This article was featured in OurWestEnd Community Newsletter - Summer 2017 LifeAfterFifty.ca
1. LTC versus RH:
A Retirement Home (RH) is not a Long Term Care (LTC) Home. LTC is more hospital-like, long-term and dictated by a person’s health. Conversely, an RT is a community of retirees living independently with many convenient services.
Avoid an RH that doesn’t communicate prices before you tour. Rates may vary depending on your attire. Remember only YOU can determine what is affordable for the long haul.
Where do family and friends live? The more convenient it is for them to visit, the better.
4. Community versus isolation
Many elders secretly suer from a horrible type of depression: “failure to thrive”. Living at home independently is admirable but humans are social animals. Even the most private person needs interaction with others to be healthy. RT offers both community contact and the privacy of your own space.
If you like privacy avoid “semi-private” to save money. There is no privacy in a semi-private room.
Vibrant community life includes optional planned activities throughout the day. Ask if excursion fees are included or an added cost.
7. What is included?
Beware of ‘bait and switch’ pricing. Some RH “up charge” for common conveniences: phone, TV, internet, emergency pendant, medical administration. Others really are all-inclusive.
Need more care? Some RT require you to move out when health deteriorates. Avoid moving again and choose an RH that offers “assisted living”, too.
9. Government Assistance
Services available to you in your own home are available in an RH. Use them to help lower your ‘assisted living’ costs.
10. Don’t procrastinate!
While you have the spirit and health, why not enjoy life? An RH can offer many more years of vibrant, safe living in a retiree community environment.
Room Size: think of renting only your master bedroom, together with a shared mansion. RH is not an apartment or house. Otherwise, the downsizing will be a shock.