Searching for a retirement home or a senior housing facility is quite an important step in life because not all retirement residence offer the same quality of senior care and services for seniors. There is a wide range of retirement homes to choose from.
Moreover, leaving the house and choosing a new environment is a decision that can often be difficult and heartbreaking for both the family and for oneself; so one must proceed only when you’re really ready to move.
18% of seniors living in Quebec choose to live in residence, while the North American average is 8%. The choice of this type of accommodation requires reflection, but also to consult with one’s children and family.
First and foremost, you will need to assess thoroughly the degree of independent living you want to maintain or of home support you need.
Before you decide on a retirement home, you need to think about your current and future needs
Remember that the decision to move to a residence or retirement home is an intimate and engaging process that requires support. Choosing a retirement home that suits you requires thought. Ask yourself questions that will help you better orient your choice.
Here are some examples of important questions to raise:
- In which neighbourhood or city do you want to settle?
- What is your level of autonomy?
- What is your budget?
- Do you need to be followed at the level of medical care?
- Is the establishment safe?
- Are you an active person and do you like group and sports outings?
- Do you have a calm personality and prefer peace of mind or on the contrary, you’d like it to be entertaining?
- What degree of independent living do you need?
Once you have made your choice, you will mourn your home and move into a new space but also take ownership of your new environment. You will have to consider your needs but also those of your life partner. This is probably one of the keys when choosing your retirement home; in short, such a move call upon careful planning.
The residence for the elderly; a choice that must improve your quality of life
No matter what type of residence you choose, it should help improve your quality of life. In addition, the private residence you choose must have a certification from the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
The residence itself will of course contribute to your quality of life but there are several other factors to consider:
- Is the environment of the retirement home pleasant?
- Is the residence well served by public transit and the road network?
- Is it possible to shop around the residence?
- Does it have playgrounds and a pool?
- Does it offer common areas like a dining room and private spaces for the residents and their families during visiting time?
- Does it have extra services like a hair salon and spa treatments?
- Are there many other retirement communities in the neighbourhood?
- Do they offer emergency services on the premises on a 24 hour basis?
The choice of a residence is extremely important. A senior’s residence that does not meet the needs of the person or the couple can cause a lot of headaches.
Accompanying, counselling and visits of several residences will allow you to avoid the discomfort of a residence which does not correspond to your needs and obviously, to avoid subsequent moves.
Choose the location of the retirement home
The location of the seniors’ residence you choose is important. Will this choice be guided by the neighborhood you currently inhabit? Or, on the contrary, you may prefer to get closer to your children which could allow them to visit more frequently.
Choose the residence according to your budget
When you retire, you usually do not need to make as much money as you do during your working life. This will help you maintain your living standards by spending less money. Remember that your ability to pay, without having to tighten your belt too much, is an important factor in choosing your future home.
You will understand that it is important to establish your budget. This will allow you to have a good idea of the amount you will be able to pay out each month. Take the necessary time to dissect your budget in details.
First, calculate your income; then list all your monthly fees and expenses, including tax credits you might be eligible to. This important exercise will help you calculate the amount you can afford for rent, food, outings and activities, transportation and vacations.
What type of seniors’ residence is best for you?
As mentioned above, the chosen residence must match your current and future needs. It is important to single out the type of residence that will suit you.
Your degree of autonomy is probably one of the best indicators of the type of residence to choose (autonomous, semi-autonomous, long-term care). So, in the event that your health situation deteriorates, to what extent, the residence you have chosen, can take care of you? What level of personal care or assisted living do they provide?
Stay at home or opt for a seniors’ residence?
82% of seniors living in Quebec choose to stay at home. The choice of home care for seniors is a choice that must be supported by family members. Especially when one of the partners has a disease such as Alzheimer’s, some other form of dementia or a loss of autonomy.
In this case, a professional caregiver could allow the couple to continue to enjoy their home comfort, while relieving the responsibilities of the children and the couple’s family.
Feel free to visit the selected retirement homes
Once you have validated your needs and expectations, it will be important to visit all retirement homes selected from these criteria.
There are several things to consider during your visits: the organization of the retirement home, the neighbourhood, the organization of daily life, the reception and the quality of the staff.
If you chose to continue your life in a seniors’ residence, there are obviously many advantages. You will not have to worry about meals or home maintenance, you will be able to obtain assistance quickly and you will find a community of people who resemble you and with whom you will be able to create new links without leaving your residence.
Your children and family members may also have questions related to your well-being and quality of life in residence. This is certainly one of the most important decisions you will make at this stage of your life.
Moving to a retirement home, of course, involves a variety of details that need special attention. While some aspects may seem obvious to you, others are more subtle and complex; so be well informed and accompanied during this process. This will allow you to make a better choice of life.