What to Look for In a Retirement Home

In Canada, almost 5% of seniors there are in some kind of retirement or long-term care home.

Whether you're looking for senior care for yourself or a loved one, you might be overwhelmed with all of the different options out there for a retirement home.

Thankfully, we can help you narrow it down! Keep reading to find out what factors you should look for when it comes to senior home care. 


Many older people have problems going up and downstairs and even doing simple things like stepping into a shower or bathtub.

Because of this, you should find a place that is only one story or has an elevator. They should also have showers that don't have any steps. 

They should be able to be wheeled right into the shower or tub, and there should also be handles that they can use to support themselves. 

Future Health Needs

If you don't need medical care right now, that doesn't mean you should write off all the places that offer it just because you don't need it. 

Instead, you should try to anticipate what might happen in the future. Are they prone to falling? Do they have a disease that is manageable now but could worsen?

If so, you should really consider finding a place that offers home care services like medical care. It'll be more convenient to be someplace that already offers it than to have to move later on when you do need it!

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Does the retirement home offer different types of activities to keep their seniors engaged?

These activities might range from cultural, social, and educational activities. Do they go out on different field rips or entertainment outings?

This might seem like a minor detail, but you want to make sure that the seniors are cared for and entertained.

Good Location

The location is very important as well. Consider where your family lives and where the home will be.

How long will the drive take? If you found a good home on one side of Canada but you live on the other, you will rarely get to see them. It will also make it difficult to reach them if they need any assistance. 

Type of Community

You should also do some research to make sure that you're choosing the best type of community. 

Take into account the level of activity and mobility they have. Are they more independent or do they need help from others?

There are three main types of communities: independent living assisted living and memory care.

For independent living, they'll mostly be able to do what they did at home. They'll have a dedicated staff with dining that is like a restaurant. They'll have housekeeping, but they'll also have access to transportation.

In an assisted living community, they'll have everything that independent living has. However, they'll also have personal care, medical care, and assistance with any daily activity. 

In memory care, they'll take special care of them because they may not be able to care for themselves. They'll be able to manage their medication and remind them of any daily tasks.


The dining room is a great way for resident seniors to connect with other seniors. 

This is why it's important to ask about the entrees and the dining hours. Do they eat together in the dining hall or do they eat separately?

How good is the food? Are they encouraged to make friends with others and socialize?

Cost and Value

Retirement homes can be pricy, so the cost and value of the retirement home should be high up on your evaluation list. 

If the price is really high, ask what they're getting in the package. For example, do you get things like:

  • Housekeeping
  • Snacks
  • Events and activities
  • Wellness Programs
  • Utilities
  • Cable
  • Telephone service
  • Laundry service
  • Health care service

You can make a list of all the different services that these places offer and find the best value that fits your budget!


Even if they don't have a lot of mobility, there should be some sort of wellness program that they can join and partake in. 

They may offer exercises like strength training, aquatic fitness, swimming, tai chi, yoga, or nature walks to keep all of the residents fit. 

They may also have some of their own exercise rooms and swimming pools that residents can access whenever they need to. If the retirement home doesn't have a wellness program, you or the senior might end up getting out of shape which could cause other health issues. 

Family Focus

You also want to choose a place that is focused on family visits. The retirement community should welcome family and grandchildren rather than restricting them.

A lot of places have policies about when you can visit, and they can be rather strict. You should read through the policies before signing on to anything.

Learn More About What to Look for in a Retirement Home

These are only a few of the things to look for in a retirement home, but there are many more factors you should consider.

We know that choosing senior home care can be stressful and overwhelming, but you don't have to make this decision on your own. We're here to help you out!

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