Choosing a Retirement Home
Tips to choosing a Retirement Home
Step-by-step guide helps you make the right choice
by Maureen Murray
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Ask the staff lots of questions
- 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?
- 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.