5 important questions you should ask when looking for a retirement home
Retirement home – Are you or a loved one considering a move to a retirement home or senior community? Many Canadians have either already made the move or are considering such a move. Some moves are for proactive reasons (i.e. wanting to downsize and enjoy a better quality of life) while other moves are for reactive reasons (i.e. physical or cognitive issues, death of a spouse, safety and security, etc.).
Regardless of the reason for wanting to transition into a retirement home, the search for the perfect residence can be stressful and overwhelming. Like any important decision, it takes time, research and preparation to make the best choice in choosing the right retirement home or senior community. Here are 5 important questions you should ask when looking for a retirement home or senior community:
- What level of care will I need?
When looking to move into a retirement residence, it is vital to do the research and find out what services it provides. Each retirement residence provides a certain level of service. It can range from independent living, assisted living and memory care. The level of service depends on each residence or community.
- How is the residence managed?
Find out the staff to resident ratio. Ask if they are a certified residence. Check to see how the staff interacts with residents during your tour. Is there a positive atmosphere? Find out about their nursing care abilities and how often a doctor visits the residence. Another important aspect is what safety and security features are available.
- What services are provided and what will cost you extra?
Do not shy away from financial questions. You need to know exactly what is included with your rent and how much services cost, how you can terminate a lease and what financial penalties may apply after ending a contract early.
- What are the types of activities that are provided?
In many cases, the social lives of residents improve once a move is made into a retirement home. Most residences have a monthly calendar of activities. Ask for this calendar and inquire about the various activities that are offered.
- Is there a referral agency or counsellor that can guide you through the process?
Referral agencies or housing counsellors, such as Lianas Services, can be a tremendous source of support and guidance. Very often, their services are provided for free to families as their fees can be covered by sponsored senior communities. Their experienced advisors can help navigate the many challenges of transitioning into a senior residence and they can help ask the tough questions when narrowing down the search for the perfect senior community.
About the author. Matt Del Vecchio is the founder and president of Lianas Services. He is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA). Matt and the Lianas Senior Advisors assist families with retirement residence searches and transition support. www.lianasservices.com 514-622-8074