The town of Goderich is small enough to be called peaceful, but large enough to host several active adult complexes as well as a handful of retirement homes and lots of things to do.
This is your guide to finding the right community and care in "Canada's prettiest town".
Of Goderich’s 7,500 residents, approximately 2,500 are seniors, and most of them live in either independent living residences or assisted care communities. For those seniors that aren’t choosing to remain at home, the town offers the full spectrum of different retirement options for its older adult population.
Many seniors looking to retire in Goderich are looking for a vacation experience. This is why most of the town’s retirement living consists of adult lifestyle complexes – an option which allows seniors to live comfortably and independently in a community with other seniors and enjoy the many features and amenities offered. Also called active adult complexes, these communities provide many options for recreation within the grounds, and will often also give their residents the chance to travel the world by organizing trips anywhere from Florida during the Canadian winter to Europe in the summer.
Goderich is also home to several retirement homes and a long-term care home, all of which offer different levels of care and service. The town’s retirement homes offer a continuum of care that extends from bi-weekly cleaning and one served meal a day to medication supervision and bathing assistance. For seniors with more serious health concerns, however, a long-term care residence is the better option – as anything from music and massage therapy to 24 hour nursing can be provided to residents.
The monthly rent of a retirement home in Goderich depends greatly on the type of suite and level of care you choose. The average monthly cost for a standard care unit lines up with the provincial average of $3,200.
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 also 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.
Trained staff should be available throughout the day and night to care for residents and provide assistance in case of a fall or an emergency situation. Some of the specific health and safety services offered by communities in Goderich are listed below:
Retirement homes in Goderich will offer on-site health care and nursing, but also help residents take advantage of external health services. Goderich has quite a number of health-care facilities for its size: two medical centres (the Maitland Valley Medical Centre and the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital) as well as a Psychiatric Centre, and several physiotherapy, massage and chiropractic clinics are located directly in Goderich. A number of additional resources are located in nearby Stratford of Clinton.
The Goderich Adult Day Centre provides a whole host of services to seniors, especially those with disabilities and challenges such as heart trouble, dementia or Alzheimer’s. The centre is designed to help support family caregivers who provide day-to-day care and has a set fee. Adult programs such as guest speakers, musical performances and hot meals give the frail elderly or those with chronic illness or cognitive disability a day out, but options such as assistance with personal care or overnight respite can also provide care-giver relief.
The appeal of retiring to Goderich is in part its picturesque setting and small-town feel. The town is set right on a beach and is well known for its beautiful sunsets over Lake Huron. Although the setting is serene, the community is close and the streets bustling. Goderich’s historic architecture and multiple “Communities in Bloom” awards make it a hot spot for tourists, and ensure the community is thriving with arts and culture.
35 percent of Goderich’s population is made up of adults over 55. To provide services to this large percentage of the population, the McKay Centre for seniors and the Goderich Adult Day Centre are open year-round and are fully accessible.
The McKay Centre for Seniors is a non-profit organization offering social, recreational and volunteer opportunities for older adults. The centre is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 4:00 and is fully equipped with an automatic door an elevator. The centre is home to daily cards games and tournaments, the Goderich horticultural society and the art club, as well as offering nia, tai chi and fitness and strength training sessions. Goderich’s choristers also meet here to rehearse every Tuesday!
A popular service is the centre’s meal-deal, a program that provides an inexpensive family-style meal, free transportation and an opportunity to meet with friends. In order to continue to provide their excellent services, the McKay Senior Centre has a $10.00 membership fee.
Keeping active is one of the most important aspects of senior health and wellness. While Goderich’s retirement homes are equipped with wellness and fitness facilities and programs, the town’s natural setting also allows for a number of outdoor activities as well, from brisk hikes in the forest to strolls along the beach. Some retirement homes even offer group outings into the great outdoors!
Three beaches along the coast of lake Huron are within the town’s borders – all of them are free and locals say they are the best place to see the sun go down. Point Farms Provincial Park is located just north of Goderich, and lends itself well to the more outdoorsy types for hiking and camping.
Indoor sports and wellness programs are run mostly within retirement communities as well as through the Goderich YMCA. A registration to “The Y” opens the doors to dozens of activities and facilities: an indoor track, wellness area, gymnasium, ice rink, swimming pool, whirlpool and sauna, meeting rooms and studios in which everything from three types of Aquafit to Zumba is offered. The building is fully wheelchair accessible.
Goderich’s retirement homes recognize the importance of social and emotional health, and give residents the opportunity to stay social and both in and out of the community. Performances, such as those done by the McKay choristers, are often put on within retirement residences, and organized shopping trips and bus excursions are planned regularly.
A favourite outing for many Goderich seniors is a night at the theatre. Home to the Blyth Festival – a community-based festival and producer of local productions- as well as the Huron Country Playhouse, Goderich’s theatre scene is thriving.Some of the most popular shows, however, are the productions at the Goderich Little Theatre, where one of the longest-running community theatre companies in Canada, Livery Theatre, performs.
The town’s streets are filled with specialty and antique shops, artisan studios and restaurants. Aside from the over 200 unique stores in the Downtown Heritage Shopping District, a larger mall delivers big-city shopping in a small town setting. A flea market and a classic Farmer’s market located in the heart of the town also add to the variety.
Although the shopping options are numerous – that’s not the only popular pastime in Goderich. Filled with beautiful century-old architecture and history, the town’s museums and historical sites are worth a visit. Three museums, the Huron Historic Museum, the Marine Museum, Sky Airport Gallery and the Huron Historic Gaol are situated in the area – the first of which is accessible by wheelchair. The entire downtown area, however, is historical in itself. The town’s historic “Courthouse Square” was voted the most beautiful street in Canada and is the perfect example of Goderich’s historical architecture, as well as a great place for shopping and early-morning yoga.
Goderich’s famous sunsets and Victorian architecture characterize the town as one full of art and creativity. Two indoor art galleries, one featuring the photographs of Rueben R. Sallows (and aptly named the Rueben R. Sallows Gallery), and the other a platform for local artists called the Goderich Co-op Gallery are Goderich’s major collections of art – although a complete list of studios and exhibits can be found here.
Retirement in Goderich is both peaceful and lively at the same time – but for a little more of either – or a change of scene, there is always the option to get away for a while. A domestic airport is just a couple of kilometers out of town, something many Seniors, especially those living in adult lifestyle communities take advantage of. Whether you or your parents are hoping for a quiet retirement or an exciting jet-set lifestyle, Goderich is a great place to settle down.
Goderich’s small population means the community is close and exciting events are hard to miss – but its size also renders most things within walking -- or, for more active seniors, biking -- distance. The streets are some of the prettiest in the country, and retirement home residents can feel safe walking through town whether on morning trips to the market or evenings out.
Unfortunately the town does not have its own public transit system. While downtown is within walking distance, some attractions are a little too far for most older adults on foot. Having said that, some retirement communities provide bus transportation of their own to their which can often be used to chauffeur residents to and from specially planned outings.
Retirement residents who have trouble with mobility often let the entertainment come to them! Goderich’s famous McKay Choristers, as well as other volunteer musicians often perform for seniors right in their residences.
Ontario’s retirement homes are well-regulated, safe and welcoming. Unfortunately this also renders vacancy rates relatively low. According to the 2014 Seniors' Housing Survey, the vacancy rate for standard suites in Huron County is 17.2 percent - higher than any other region in Southwestern Ontario. However, you or your loved one(s) may still have to spend time on a wait-list before moving in to the community of your choice. Remember that the type of accomodation you choose can inform the length of wait times: larger suites or private suites are more expensive than basic accommodations but have shorter wait times.
When making your retirement plans, it is important to consider all your options. Whether you or your parents plan to stay in your own home as long as possible or are planning to move to a retirement residence in Goderich, it is always a good idea to think about what kind of retirement home is right for you in terms of care, price and amenities.
For more points to consider and some common questions and concerns about retirement homes, please visit our page for seniors considering a retirement home.
Many seniors and their families wait until a time of crisis until they begin to consider retirement homes. Searching during a difficult time can limit your options and only increase stress. Choosing a retirement home is a process that requires thought and pre-planning, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Just remember to keep in mind the following:
Use our retirement calculator to get an idea of what you’ll be able to afford in your retirement.
The next step is creating a short list of retirement residences in Goderich. Our advanced search can help you find a retirement community that meets your needs.
Also Download our eBook on the ultimate retirement tour guide for more information on what to look for and what to ask during residence visits, or contact the residences shown above to get started with your search.
When you or your loved one has chosen the right accommodation and is ready to move in, the first step is usually downsizing. This can be a tough task, especially because there may be sentimental attachment to many items. For a full guide to downsizing, visit our advice guide.
Retirement communities are places where meeting new people and making friends is not difficult to do. Staff can help residents get acquainted with each other and the surrounding area. For those moving into their own home in Goderich, the town can also provide a relocation package, available here. For seniors wishing to downsize but not ready to move into a retirement community, 415 geared to income units are also available from the Huron County housing association.
Some seniors or their families wonder how they can tell a retirement residence will really provide safe and qualified care. In Ontario, the answer is simple. In order to remain operational, all retirement residences must undergo ongoing inspections by the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority to ensure a high standard of care for residences.
When choosing a retirement home, always make sure to check the RHRA standing, as well as the home’s accreditations. Industry experts recommend looking for a retirement community accredited with the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA). Many of the retirement options in Goderich are members of the ORCA, as well as other trusted organizations.
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.