Tips for finding the right retirement residence

If you've had the discussion with your loved one about moving to a retirement residence and they've made their decision, it's time to start planning next steps. To make sure they find the best senior living community suited to their needs and preferences, it's important to do extensive research on your options. Whether the arrangement is for someone seeking an independent living environment, or for a senior who requires more assistance with activities of daily living, the search may take some time. Here are some tips for finding the best retirement residence to fit your loved one's needs. 

Do your research
According to the Ontario Retirement Communities Association, the best decision is made by doing your research. Develop a clear understanding of the location, amenities offered, prices, and the personality of the residence. Take time to consider the needs of your loved one while doing your research. If they are in need of specific care or support in regards to health, or perhaps have a particular interest like gardening or swimming, it's important to make sure their new home will be able to accommodate them.

Schedule a visit
After you have done your research and made a list of potential residences, schedule a tour with each home for you and your loved one. Senior Resource Guide suggests involving your aging loved one in the search to determine if the locations meet their criteria. It's also important to gauge how each retirement home makes them feel—could they see themselves living there day-to-day, eating in the dining room or reading a book in the library? Touring retirement residences will help put your loved one's priorities into perspective. Avoid making any rash decisions without checking out the community first.

Sit down with your loved one and do research to find the retirement residence that best fits them.
Sit down with your loved one and do research to find the retirement residence that best fits him or her.

Ask questions
Make sure to ask questions while you and your loved one are taking tours of prospective senior communities. The Ontario Retirement Communities Association recommends asking for the following:

  • Ask residents about their experiences living there
  • Ask what happens if your loved one's health deteriorates
  • Ask for samples of admission paperwork, menus, and newsletters
  • Ask to see stairwells and less traveled areas to ensure they are clean and well-maintained
  • Ask to stay for a meal to sample the food

On the other hand, it is also crucial to make sure the residence of your choice has amenities to promote social interaction and physical activity, based on the needs of your loved one. Ask questions such as:

  • What amenities do you offer?
  • Can I see a copy of your activity calendar?
  • How can my loved one remain physically active here?
  • Are there any off-sit activities or outings that my loved one can get involved in? 

"Get acquainted with the staff."

Don't make a quick decision
The searching process shouldn't be a fast one. SeniorLiving says to consider how safe the residence feels and take note of any staff-resident interaction during a tour. It's important to determine if your loved one will be comfortable and if they get that "at-home" feeling in their new living space. Try getting acquainted with staff and don't be afraid to ask to stay for a meal if you'd like to sample the food and get a feeling of the general atmosphere. Make sure to cover all ground that is critical for both you and your loved one to feel content with a final decision.

From independent living apartments to assisted living and long term care, Chartwell Retirement Residences offers many living and care options for seniors and their families to choose from. If you're currently helping your loved one search for the right retirement residence, visit their website to find the Chartwell community closest to you, or call their helpful customer service agents at 1-855-461-0685 for more information.