Retirement homes: sources of fun and vitality
Everyone knows that the senior population is growing fast. By 2051, one in four people is expected to be a senior over the age of 65. Yes, this will put a strain on our healthcare system, but it’s a fact that has been known for years. So the question becomes, what has been done to prepare? And the answer is shockingly: very little!
During my work in a retirement home in Scarborough, Ontario, I encounter this reality on a daily basis. We regularly receive phone calls from social workers and families saying that they need to find immediate care for a senior. We spend a great deal of time educating families who are told that their loved one is ready for a hospital discharge, but they don’t know where to turn to get the care that they need. Often times they end up at home, with very little information, in distress, confused, and unable to make an informed decision.
Retirement homes are now regulated by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) and prior to this many were voluntarily members of ORCA, which provided standards of care and regular inspections to ensure quality standards were met.
I agree, not all retirement homes are affordable but plenty are, and with tax credits available to seniors living in retirement homes it is a viable choice for today’s seniors. The cost of a bed in a Long-term care (LTC) facility is approximately $2875 per month, but retirement homes can offer private accommodation for not much more than this.
Long Term Care is dealing with much more chronic conditions now than ever before, providing care for our most fragile seniors. Retirement homes are a place of fun and vitality and can be a great option for families.
Retirement homes will never be the same as living in your own home, but it can be the next best thing. Many of them offer a full activity schedule, 24-hour nursing staff, accessibility to doctors, and a social aspect of life that many of today’s seniors are lacking by living at home alone.
Written by Gina Cook, Executive Director at McCowan Retirement Residence