Retirement Home Checklist

What to look for in a new residence

When you’re looking at retirement homes, focus on what you want, not what anyone else thinks you should want. After all, you will be the one living there. Do you like to meet new people or relax in your room? Would you like to participate in how things are run by being part of a resident's council or would you rather just check the notice board for the next event? Do you want opportunities to volunteer in the outside community, or would you rather take a class? The world, truly, is your oyster.

For a comprehensive list of questions under each of these topics, download our e-book: The Ultimate Retirement Tour Checklist. It will make your tour more enjoyable and the note-taking process much easier.

All the questions you
never thought to ask

How well does the residence meet your specific needs?

In addition to having a clear idea of the things you'd like to do, you also need to compare more specific details of retirement residences, such as whether or not you'd have to move if you needed more care, whether the kitchen could provide meals to suit your dietary needs, or whether your doctor could treat you on site or if you'd have to travel to his or her office.

When you think of issues such as these it can make the process of choosing a retirement community seem much more complicated and time consuming. But you'll need to keep all of these things in mind in order to find a retirement residence you'll want to call home and one you'll continue to enjoy for years to come.

To simplify things, you'll need a list of the key aspects of retirement homes and the questions to ask about each of them. Once you've done that, you'll be able to line up the facts, compare each community on its merits and make your decision.

The key areas you should compare and some typical questions for each:

  • Location of the building. Is it near your current neighbourhood? Is it near your children, family or friends?
  • First impressions of the building. Do you like the grounds? Do you like building design? What are the security features?
  • First impressions of the residents. Are they friendly to you? Are they friendly to each other?
  • First impressions of the staff. Are they kind and welcoming to you? Do they know the residents by first name?
  • Services and amenities. What is offered? Do they have activities you’d like to be involved in?
  • Food. What is the dining experience like? What are the menu choices? A Can your dietary needs be accommodated?
  • Health and Medical. Can your doctor come to visit you there? Are nurses on staff 24/7? Would you have to move if your health needs increased?
  • Wellness. Are there fitness classes and wellness programs available?
  • Lifelong learning. What kinds of courses are offered? Are they on or off-site?
  • Volunteering. Does the residence provide opportunities to volunteer in the wider community? 
  • Your suite. Is there room for your favourite furniture? Could you make yourself breakfast or a snack in your own kitchen?
  • Finances. What are the monthly costs and what are the extra costs? Are there any subsidies available?
Take Comfort: retirement home reviews
Get even more information! Read retirement home reviews to learn even more about each community on your list!

Make your wishes known

When touring a retirement community be assertive and curious. Ask anything you like and don’t stop asking until you are satisfied that you have all the information you need to make your decision.

Remember, you are in charge and the professionals who manage the communities you are visiting will be more than happy to make sure all your questions are answered. Their job is to help you find the best place to call home.

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