Making a move to a retirement community can be difficult and time consuming, but it's also very rewarding. It's important to find a retirement community that is committed to helping you through the entire process, from the beginning stages to your ideal solution.
How to Choose a Community That is a Good Fit for You:
1. Prioritize. Sit with a pen and paper and really think about what you would like to have in the retirement community that you choose. Brainstorm with a friend or family member. What’s important to you?
2. Research. Either on your own, or with family, conduct some research before you visit a community. All retirement communities have websites that list services, amenities and location. You can also use this ORCA link or the RHRA link for additional assistance. These websites also have resources available to educate you about retirement homes.
3. Narrow Down. Plan to visit two or three communities. If you tour too many, it becomes very overwhelming. Should these not appeal to you after touring then debrief and reassess your priorities. Try again.
4. Call and Book a Tour. It is commonly thought that you should “drop in” for a tour to see the true colours of a home; this might not be the best approach for your first visit. Your assessment of a home is best conducted by spending time with the sales manager. Booking a tour will ensure that you will get the time and attention you need during your visit.
5. Touring. It is important to be as open as you can, while you tour. Share your vision; let them know why you are considering a move; what you might be looking for and what is important to you. The sales manager will help you through the process of selecting the correct suite for your needs and preference.
6. Stay or Come Back for a Meal. Enjoying a meal in the dining room can provide great insight. Sampling the food and seeing how residents and staff interact will give you invaluable information about the community.
7. Re-tour. Did you really enjoy the community while you were there? Re-tour. Revisit the suite that you fell in love with or switch gears and ask to tour another. Remember, you are in charge, picking the right suite will help take the stress out of the transition.
8. Trial Stay. Most communities offer an opportunity to ‘test drive’ the home. You can stay a few days up to a week, maybe more. Take advantage of this! A Trial Stay will help you get a true feel for the home.
9. Deposit. Once you choose your suite, a refundable deposit (confirm with each community) is required to hold it. At this time, you have the opportunity to complete pre-admission paperwork and set a date for signing your contract. Putting a hold on a suite will give you peace of mind, knowing that the very suite you fell in love with will be reserved for you. Conditions may apply, clarify the terms of the deposit.
The Retirement Home Regulatory Authority (RHRA) requires retirement homes in Ontario to be licensed if they provide care services. The standards of the Retirement Homes Act require a pre-admission process and transparent disclosure of services and fees offered to the resident.
Prior to signing a lease, you will be provided a copy of the Resident Handbook, Care Home Information Package (CHIP) and a copy of the lease for your full review. Part of the pre-admission process includes medical documentation and the completion of a clear two-step Mantoux test or chest xray. Once all medical documents have been reviewed, and the community feels that they are able to meet your care needs, you will be approved for admission and the lease signing will commence.
10. Lease Signing. The lease will confirm the suite number and move in date that you can give to your move manager. The lease will contain leasing guidelines that abide by the Retirement Homes Act and the Residential Tenancies Act.
11. Before Move In Day. Work with your move manager to arrange all aspects of your move. If you are as detailed as possible, it will help things move smoothly on moving day. Ensure that you communicate to the community the specific date and time your furniture will arrive.
12. Moving Day! All keys and information will be ready and available to you when you arrive at the community. After the move has finished, be sure to take five and relax. Moving is difficult on everyone. Go and enjoy lunch to recharge your batteries. Most retirement communities have a welcoming committee, comprising of residents in the home. They will guide you to finding your way and helping you settle in to your new ‘home sweet home’.
Before you know it, you are going to ask yourself, ‘I love it so much, why didn’t I do it sooner?’ Live happily, live well. Living in a retirement community can help you fulfill all of your health and wellness ambitions.
To support a timely and less stressful move, Gordon’s Estate Services can help. Contact us today!