Cobourg, located on the north-eastern shore of lake Ontario, is the largest town in Northumberland County. Known as Ontario’s feel-good town, the town boasts a beautiful waterfront and a rich downtown area. Seniors looking to retire in Cobourg can benefit from the town’s many recreational and health centres as well as a number of excellent retirement homes that cover the spectrum of care from independent living to long-term care.
Most of the region’s retirement homes are independent and assisted living suites. Residence that offer a continuum of care allow residents to stay as independent as they like and customize their care and services– from enjoying meal plans and housekeeping to taking advantage of medication management. A focus is also placed on building community and keeping the mind and body active – facilities often include gyms, swimming pools and flexible meeting rooms and planned group outings are also common.
Long-term care homes in Cobourg offer much more extensive care options to seniors with more challenging needs and disabilities. From music therapy to 24 hour nursing, the staff of long-term care homes is specially trained to meet the care requirements of their residents.
Seniors who want to remain in an apartment or home of their own and stay independent may find seniors-only complexes are the right choice. This type of retirement living gives independent seniors the opportunity to live in a complex with other seniors but remain completely independent. Those struggling financially can also apply for geared-to-income housing in seniors-only communities. See St. Peter's Court Apartments and the Royal Canadian Legion Village.
The average cost of a retirement home in Ontario is approximately $3, 200 per month. However, the monthly cost of a retirement home in Cobourg will vary according to the type of care you require, the suite you choose to live in, and the additional services you select. Well-run residences can help you customize your care and chose the right suite for your budget and help you plan for the future.
Some of the most common ways of paying for retirement are through savings, pensions, Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Pension. The sale of the family home is also a good way to finance retirement costs.
The Ontario government can be helpful when it comes to additional expenses, such as home care or prescription expenses. Seniors with high prescription drug costs relative to their income may benefit from applying to the Trillium Drug Program. Seniors over the age of 65 who live in Ontario and have a valid Ontario health card are eligible for application.
Seniors in Cobourg have many options to turn to for preventative and emergency health care. In case of a health crisis, the Northumberland Hills Hospital is less than 20 minutes away from anywhere in Cobourg. A family health team, five different medical centres, chiropractic care, massage and physiotherapy clinics are also all located in town. See a full list of health and medical facilities on the town’s website. It’s good to know that so many health centres are nearby, but residents of modern retirement communities also have direct access to health care professionals, trained support workers and a number of health and wellness services and programs within their homes. Some of the health services the registered nurses, regular doctors and trained staff of retirement homes work to provide include:
Safety is also a large part of preventative health care. Retirement homes have fire protection and sensitive alarm systems installed, as well as emergency call systems that alert staff to a crisis and comprehensive emergency plans. Suites and their bathrooms are also designed with senior safety in mind - sit-down showers, grab bars, non-slip floors, night lighting all help to prevent falls and make living more comfortable.
It is important that seniors at home and their caregivers take seniors health and safety seriously. Cobourg’s emergency preparedness website is an excellent resource for seniors and their families. A well maintained home is also key to staying safe. A number of private companies in Cobourg offer home maintenance services. Seniors living at home and their caregivers can find assistance with meals, housekeeping, transportation and managing illness in the form of both private companies and volunteer organizations throughout the Northumberland area. Community Care Northumberland and The Alzheimer’s Society of Kawartha, Northumberland, Peterborough and Haliburton both provide volunteer services in the area to support and connect seniors and caregivers.
Cobourg’s 55+ community can find recreation and wellness programs all around town. The town’s public library and seniors’ centre, as well as retirement homes are just some of the hubs that serve to connect seniors and help them stay physically active and socially engaged. At Cobourg’s 3 public library branches, seniors can take advantage of continued learning, get together with other seniors or spend some time with the younger members of their family. Some of the adult programs include technology training, jewellery making, book clubs and the 55 + lunch brunch every Friday. The library network also offers free movies Mondays and Friday’s and a Lego club – both great ways for seniors to spend some time with their children and grandchildren. For a small fee, seniors 55 years and over can purchase a membership at the Cobourg & District Seniors Centre (CDSC)– a multi-purpose location offering a wide range of programs, services and volunteer opportunities, from yoga to fashion shows and boot camp to shuffleboard. Wellness centres such as the Cobourg YMCA and CDSC provide facilities and programs to the community, but they are not the only way seniors can get active.
Cobourg is bordered by the Ontario waterfront on one side and the beautiful lakes, trails and forests of Northumberland on the other and walking or hiking through the scenic landscape is a popular pastime for outdoorsy types. The beauty of retirement living is that residents can enjoy their independence and explore the community’s senior programs and natural beauty on their own, or decide to take advantage of the activities co-ordinated by their retirement residence. Many retirement homes employ an activity co-ordinator, who organizes outings such as guided hikes, shopping trips and days on the town, as well as events and fitness programs within the residence, from low-impact cardio and Zumba to concerts and parties. Families are encouraged to spend time with their loved ones at retirement communities through family programs, celebrating grandparents day, hosting birthday parties and inviting friends, siblings, children and grandchildren to visit for special events.
Retirement homes employ chefs and dietary specialists to prepare delicious and healthy meals for their residents, but seniors can also enjoy farmers markets, farm-to-table dining, specialty pastry and chocolate shops in downtown Cobourg. There is no shortage of live entertainment Cobourg’s restaurants, and concerts and performances are held at the town’s focal point, Victoria Hall, which is also the home of the Art Gallery of Northumberland. Whether on a group outing or exploring by themselves, even long-time residents can enjoy the tourist scene in Cobourg. Fine dining and arts and culture are currently being brought to the forefront through the downtown vitalization project, which aims to highlight Cobourg’s rich heritage, culture and creativity. The ongoing project’s goal is to transform Cobourg’s downtown into a hub for artisan and speciality shops and local agriculture.
Seniors can get around Cobourg by way of public and private transit, as well as by bicycle or on foot. The town’s active transit committee is working to make active transit such as cycling and walking easier and safer for residents. As of 2014, the committee has kick-started the construction of bike lanes, and multi-purpose paths to reduce travel time and avoid one-way streets. Cobourg transit offers another alternative to driving. According to the town’s official transit website “Cobourg Transit is a fully accessible community transit system that combines the dependability of fixed route service with the flexibility of door-to-door service for eligible riders.” Cobourg transit offers three ways to get around: - Route service buses with priority seating and lowered floors - “Wheels” door-to-door accessible transit (Seniors with mobility challenges can register for this service) - Accessible taxi service (extends the “wheels” service to match route service transit hours) Note that accessible service trips must be booked 24 hours in advance and seniors’ passes are available at a reduced price. Learn more about fares, schedules and registration here. Many retirement homes also have their own bus with which outings are organized. Parking at retirement communities is also generally available to residents who drive and their families.
Ontario’s retirement homes are well regulated, safe and welcoming – unfortunately this also renders vacancy rates around 13 percent. The provincial vacancy rate increased slightly to 13.9% due to in increase in new units, but you or loved one may still have to spend time on a wait list before moving in to the community of your choice.
Certain factors will inform the length of wait times:
Choosing the right retirement home for you or your loved one is all a matter of research and pre-planning. It is important to get your priorities and finances in order before you begin your search. Many families wait until a time of crisis before they consider retirement living, but starting the process in a difficult time can add to your stress and increase conflict. Whether you are looking forward to retirement living or are thinking of living at home, it is important to consider all your options. It is important to get your priorities and finances in order before you begin your search. You can start planning your retirement by answering the following four questions:
Our website offers tools that can help you find the answers – use our retirement calculator to get a better idea of what you can afford, or visit our page on choosing a retirement home for more information. The next step is to start contacting and touring retirement residences that meet your wants and needs. Some homes will even allow you or your loved one to spend the night to getter a better feeling of life in their residence. Remember to ask questions during your visit! For a helpful guide on what to ask to make sure a home will grow with your needs, download our eBook on the ultimate retirement tour guide. Start creating your shortlist today by using our advanced search, or contact the Cobourg retirement communities shown above to begin your search.
In order to ensure a standard of safety for retirement home residents, the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority (RHRA) regulates every retirement home in Ontario. Homes must receive approval from this authority and undertake ongoing inspections regarding health and safety to remain operational. A good standing with the RHRA can reassure seniors and their families that they will be properly cared for, safe, and treated with respect and dignity. Always make sure to check that the retirement residence you are considering is licensed by the RHRA.
In addition to the regulations set by the RHRA, all long-term care homes in Ontario are governed by the Long-Term Care Homes Act 2007. The act requires residences to provide safe, consistent and high-quality resident-centred care and makes sure residents feel at home, are treated with dignity and respect, and have the health care services they need available to them.
Membership with an industry authority is also a sign that a retirement community will be safe and well-managed. Industry experts recommend looking for a retirement community that is a member of one or more of the following trusted associations: