Comfort Life - Your guide to retirement & care

Choosing a Retirement Home

Tips to choosing a Retirement Home

Step-by-step guide helps you make the right choice

by Maureen Murray

  1. Plan ahead
    Good decisions about retirement homes are best made without time restrictions. Ideally, you should research your retirement residence options before you need a home, discussing all concerns with relatives and friends.
  2. Assess your needs, wants and interests
    From rental versus ownership and size of living space to recreational facilities, social activities and health services, determine what is absolutely needed and what is open for negotiation. Make a list and prioritise your wants and needs to ensure that a high quality of life is maintained.
  3. Assess your available resources
    Retirement housing options will vary in cost depending on a number of factors:
    if you rent, lease or own
    the level of care you require
    the amenities provided

    Determine your financial situation and how much you are willing to spend. You should also consult our section on financial matters.

  4. Research your options
    There are hundreds of options available to you. Use our online advanced search to narrow down the possibilities and compile a list of residences that appeal to you. Compile a short list of your chosen residences and request additional information. You can request information for each residence listing on this website directly from their profile page by clicking on the inquiry tab.
  5. Visit each residence on your short list
    Make an appointment and visit each of your top choices. Go back a second or even third time. Bring along a list of things to consider and questions to ask so you don't forget and take lots of notes.

    Print off this checklist.
    Look at the kitchen - Request menu samples
    Eat a meal or two in the dining room
    Go off the beaten track and check out places like stairwells
    Note the maintenance and overall cleanliness
    Chat with residents
    Request references
    Ask the staff lots of questions
  6. Evaluate your choices
    Compare the residence’s offerings to your own list of needs, wants and interests. For example, do the home’s recreational programs suit your interests and needs?
  7. Take a test drive
    Stay a week or two in the retirement residence(s) that most appeal to you. This will provide you with a feel for the residence(s), the staff and the services provided. If you can't see yourself comfortably and happily living there, keep looking. There are plenty more retirement homes out there.
Download our free eBook The Ultimate Retirement Tour Checklist for tips and advice about choosing the right retirement community for you or a loved one.


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