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Researching a Retirement Home: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Needs

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

A woman researches Retirement homes
Understand the cost, services, and benefits of retirement homes for promoting independence and providing necessary care.

What is a retirement home? Retirement is accommodating for those who can direct their own care and require minimal help in their activities of daily living, have few medical care needs and helps promote a sense of independence.

How do you start looking for a retirement home that best suits your needs? For many, the most challenging part about looking into a retirement home is having that conversation and concluding that it may be time. Once you have that conversation, the rest of the process is much easier. There are several ways to find a retirement home through the internet, someone you know, a hospital stay, or the LHIN.

A quick internet search will tell you all of the retirement homes in your area and give you a glimpse of who they are and what they offer. You can contact them through their website or call them with the phone number provided to get more information or set up an appointment. Looking up retirement homes online will help narrow your searches, as much of the information is at your fingertips. You can start with Kore Life here at

Another way to get information is from someone you know that has a loved one in a retirement home or is staying there currently. This will give you the best input about the home from firsthand experience, as they can tell you everything you need to know. For example, if you have a trip to the hospital and the doctor does not think it is safe to send you home, they suggest moving into a retirement home or having a short stay until you are ready to go home. If they present you with this option, the LHIN (Local healthcare integration network) will help you decide the best retirement home option. They are great at helping with the process of giving you all the information you need and making sure all your care needs are covered.

If you are thinking about moving into a retirement home or are unsure if a retirement home may be best for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want more accessible access to social activities?

  • Do I want to live closer to others my age?

  • Am I feeling lonely or isolated living on my own?

  • Am I tired of cooking and doing housework?

  • Am I having more difficulty maintaining my home?

  • Do I feel anxious or worried about being alone if I fall or become ill?

Family members and loved ones may have concerns about the individual living on their own if they have noticed slight changes in the individual as they age:

  • Are they safe to be alone?

  • Can they still manage their activities of daily living?

  • What if they have a fall or become ill?

  • Are they able to maintain their homes and cook their meals?

  • Do they remember to take their medication?

  • Are they lonely or depressed from lack of social interaction?

If you have these concerns, it may be time to look into a retirement home to have peace of mind knowing the individual’s needs are being met.

When choosing a home, have a tour of the facility. It allows you to see the meals, accommodations, social activities, and how the home functions. Then ask many questions, and talk to other staff members and other residents living in the home.

Retirement homes are not publicly funded by the government, meaning living in a retirement home can become expensive. The cost of a retirement home depends on the accommodation type and the level of care services you require. Room averages around $2000-$3000 a month in Ontario. Semi-private rooms are less expensive than private rooms.

Most people live in a retirement home based on their care needs. Each retirement home offers at least two care services set out by the retirement homes act. Some services are meals, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation, and personal care. When looking at homes, you can get additional care from an external care source.

Retirement homes often offer more than two services, but those who accept these additional services may have to pay for them. For example, retirement homes do not provide 24-hour nursing care but do provide a 24-hour emergency service. The most common form of emergency services they provide is a life alert system, either a necklace or bracelet that alerts emergency services with a push of a button. Therefore, when looking into retirement homes, it is essential to see the services they offer and which ones come at a cost to see if they best fit your care needs.

Retirement homes are an excellent way to maintain your independence while having the comfort and additional help you may need.


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