July 9, 2019

Looking for the perfect retirement community

Retirement homes offer a secure place where seniors can live as independently as they like or they may take advantage of the assisted living services provided.

Like any important decision, this one takes time, research and preparation to make the best choice. Retirement homes are not subsidized by the government therefore, residents are responsible for the cost of their care and accommodations. Typically, retirement homes offer packages that include a variety of accommodations and services. The cost of a retirement home can range from $2000 for a semi-private or ward room to $7000 per month to rent a two-bedroom suite. Individual retirement homes will be able to discuss specific costs for their suites and units.

Most retirement homes offer meals, housekeeping, laundry and recreational or social programs. Additional services vary with each retirement home but may include: personal care assistance and other health services. Often these services come at an additional cost and may vary from home to home.

Retirement homes offer considerable flexibility. For example, a person can often choose to opt-in or out of meal plans or other services. A resident may also leave for extended periods of time (such as a vacation) and provided their fees are paid, retain the residence. If a resident is hospitalized indefinitely or decides to move, written notice must be given in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act prior to leaving the accommodation. Retirement homes can be an appropriate option for people who do not require 24-hour nursing care.

Researching a Retirement Home

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) is a governing body that monitors the operations and care provided in retirement homes. The RHRA places retirement homes in a public registry. This allows you to search for any inspections or complaints against the home and give you a better understanding of the facility’s standing. All this information can be found at www.rhra.ca.

Touring a Retirement Home

Each visit to a retirement home should outline a clear and complete understanding of:

  • Location and the suites available
  • Amenities, programs and services
  • Policies that may affect the individual (e.g. pets, visitors, oxygen therapies, medical monitoring)
  • Pricing structures and packages

If you are interested in touring a retirement residence, contact their Lifestyle Consultant to book a visit. It is recommended you request a full tour, preferably one that includes a complimentary meal in the dining room, an appointment with the General Manager and time to talk with staff and residents.

Questions to Ask on Your Tour

  • What living and care options are offered here?
  • What amenities or programs do you offer?
  • How does the move-in process work?
  • Is there a waiting list? If so, how long may it take to be accepted and admitted?
  • What meals are provided and when?
  • How the community is managed (what is the staff to resident ratio)?
  • How the monthly service fees structured is and what do they include? (Is medication management included or is it extra?)

Below is a checklist to get you started! For a full list, guidance and nurse-led assistance, reach out to your HumanaCare Care Specialist today.

Retirement Home Checklist

Sprinkler SystemGames Room
Emergency Call SystemTheatre
Security SystemElevators
Resident ParkingHair Salon/Spa
Outdoor Gardens/ CourtyardLaundry Area
LoungesIn Suite Kitchenettes
Fitness AreaIndividually controlled heating/cooling

By Hailie Rondeau, RN

ARTACares is provided by HumanaCare, an Alberta-based health and wellness provider with more than thirty-five years of Canadian health care experience.