Lists of reports on this page:
Find care details, insights, and insider perspectives gained from 20+ years of helping seniors and families.
What to know about this topic:
- Some lifestyles available in Thornhill retirement homes
- Services and amenities available in retirement homes
- The biggest benefit of senior living: the social life
- Thornhill retirement community regulations
- How much does a retirement home in Thornhill cost?
- Other health and safety services in Thornhill
- Getting around Thornhill
- How to choose a retirement home in Thornhill
In the Comfort Life Spotlight
Thornhill, the most southern community in the York region, is a peaceful area with a number of excellent retirement homes. Thornhill is divided across the cities of Markham and Vaughan by Younge Street. This town is a diverse and vibrant place to live, and residents can take advantage of services provided by both neighbouring cities. Find the city's best retirement homes listed below.
IN-DEPTH REPORTSRetirement communities in Thornhill
Four Elms is an elegant Retirement Residence offering the finest in Senior Living. Choose a suite style that is perfect for you and enjoy an active lifestyle, fine dining and the company of good friends.
Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living
Some lifestyles available in Thornhill retirement homes
The region of Thornhill is made up of Thornhill-Vaughan and Thornhill-Markham and is a part of the Greater Toronto Region. A number of independent living and assisted living and long-term care retirement residences are located in both communities.
The majority of the retirement homes in Thornhill offer a continuum of care. This means that residents can settle in a community that speaks to them and take advantage of the assistance offered as their care needs change, without having to move to another residence. These communities cater to seniors who want to remain independent but also provide personal and day-to day assistance, from laundry and housekeeping services to medication management.
For seniors with greater health demands, long-term care provides access to a higher level of medical care and staff time for health and other personal needs. These residences also provide comprehensive care to seniors with cognitive disabilities such as Alzheimer’s and dementia in a safe and home-like environment.
Services and amenities available in retirement homes
Retirement homes across Canada share a common goal: resident wellness. The definition of health has evolved to include physical, social and emotional health, and retirement living has evolved with it. Today’s communities offer a range of health, fitness and recreational services and facilities, but also reach out to health care and community centres in the area and help residents engage in the events and programs around them!
Thornhill is home to a number of specialty health centres for such services as massage therapy, chiropractic care and physiotherapy. However, the area does not have a full service hospital. In case of an emergency, the closest hospitals are Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto, Brampton Civic Hospital to the west, and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital directly to the north.
Assisted living and long-term care communities also provide their own preventative health care. Many residences employ health teams that have registered nurses, regular doctors, personal support workers and nurse’s aids on board. At some retirement homes, residents can even choose to have the on-site or visiting doctor become their family doctor. Additional examples of the health care services offered include:
- 24/7 nursing care
- Medication assistance services
- Exercise programs with access to a personal trainer
- Nutritional meals and special attention to dietary needs
- Preventative wellness programs
- Recuperative programs
- Assistance with daily living activities including bathing, dressing, nutrition and mobility
- Monitoring of blood pressure and blood sugar
- Foot care
- Therapy options e.g. Music and Aroma therapy
- Palliative care services
- Emotional, cognitive and social support
- Assistance with walking
- Pain and symptom management
- Advanced Alzheimer’s and Dementia therapy and care
- Continence care needs
Safety is also a large part of preventative health care. Retirement homes have fire protection and have sensitive alarm systems installed, as well as emergency call systems that alert staff to a crisis. 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.
The biggest benefit of senior living: the social life
Retirement communities offer a variety of activities and events. Residences often employ activity directors to organize activities and day-trips for residents. Anything from fitness classes to artistic courses, gardening and parties can be offered in retirement homes, but many also take groups of residents on outings that explore the great outdoors as well as the city’s attractions.
Seniors in Thornhill are surrounded by arts and culture on both sides, as art galleries, theatres and events are located in both Markham and Vaughan. The city of Vaughan is home to the famous McMichael Canadian art collection as well as the city playhouse, while Markham boasts the Varley Art Gallery, the Flato Markham Theatre as well as the Markham museum.
Those who enjoy the outdoors will enjoy close proximity to the Boyd Conservation area and Kortright centre for conservation, both situated in Vaughan.
Some of the most popular outings with retirement residents are the shopping trips. Thornhill is only a short drive away from Vaughan mills, a shopping centre known for its wide variety of shops as well as entertainment and dining options.
Residents can choose to discover all of Thornhill’s attractions of their own or together with their residence. For those who are mobility challenged or would rather stay at home, there is no shortage of activities, wellness programs, and even entertainment, at the region’s retirement homes. The benefit of retirement living is having access to care and recreation at home, as well as staying engaged in the community.
Thornhill retirement community regulations
Every retirement home within the province of Ontario is subject to regulations set by the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority. Homes must undergo ongoing inspections and maintain a high standard of safety and cleanliness in order to receive approval from the RHRA. Only those retirement homes that have a good standing with this authority can remain operational. In order to ensure you or your loved one(s) will stay safe and be properly cared for, always make sure to check that the community you are considering is licensed by the RHRA.
In addition to regulations set by the RHRA, the Long-Term Care Homes Act of 2007 governs all long-term care homes in Ontario. 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 in pther bodies is also a sign that a retirement community will be safe and well-managed. Industry experts recommend looking for a retirement community that part of one or more of the following trusted associations:
- The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA)
- The Ontario Long-term Care Association (OLTCA)
- AdvantAge Ontario (formerly the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors: OANHSS)
- The Canadian Association of Retired People (CARP)
How much does a retirement home in Thornhill cost?
The monthly cost of a retirement home in Thornhill varies with the type of suite and care you or your loved one(s) decide on. Additional fees can come from added personal care, meal and laundry services, as well as television, but the average cost per month at an Ontario retirement home is $3,200.
Over the last few years, the demand for and popularity of retirement living has increased. Unfortunately, this has rendered vacancy rates relatively low – around 13 percent. A low vacancy rate means that once you have found the right retirement residence, you or your loved one(s) may have to spend time on a wait list. When making your decision, try to choose several retirement homes that fit your wants and needs, and keep in mind that the following factors will inform costs and the length of wait times:
- Crisis placement (if someone’s safety poses immediate risk)
- Type of accommodation: basic, semi-private or private or secure floor (Private or semi-private are more expensive but have shorter wait-times)
- Medical care needs i.e. tube-feeding
- Unit designation- secure, non- secure
Another option for senior living is affordable housing. Those with financial need or who wish to downsize can apply for geared-to income housing. Although there are no affordable housing options directly in Thornhill, 228 new geared-to-income units were recently built in Maple, Vaughan, and there are a number of subsidized apartments and town homes for rent in Markham and North York. Geared-to income housing usually models rates after 30% of a resident’s income – however, the wait times for a space are generally rather long.
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 Government of Ontario 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. Ontario citizens over the age of 65 who live in Ontario and have a valid Ontario health card are eligible for application.
Other health and safety services in Thornhill
Thornhill’s community centres are great places for seniors to get active and stay social and creative, and their programs are open to all seniors – regardless of if they are living at home or in retirement living. In fact, residences often work with community centres to give residents access to more facilities and events.
There are four community centres directly in Thornhill, all of which are operated by either the city of Vaughan or the city of Markham. North Thornhill Community Centre, Rosemount Community Centre, Garnet A. Williams Community Centre in Thornhill-Vaughan offer everything from yoga and pilates to painting classes and line dancing. Thornhill seniors can also take advantage of nutrition programs at the above centres.
Thornhill community centre is operated by the city of Markham and is also the headquarters for the Thornhill Seniors’ Club. The club serves to connect seniors in the York region through recreational activities and social events such as card tournaments, celebrating national seniors day. The club also offers a variety of classes for continued learning, from courses in Spanish to ballroom dancing lessons.
The Vaughan and Markham library networks are also good resources for seniors, whether they are looking to continue enjoying reading and learning, or need assistance finding information. Computer courses, French programs and word magnifiers are offered through both library systems in order to keep the older adult community connected. Multilingual assistance is also provided to seniors that need help finding services or using technology. Legal help is also free on the first Monday of each month at libraries in Thornhill-Vaughan.
Caregivers and seniors living at home can take advantage of a number of private home health care, meal delivery and home maintenance companies, as well as public support centres such as the Alzheimer’s Society of York Region and CHATS, a not for profit charitable organization that helps seniors living at home remain independent. Many retirement residences also provide opportunities for overnight respite, giving caregivers a night off, and seniors a night out.
The Seniors’ Association of Vaughan Initiative (SAVI) and the Elspeth Heyworth Centre share a mission in reaching out to seniors in the community. The Elspeth Heyworth centre aims to provide seniors with physical and mental exercise and end social isolation by providing workshops and activities to those living at home. SAVI, which partners with the centre, is responsible for a number of senior-centric programs and events, from Senior’s Summits that provide recommendations to the Vaughan city council to Seniorsfest and Senior Information Day.
Getting around Thornhill
Thornhill, which is located between Markham and Vaughan, shares a public transit system with both cities, and in turn, the entire York Region. The York Region/Viva transit can take patrons across the York Region, which is divided into three zones. Thornhill residents can travel around the first zone, which includes Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill, for an initial fare, and can take the bus all the way to Newmarket and Georgina with fare upgrades.
Seniors over the age of 65 pay reduced fares on the YRT, and, in accordance with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2005, all public buses are equipped with priority and courtesy seating.
Thornhill Seniors can also apply with Mobility Plus the York region’s accessible bus service. Mobility-challenged and disabled seniors can take advantage of this service from 5am to 3am every day. Mobility Plus users pay the same fare as all YRT patrons.
Most retirement homes also have their own accessible buses that are often used for organized group day-trips. Reserved parking is also available at retirement homes to residents who drive.
How to choose a retirement home in Thornhill
Choosing a retirement home is a big decision that requires thought and pre-planning. Many seniors and their families don’t think about retirement living until a time of crisis. This can cause unnecessary stress and make your search more difficult. Whether you have bee excited about retirement living for a while or are opting to live at home for the time being it’s important to consider all your options.
Begin to ask yourself or your loved ones the following questions before you start your search:
- What do you want?
- What you need?
- What you can afford?
- What is your preferred location?
You can use our retirement calculator to get an idea of what you’ll be able to afford in your retirement.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start creating a short-list of potential retirement communities in Thornhill.
Visiting retirement communities allows you or your loved one to see the facilities and amenities first hand and ask questions face to face. Asking questions is also an important part of the process. If you are unsure what to ask about, download our retirement checklist e-book!
On of the most important questions to ask is whether the homes offer an overnight stay, where potential residents can spend a night at the residence. This experience can help you or your loved one decide between residences. Many Thornhill retirement homes offer this option to interested seniors.
Start your search today by using our advanced search, or contacting the residences in and around Thornhill shown above!