If you or someone you care about is becoming frail, is having difficulty preparing nutritious meals, looking after personal care needs and/or is beginning to experience minor cognitive difficulties or loneliness, it may be time to start discussing options. Remember, no decision for placement of any kind can be made without the consent and knowledge of the person involved if they are competent. Before making the major decision of moving one’s home, you may want to first try hiring extra help at home through a local senior’s agency or CCAC. If that is not adequate and there is a sense that the person needs 24 hour supervision or access to help, it may be the time to start looking at retirement homes.
Retirement homes are ideal for elderly persons in relatively good health who cannot or do not want to be in their own homes. They provide an opportunity to socialize, receive some optional care while still maintaining privacy and independence. Meals, housekeeping, medication administration and assistance with bathing/ personal care are usually available in these types of facilities. Retirement homes are privately owned and operated. Some provinces have some form of regulations by the government, others do not. Monthly rates vary depending on ownership, location, amenities available, care required and other factors. In general, homes that are in larger cities cost more than those in outskirt areas. Depending on the residence, services may range from minimal assistance to a comprehensive continuum of care.
Choosing the “right” home can be a difficult task. It is often made more difficult by rigid time constraints both personal and those set by external sources such as a caregiver or hospital. Many people do not make a decision to relocate until there is no choice. The most important thing when making such an important decision is to be an informed consumer. One must seek out information, visit residences and ask many questions. To help in your search we have created a book in Ontario (the Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living) and a website for all of Canada. Both detail hundreds of homes and provide invaluable information on how to search for the best place for you or a loved one. Our website is in the process of being expanded to include all different levels of care across Canada as well as services and resources for seniors. We have all kinds of features to help seniors and their families locate resources and supports. Feel free to visit us often for changes and updates to our information.