7 questions to determine if you’re retirement residence ready

Are you or a loved one considering whether a move to a retirement community may be a beneficial lifestyle change? If you’re wondering if the timing is right, or even if the lifestyle is the right fit for your needs and preferences, consider these seven questions:

Has your social life slowed down in recent years?

If you live on your own and you find you are spending significant spans of time on your own—maybe because you’re recently widowed, your family doesn’t live close by, or mobility issues or lack of transportation are making it harder to go out and see friends—you may desire more daily interaction with people. Retirement living gives you built-in options for socializing—from shared meals and holiday events to clubs and outings. Not interested in any activities? That’s fine, too. Beyond your own suite, there are always places just to enjoy a coffee or tea with an old—or new—friend. The choice of when and who to socialize with is yours.

Would you enjoy pursuing hobbies or activities you haven’t done in a while? 

Perhaps you live just a few minutes from a community centre and would like to try watercolour painting? However, you no longer drive, or don’t care to if the weather’s bad. The great thing about retirement residences is that they offer a wide range of activities to satisfy mind, body and soul. There’s no pressure to join, but many people love having choices on their very doorstep and the opportunity to do something different.

Are you considering renovations because your home no longer meets your accessibility needs?

Many of us live in houses with multiple flights of stairs, which can pose a challenge for older adults with mobility issues. No one wants to feel trapped in their home; a retirement residence is designed for all levels of mobility and able to offer more support services if needs change. Elevators instead of stairs, space for walkers and wheel chairs, hand rails in bathrooms and along hallways—retirement communities are designed to be ultra-accessible for seniors and mitigate tripping and falling hazards.

Do you feel secure in your home?

Do you live alone and find you feel vulnerable in the evenings or sleeping by yourself at night? Are you worried you won’t be able to reach someone quickly in the event of an emergency? Many people turn to the lifestyle in a retirement residence because they have concerns about their personal security or physical safety. Seniors’ residences provide peace of mind for both seniors and their families because staff are always on site, with help is a quick call button away.

Do you enjoy gardening and home maintenance chores?

Perhaps the answer is “yes” to gardening and “not so much” to home maintenance chores. Retirement residences are blooming with gardeners and gardens, most offering gardening groups, raised plots and many ways to express your green thumb. Meanwhile, things like snow shovelling, house painting, furnace repairs and the expense of a new roof or windows can be a distant memory. 

Are you managing a lot of extra services and paperwork when it comes to personal support services? 

It can be convenient to have a meal delivery service when you can’t—or don’t want to—cook, or someone to come in for foot care. It can also be time-consuming and expensive to manage healthcare appointments, cleaning services and prescription deliveries. Retirement residences do all of that for you, offering varying levels of support designed to meet your needs and simplify your life.   

Do you think retirement living is only an option for when you need a lot of health care assistance—not now, but maybe in future?

It used to be that seniors only moved when they could no longer maintain their independence. That’s completely changed, with active, independent seniors making the move because they want to maintain—and even increase—their independence, not to mention their satisfaction with life. Seniors want more out of life now, and a residence gives them the opportunities and supportive options to achieve that.

Still feeling unsure if retirement living is right for you or a loved one? If you’re exploring the possibilities for yourself or a spouse, take our “Am I Ready?” questionnaire. Or, if you’re looking on behalf of a parent or aging loved one, take our “Is it Time?” questionnaire.