5 im­por­tant ques­tions you should ask when look­ing for a re­tire­ment home

Montreal Times - - News - By Matt Del Vec­chio mtl­times.ca

Are you or a loved one con­sid­er­ing a move to a re­tire­ment home or se­nior com­mu­nity? Many Cana­di­ans have ei­ther al­ready made the move or are con­sid­er­ing such a move. Some moves are for proac­tive rea­sons (i.e. want­ing to down­size and en­joy a bet­ter qual­ity of life) while other moves are for re­ac­tive rea­sons (i.e. phys­i­cal or cog­ni­tive is­sues, death of a spouse, safety and se­cu­rity, etc.).

Re­gard­less of the rea­son for want­ing to tran­si­tion into a re­tire­ment home, the search for the per­fect res­i­dence can be stress­ful and over­whelm­ing. Like any im­por­tant de­ci­sion, it takes time, re­search and prepa­ra­tion to make the best choice in choos­ing the right re­tire­ment home or se­nior com­mu­nity. Here are 5 im­por­tant ques­tions you should ask when look­ing for a re­tire­ment home or se­nior com­mu­nity:

1. What level of care will I need?

When look­ing to move into a re­tire­ment res­i­dence, it is vi­tal to do the re­search and find out what ser­vices it pro­vides. Each re­tire­ment res­i­dence pro­vides a cer­tain level of ser­vice. It can range from in­de­pen­dent liv­ing, as­sisted liv­ing and mem­ory care. The level of ser­vice de­pends on each res­i­dence or com­mu­nity.

2. How is the res­i­dence man­aged?

Find out the staff to res­i­dent ra­tio. Ask if they are a cer­ti­fied res­i­dence. Check to see how the staff in­ter­acts with res­i­dents dur­ing your tour. Is there a pos­i­tive at­mos­phere? Find out about their nurs­ing care abil­i­ties and how of­ten a doc­tor vis­its the res­i­dence. An­other im­por­tant as­pect is what safety and se­cu­rity fea­tures are avail­able.

3. What ser­vices are pro­vided and what will cost you ex­tra?

Do not shy away from fi­nan­cial ques­tions.You need to know ex­actly what is in­cluded with your rent and how much ser­vices cost, how you can ter­mi­nate a lease and what fi­nan­cial penal­ties may ap­ply af­ter end­ing a con­tract early.

4. What are the types of ac­tiv­i­ties that are pro­vided?

In many cases, the so­cial lives of res­i­dents im­prove once a move is made into a re­tire­ment home. Most res­i­dences have a monthly cal­en­dar of ac­tiv­i­ties. Ask for this cal­en­dar and in­quire about the var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties that are of­fered.

5. Is there a re­fer­ral agency or coun­sel­lor that can guide you through the process?

Re­fer­ral agen­cies or hous­ing coun­sel­lors, such as Lianas Ser­vices, can be a tremen­dous source of sup­port and guid­ance. Very of­ten, their ser­vices are pro­vided for free to fam­i­lies as their fees can be cov­ered by spon­sored se­nior com­mu­ni­ties. Their ex­pe­ri­enced ad­vi­sors can help nav­i­gate the many chal­lenges of tran­si­tion­ing into a se­nior res­i­dence and they can help ask the tough ques­tions when nar­row­ing down the search for the per­fect se­nior com­mu­nity.

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