Comfort Life - Your guide to retirement & care

Retirement Home Basics

Learn the ABC's of finding a retirement home

What to consider when searching for seniors housing

Your first step is to talk to your parents and have a candid discussion about their options and how they feel about moving to a retirement community.

You also need to ask yourself if your parents need more support at home these days than you or others can provide. If they do, then it may be time to consider moving to a retirement home.

Ask yourself these questions to see if it's time to move:

  • Will staying in their house give my parents the best quality of life: social and intellectual stimulation and physical exercise?
  • Are my parents still physically strong and quite independent?
  • Should my parents still be driving? Is it safe?
  • Is my parents' house adapted to the needs of older adults? Are they safe there?
  • Can my parents easily maintain their home inside and outside? Do they do so regularly?
  • Do my parents cook varied, nutritious meals for themselves?
  • Do my parents take their medications on time and without difficulty?
  • If they need more help to live there than I can provide do they know who to call?
  • If they know who to call for help do they call those people?
  • Can my parents afford outside help?
  • Would my parents welcome the idea of having elder care support workers in their house?

If you answered "no" to even one of these questions it may be time to consider a move to a retirement community.

Can your parents afford to age at home?

If your parents would rather stay at home for a few years longer, you should evaluate what they would pay in increasing support and healthcare costs over time. This will help you avoid unexpected expenses such as hiring a live-in caregiver.

The costs of aging at home

The report is a financial case study of the real costs of aging at home. It compares four different scenarios considered by retirees Graham (80) and Ethel (78):

  • with community support
  • with agency support
  • bringing in a live-in caregiver
  • moving to a retirement community

What is a retirement home?

Today's retirement residences appeal to people who can live independently but who also want to live a social and engaged life among their peers—other older adults. Communal living alleviates many of the difficulties of aging at home using home care, as much as these services help extend seniors' independence.

Based on your parents' needs, here are the types of retirement homes they may be interested in: Active Adult Living, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Long-term Care, Continuing Care or Alzheimer's Care

What is life like in a retirement community?

Our video series, Seniors on Screen features residents talking candidly about their experiences—what it was like to move and to deal with a new environment, how they spend their time and how their lives have changed.

All the questions you
never thought to ask

How do you choose the community that's right for you?

Our "How to Choose a Retirement Community" video features retirement home staff sharing advice on what to consider when searching for seniors housing.

Compare retirement homes with a checklist.

A checklist allows you to compare each home's features and benefits against the same criteria. After you explore several communities you can see how they rated and find the community that best suits your needs.

Don't rush. Move forward by tackling one piece of the process at a time. You'll be that much closer to finding a place to live that meets your needs and makes you feel at home.



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