We tell you here about 5 important criteria to find the ideal retirement home. Are your parents losing their independence and need help every day? Or are you just worried about their safety? Depending on the senior’s stage of dependency, it may be time to consider the option of a retirement home. Sometimes going to residency may not only be the optimal option for the senior, but also you, the caregiver.
There are several things you need to consider to find the perfect property. But which ones? We will analyze with you the most important points in order to help you find the ideal retirement home.
1. Understand the needs of the elder
Their level of dependence
It is essential to determine the level of dependency of your loved one when you begin your research. To do this, ask yourself these simple questions:
- Does he act consistently?
- Can it be located in time and space?
- Is it autonomous? (Wash, get dressed, use your phone)
- Can he move around in all the rooms of his house?
The retirement home you choose should be adapted to the needs of the senior. And these questions that you ask yourself come into play in this choice. There are many types of accommodation available and all have their own characteristics. For example, we have residences for independent, semi-autonomous and loss of autonomy seniors.
Avoid acting in an emergency
Very often we have no choice and we have to act in haste (sudden illness, accidents etc.). But when possible, taking the lead and anticipating remains the best solution to find a retirement home.
Indeed, it is preferable to take the time to visit the selected living environments in order to be able to compare them. Our adviseors are available and can help you on this point. After these visits, you will have acquired enough information to make a conscious and thoughtful choice.
Meals. We don’t necessarily think about them, but they are an important part of the future life of your elderly loved one. We therefore want to ensure the content of the plate, the menu and the user-friendliness of the dining room. Why not ask to come in at lunch, a fun way to test the quality of the food. It will also allow you to see what the atmosphere is like when all the residents are gathered around a table.
Activities. Bingo, gym, workshops, movie nights… the retirement homes have quite a lot of activities in general. Ask for a schedule to make sure the entertainment is to your parent’s liking. When we talk about activities, we also have to think about going out. Depending of course on the older person’s independence, going out is a great way to break boredom. A trip to the park, a shopping center or a market, what a lovely way to spend the day!
2. Geographic criteria
To find the ideal retirement home and being able to continue seeing your parents without having to drive for hours in the car, what could be better? If the situation allows it, that the residence you choose is located close to your home could become an undeniable advantage. It will also help ease your parents’ transition to their new home.
It is also important that the retirement home you choose is easily accessible for family and friends. Also having public transport nearby is a good choice to explore. Here we want to facilitate visits from relatives in order to avoid the resident’s feeling of loneliness and breakup.
3. Financial aid to find a retirement home, how does it work?
In Quebec, if a senior moves into a private residence and is over 70 years of age, he or she is eligible for the tax credit for home-support services for seniors. This is financial assistance that facilitates access to care and contributes to the continuity of a better quality of life for the elderly.
The amount of assistance is determined according to various criteria such as the eldest’s degree of autonomy, the services offered by the residence as well as the services used by the resident. According to Revenu Québec, the tax credit is equal to 35% of expenses that were paid during the year for eligible home support services.
To learn more about the tax credit, click here.
4. Be as well informed as possible before the final choice
To make your research simple, fast and efficient, you can rely on organizations such as Visavie. We have close and long-standing relationships with hundreds of establishments and a detailed knowledge of their characteristics (type of room, equipment, level of medicalization, etc.) located throughout Quebec and Ontario.
Our advisors will be able to accompany you free of charge to the residences best suited to your needs, in record time! To this end, we have created a 4-step plan ranging from the first call to entry into residence:
Analysis of your needs
The first call aims to discuss your situation and that of your close elder to fully understand your needs and the essential criteria of your search (housing preferences, lifestyle, type of residence sought, budget envisaged, etc.).
Presenting an initial selection of retirement homes
Following the telephone interview, one of our counsellors will visit you at home to show you an initial selection of retirement homes. The step refines your choices and informs you about the various tax deduction programs that you and your loved ones are entitled to.
Visiting the selected retirement homes
After selecting one or more residences together, we contact the establishments for you and we also organize the visits.
If you wish, your counsellor can accompany you during your visits, free of charge. He or she will help you compare the different retirement homes and ensure that all important questions are answered.
Choosing complementary services
Changing a senior’s environment and moving him or her into a new living environment can involve a number of delicate steps.
Do you need a mover, a notary or additional home care support? No problem. Your Visavie counsellor will be happy to assist you with the steps involved in the move. Our trusted partners can assist you in helping your loved one transition smoothly.
5. Prepare to move into a residence
Facilitating the integration of the elderly also means understanding their apprehension in order to be able to reassure them. Remember that a good integration is the completion of a gradual journey which necessarily requires a time of adaptation.
It is normal for the senior to feel apprehensive and doubtful about this change. Moving into a residence can also mean letting go of countless memories and feeling like you are losing your independence.
Just remind your elderly loved one that they will have a better quality of life and will be able to:
- Break the solitude and maintain a certain social life with the residents.
- Enjoy a pleasant setting in a suitable environment.
- Have a variety of services (entertainment, therapeutic workshops, outings, sports activities, etc.).
- Benefit from a quality medical follow-up and a reassuring presence (if necessary)
Finally, we know that helping your elderly loved one move into a residence can take some effort. But this help is critical so that the person can make a new start in the best possible conditions. Listen and be available! It is the most important.