Why understanding the services a retirement community offers is more important than understanding what it’s called.
As of 2013, Canada has one of the highest average life expectancies for men and women in the world. With more Canadians living past 80, and an aging population, the number of senior housing options has grown and developed to meet those needs. The list seems to be endless with a variety of choices like senior’s apartments, independent living, and assisted living and retirement communities – just to name a few. So how do you know what is best for you or your loved one?
Independent living communities, which are synonymous with retirement communities, aim to make residents’ day-to-day lives a bit easier, thus enabling them to live on their own for as long as possible. Landscaping and housekeeping services, meal preparation, security surveillance, and a variety of recreational activities and events are the typical offerings in independent living. An Independent living community may also provide transportation shuttle services to residents to and from doctor’s appointments, the grocery store and other weekly errands. “The main benefits of independent living are receiving help with meals and housekeeping tasks, as well as having a centralized hospitality and recreational service for socialization,” says Marlene Powner, Regional Director Sifton Properties Limited.
Assisted Living communities offer an increased level of support while still allowing people their own level of independence. In assisted living, you can expect help with activities such as medications, bathing, laundry, dressing and even getting up and assisted in going to bed. The community may assist with organizing and possibly transportation to health appointments.
Both independent living and assisted living communities have recreation schedules that are unique to each population and community. Common recreational activities include: game nights, field trips, support and discussion groups, holiday celebrations, exercise classes and continuing education courses. A variety of senior communities offer a continuum of services from lifestyle independent living options, assisted living, enhanced personal services or a la carte services, even up to designated memory care all within the same complex.
There is no one size fits all and personal choice and need plays an integral role in determining where the next best place to live is.
Knowing the right questions to ask, and understanding what needs must be met, will ensure that you are finding your perfect retirement lifestyle solution. “For me, it’s about the feeling people get at the community when they first walk in. Is it warm and welcoming? Does it feel like home? Is the location close to your family and friends, to your doctor and other important services? Can I bring my pet with me? What if I have a walker, a cane, or a scooter? If I need more help in the future what supports exist? We want residents to think of us as their family” said Dale Pineau, Vice President Retirement Living, Sifton Properties Limited.
For many families new to the world of senior living, navigating the vast array of senior lifestyle options can be an increasingly complex endeavor. With so many options available, it’s easy for families to feel overwhelmed during their research on behalf of their loved one. Sifton Retirement Residence staff will work with you from the beginning of your search to identify and create a personalized lifestyle solution to meet your social and physical wellbeing. We are here to help and just a phone call away.