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Senior Living Options in Ontario

Thursday Apr 21st, 2016


Part of my role as an Accredited Senior Agent is to help mature buyers and sellers learn more about their options when it comes to seniors housing. 

Many seniors prefer to live an independent lifestyle in their current home or community with added support from family, friends and external care providers. 

However, some mature clients prefer or need a residential care option that provides more support, social interaction, services and amenities geared towards their needs.

In the province of Ontario, there are three main types of residential care for seniors. They are retirement homes, long-term care homes and supportive housing. All three are very different and provide specific amenities and services geared towards residents. 

Let’s take a closer look at each option:

Retirement Homes
By definition, a retirement home, or retirement community, is a privately-owned residence that provides accommodation for at least six seniors and makes at least two care services available, such as meals and medication administration. Residents enjoy flexible, independent living with minimal to moderate support and are able to fund this lifestyle on their own. 

In a retirement community, the resident pays for accommodation, care and services without any subsidy from the government or organization. Rates vary between residences based on the accommodation and services provided, and the facilities are regulated by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.

There is no medical benchmark for seniors wanting to live in a retirement residence. Many choose to transition to a retirement community as it’s an ideal environment for mature residents to enjoy a wide range of amenities, services, support, social activities and more.

To have a closer look at what life is like in a retirement community, please click here.
Long-Term Care Homes
Long-term care homes (commonly called “nursing homes”) are designed for mature adults who require the availability of 24-hour nursing care and supervision, sometimes within a secure setting. In general, long-term care homes offer more personalized care and support compared to retirement communities or supportive housing.

Long-term care facilities are licensed by the government and receive funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Residents do pay a co-payment for their accommodation, which helps covers the cost of meals, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and administration. 

Many long-term care homes have a waiting list and do require a referral from Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). 

Supportive Housing
Supportive housing is designed for seniors who require minimal-to-moderate levels of personal care in order to live independently within an apartment-like setting. This type of accommodation usually consists of rental units within a building or even a small group of residences.

Accommodations, on-site services, cost and the availability of geared-to-income government subsidies vary with each building. Similar to long-term care homes, many supportive housing options have waiting lists and also require that residents be eligible for CCAC home support services.

For more information on senior living options in Ontario – especially within the Greater Toronto Area and Mississauga – please feel free to contact me for more information. As an Accredited Senior Agent, I love nothing more than working with seniors and their families by putting their needs first.

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