Life in a Retirement Community


It’s your home, so make yourself comfortable

It’s important to know that no two retirement communities are completely alike. That’s why it is so crucial that you pick the right community for you. Take a look at some of the questions you should ask yourself in Its About Choice and when you go on a tour, take along our handy checklist.

But what is it like living in a retirement community?

Life in a retirement community will depend on your preferences, budget and care needs. However, you can expect certain attributes to be present. Most importantly, you can expect to be safe, comfortable and a respected member of the community.

Your suite or room is your private space, where you have the ability to come and go as you please. You may have a kitchenette that will allow you to make snacks and light meals as desired. Weekly housekeeping will be available and more frequent cleaning and laundry may be provided. Like any other home, you can bring your own furniture and belongings and host guests.

There will be common areas available for your use and enjoyment. There may be a lounge, library, hobby room, fitness area, billiards, garden or sunroom. These are great areas where you can get to know your neighbours.

Your ability to participate in social and recreational activities is much easier when they are taking place in your home. There may be a walking club, fitness activities, special guests or lectures, movie nights, holiday events, game nights, gardening clubs, cooking sessions and many more varied activities. Most homes will have a recreation coordinator who is happy to hear ideas from residents.

Meals will be served in a central dining room. Depending on the home, you may have to sign up for a specific seating or there may be a designated time period for meals. The menu will be rotated regularly so you shouldn’t get bored. Light refreshments will be available between meals. Some homes have a liquor license and enable you to enjoy wine with dinner or cocktails at other events. When you go for a tour, stay for a meal to get an idea of the type of food available.

As long as you sign yourself in and out, you are free to go for a walk, attend your appointments, go to a local café, or visit some shops. If this is particularly important to you, you may want to focus on homes that are in an urban or downtown setting.

There is no one way to define what it is like to live in a retirement home. However you can expect safety and comfort and, unlike other senior housing options, the ability to choose where you live based on your preferences, wants and needs.