If you are considering a retirement home in Canada, here are some questions to ask yourself:
• Do you want to stay active but be freed from housework or making meals?
• Is living independently becoming more difficult? Do you feel lonely or isolated?
• Is maintaining your current home becoming too onerous?
• Are you able to meet your personal care needs?
• Are daily tasks such as shopping and cooking becoming too much of a burden or would you rather have help?
• Are you worried about falling or becoming ill and not being able to get help?
• Do you want easier access to recreational and social activities?
• Do you want to live near others your age?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be ready for life inside a retirement home.
But you can set aside all the preconceptions you have from the past. Today's retirement homes offer retirement living at its best. These are the years to enjoy, focus on yourself and your interests. Live in a retirement home and...
• Start painting again
• Get a few games of golf in
• Be active, social and happy
Think about the positives of living in a retirement home. The positives of moving into a retirement residence include the following:
• Opportunities for companionship and socializing
• Promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle with fitness clubs, spas, bowling alleys and putting greens
• Large private suites (1- and 2-bedroom) and well-equipped home theatre rooms, offered by many retirement homes
• Residents are encouraged to bring - and many suites can accommodate - some familiar home furnishings
• Retirement home residents have a lot of independence and privacy but live in a safe environment
• Personal support and health-care services can be accessed and paid for as required
• Some provide different levels of support services, allowing for aging in place
Some common questions and concerns about retirement homes:
Q. I don't want to leave my neighbourhood.
A. There is likely a retirement home close to your current neighbourhood. Use our advanced retirement home search to find a location near you. But remember, you may find that a completely new location will give you a fresh new start. As Statistics Canada says in Living Longer, Living Better (September 2004), "Adaptation is vital for successful aging and longevity."
Q. I don't want to part with my possessions.
A. Many residences allow and encourage you to bring some of your possessions with you. You can furnish your room to your style with your furniture.
Q. I'm worried about maintaining my independence.
A. You maintain your independence and privacy. Most retirement homes have large private rooms where you can relax alone. You have options for your meals and many come with full kitchenettes. You control your life.
Q. Will I still be able to use the community support services I relied on while I was in my own home?
A. Residents are eligible to apply to a Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) for medical or other personal help, just as when they lived in their own homes, even though they are in a retirement home.
Q. Will a retirement home be the right choice as my need for support increases?
A. Many provide various levels of support and care services, allowing for aging in place. Ask the individual retirement residences what they can provide you.
Many of your questions will be answered if you get advice directly from the retirement homes themselves or other experts:
• Find out when to look for a retirement home.
• You can also look into hiring a retirement home consultant.
Source: Maureen Murray, Comfort Life 2008 - 2009