It is still customary for many people to think of “nursing homes” when they are considering care for aging loved ones. However, in Canada’s senior care industry, you will not hear many staff refer to “nursing homes.” The traditional “nursing home” in Canada is referred to as a long term care home, where patients will receive medical care and attention as warranted – perhaps from nurses on call around the clock.
The term “nursing home” also carries some negative connotations certainly and as a generic catchall term it is simply not fitting as a description of the many retirement living options available. In Canada today, senior care is increasingly adaptable and flexible, with a spectrum of options from complete independence to thorough care.
Some options you can find in retirement home living today include the following:
Active Adult Communities allow you to live in community with other people your own age with access to often-luxurious amenities such as a golf course, swimming pool, etc. These communities are usually age exclusive and the age of exclusion may be as low as 50 years. That doesn’t mean your grandkids can’t visit! They just can’t live with you.
Independent Living also allows you to live in an exclusive community but in this, you might also participate in communal meals and other activities. You may be protected by security and you may even want to hire your own home health care if needed.
Congregate Living may mix together people requiring various degrees of care, including (for example) independent seniors along with those who require help with house cleaning or other regular daily activities.
Long-term care homes offer residents care as required. Many people still think of these as “nursing homes.” These may be well-staffed with nurses and other medical staff and there may be many residents who require consistent care.
It’s important to note that the retirement home industry is responding to senior’s changing needs. The vast majority of retirement homes in Canada seek to treat residents with the very highest levels of respect, befitting those who have contributed so much to society in their lives. As the baby boomer generation puts their aging parents into retirement homes, they are demanding increased options and more respectful care. In fact, they are effecting changes that they will one day benefit from when they, too, decide to move into a retirement home.