Live the life you want in an environment that supports you and your needs
Retirement homes are communities designed for seniors who want to live a somewhat independent lifestyle but who may need minimal to moderate support with their daily living activities. At a retirement home, you will find a safe, comfortable environment that is your home, not a facility. You can choose how much to do for yourself, how much to have done for you, how to spend your time and with whom to spend it.
As defined by the Retirement Homes Act (RHA), a retirement home is a building that is occupied primarily by persons who are 65 or older, are occupied by at least six people not related to the operator and make available at least two of the thirteen care services set out in the Act. These include providing meals, assistance with bathing, personal hygiene, dressing or ambulation, providing a dementia care program, administering medicine, providing incontinence care or making available the services of a doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
There are many benefits to living in a retirement community including:
- Freedom from maintaining a home and preparing meals
- Enjoying privacy while knowing someone is aware of your well-being
- Belonging to a community of peers and participating in that community
- Living in a safe and secure environment that can accommodate varying levels of physical mobility and changing care needs
Although each retirement home offers different suites, amenities and services, generally they provide one or more of the following types of accommodation:
Independent Living: Generally consisting of a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, independent living provides a home environment without the responsibility of home maintenance or cooking. Residents have access to social activities, group excursions and special events as well as all amenities such as libraries, exercise rooms or chapels. Certain care services, such as medication administration, may be included or may be available for additional fees. Emergency assistance is obtainable 24 hours a day. Here, seniors also enjoy delicious and nutritious meals, can enjoy a feel of ‘home’ in any way that they wish, and may be able to access additional services as needs change.
Assisted Living: If you need extra help but are still independent, then assisted living may be a good option for you. Assisted Living provides the home environment of independent living with extra care services such as assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming and medication. Depending on the home, you may be able to stay in the same independent living suite while obtaining assisted living services. The benefits to assisted living is that you can access additional supportive services, medical services and personal support while still being able to live as you wish and enjoy life within your community.
Specialized dementia care or Memory Care: Memory care communities are able to create supportive, safe and secure environments for people with mild dementia all the while providing opportunities for residents to live life to the fullest through social, recreation and fitness activities. Memory Care residences are equipped with the expertise to support seniors with varying forms and levels of dementia.
Short Term Stays: Some retirement homes offer short-term stays for seniors who want to ‘test drive’ what it is like to live in a retirement home. Some homes offer short stays for those recovering from a hospital procedure and who need that extra support before they return to their own home. Regardless of the circumstances, short stays provide seniors the opportunity to really understand the benefits of retirement home living, with access to nutritious and delicious meals, social and recreational programming, and access to specialized support services.
Anyone can apply to live in retirement home (you do not have to go through CCAC or any other government agency) but the home may assess your medical needs to ensure that they can provide the support level required.