It can be a very daunting experience looking for a retirement home for yourself or a loved one. Even before looking at specific homes, you may have a lot of questions. Here are some common questions and their answers.


What is a retirement home?

A retirement home is a privately-owned residence that provides rental accommodation with care and services for seniors who can live independently with minimal to moderate support. You may hear the following terms that refer to the services that retirement homes provide: independent living, assisted living or memory care.


What is the difference between a retirement home and long term care?

Retirement homes provide rental accommodation with care and services for seniors who can live independently with minimal to moderate support and are able to fund the lifestyle on their own. You can choose your retirement home and wait lists depend on the individual home. There is flexibility to choose your type of suite, the services you need and the activities you want to participate in.

Long-term care homes (such as homes for the aged and nursing homes) are designed for people who require the availability of 24-hour nursing care and supervision, sometimes within a secure setting. They receive government funding, with residents paying a co-payment for accommodations. There is likely to be a waiting list and you may not get your first choice of facility.


How much will it cost?

The cost for a retirement home is set by each individual home and depends on the type of suite chosen and the services required (e.g. do you need assistance with medication, dressing, bathing). On average retirement home costs will start at $2,000 per month. It is important to remember that the cost of living in a retirement home generally includes rent, utilities, meals, activities, transportation, maintenance, 24 hour access to assistance and other services.


Are retirement homes inspected?

Retirement homes are regulated by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority in accordance with the¬†Retirement Homes Act. The RHRA completes comprehensive inspections on a regular basis and will also conduct inspections in response to concerns and complaints. Any concerns about a retirement home can be submitted by calling the RHRA’s hotline at 1-855-275-7472.


How can I find a retirement home that’s right for me?

Start with our home finder. Search for homes in your preferred area and you can visit their website to get a basic idea of what they offer. Then pick up the phone and call. The general manager or another staff member will be happy to give you a tour, arrange for you to stay for a meal and make time for a discussion on what your wants and needs are and whether the home would be a good fit for you.


Have more questions? Visit our extended FAQ for additional questions and answers.