled nursing care
    • Memory Care, for those with cognitive or dementia challenges

    Most seniors don't require any special care, but, as time goes on illness or mobility issues might strike, and they may require increasing levels of care. Many retirement residences offer "continuing care" models, where the resident starts out in independent living and receives greater levels of care as needed. For many, this can sometimes be the best option, because it means they don't have to move should illness occur. It's a way to ensure your future care.

    When investigating continuing care options, find out exactly how changes in levels of care will impact pricing, and which services are included.

  5. Review Documents and Get References

    As with any major investment, details are extremely important. Make sure you review all the paperwork. Some questions to ask are:

    • Is the facility accredited by a government body?
    • How is medical care provided? Is it delivered on-site? Can I keep my own doctor? Is there a visiting doctor?
    • Are there resident family references available to get third-party opinions?
    • Is there a Residence Council or Family Council where resident's voices can be heard?

    Make sure you get everything in writing and review it carefully.

  6. Retirement Home Accreditation

    The Accreditation Canada does not accredit retirement homes. However, retirement homes may seek accreditation from the Ontario Residential Care Association (ORCA). ORCA is a provincial association that sets standards, inspects and accredits retirement homes in Ontario.

    There are several hundred retirement homes that meet the ORCA standards and are affiliated with the association. Their website offers the feature of searching for the accredited members by region. Or, you can call ORCA at 1-800-361-7254 to request a printed directory of their accredited retirement homes, free of charge.

    Only accredited providers can display the ORCA logo. Here are some ways to find out whether a provider is accredited :

    • Look for a framed ORCA certificate and logo inside the building.
    • Locate a listing of accredited organizations by visiting the ORCA web site and click on "Find a retirement home".