Comfort Life - Your guide to retirement & care

Convalescent Care

Recuperating from surgery or illness? Short term care is available to help.

Find convalescent care now

Convalescent care is a service available through many retirement homes, allowing seniors to recover post-surgery or heal from any other health care crisis or illness. Many residences offer this and respite care as an option, enabling your recovery in a clean, safe medical environment. Residences listed here and offering this option may also have an on-site doctor, nurse, or other personal assistance. Amenities such as a pool or spa can also help speed your recovery. A short term recuperative, rehabilitative or recovery stay can make a world of difference to your long term health.


A local retirement home can be a perfect resource for families of seniors' recovering post-surgery. Residences welcome this type of stay and are eager to help. Rehabilitation for elderly patients is an area where retirement homes specialize better than any other type of care facility.

Typical recuperative stays in a retirement home are 2 to 6 weeks; the most-seen scenario for a convalescent stay is following surgery to joints or hips, where recovery time is longer than that allowed for by a hospital stay, and recovery at home alone is less than ideal. Seniors' care residences are well-prepared to offer short-term care for those who have had any type of illness, bad fall, surgery or other medical procedure. These are a perfect middle ground between hospitalization and a return home: a medical environment that feels like home, oftentimes with an onsite doctor, nursing or personal service staff, as well as medicine administration. A number of recovery stay homes have physiotherapists or occupational therapists on staff. You get the best of both worlds: a homelike setting with ideally tactical care and assistance.

If the patient has extra needs, care staff are also trained to offer targeted help with bathing, toileting and other ALDs. Staff training in the use of the Gentle Persuasive Approach may also be helpful in this caregiving situation.

In addition to a bed and care staff, retirement residences offer many other services and features that are ideal for those who are in recovery. These include:

Trying out convalescent care can make your recovery so much better than it would be if you were to try recuperating at home on your own, even with a loved one on hand as a caregiver. Consider it "pampering yourself" if you want to, but it's really a very good idea to get the best professional care available while you recuperate from painful surgery or from any other medical crisis. You'll stay in better spirits, you'll be around other people, and you may even make new friends while you get rehabilitated with the aid of medical professionals.

As one administrator has told us, "We see some pretty frail people who come in here after an operation, and once they've been here for a few weeks or months, we see them thriving and smiling. They realize it's really a very different world here than they imagined... the activities, the environment, the people. They take part in activities and life inside the residence and they see that it's really the best place they can be."

Trial stays or short-term stays

Booking a post-operative care stay is also a great way to try out a retirement community. You may have some personal resistance to a retirement home, but a short stay can change people's mind and give people a positive glimpse of what life is like inside some of the best retirement homes around them. The care received and the features that you find in a temporary stay in a retirement home can be eye-opening.

Further resources:
Alberta's Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network
BC's Guide to Your Care (PDF)
BC's Short term Residential Care Options
LHINs in Ontario:


1As defined by many care homes and by both the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, this care option is distinct from respite care, a service focused on offering temporary relief for caregivers of the elderly. This definition or distinction may not be held by all retirement homes listed at Comfort Life. Consult each home to be sure that they offer the convalescence service you require.
2According to Alberta Health Services, this is limited to four weeks per year. See
3Figures from 2015:

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