Retirement Living Options: Finding The Right Care Option

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From independent living to long-term care, you can find a wide variety of options suited to you and your loved personal and health care needs. Depending on your financial situation, you may find that hiring a part-time caregiver to assist you around the house to meet all your personal hygiene, medical, cooking, and cleaning needs is a better alternative than a retirement community. We highlight the six options available for you and your family when determining which senior living options best meet your personal and health care needs.

Independent Living

Independent living or active living communities are suited for seniors seeking to live active lifestyles that require minimal assistance with daily living, such as for cooking and personal care. As part of independent living, you can rent an apartment-style unit that can take care of the basic maintenance needs around the house for an additional fee. Among the features of independent living are:   

  • Apartment-style bedroom units in a community setting
  • Proximity to shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, and community centres
  • Social and recreational activities and access to gyms, pools, gardens, and hair salons

To learn more about your independent living options, visit 

Assisted Living

Assisted living is ideal for seniors seeking to live independently, but require additional support for their daily activities due to physical or health-related limitations. Depending on the residence you choose, certain assisted living facilities services can include:  

  • A private living space
  • Meal services (up to two meals per day)
  • Housekeeping services
  • Laundry services for linens and towels, and access to laundry equipment
  • Care services such as bathing, grooming, and dressing assistance
  • Emergency response systems

To learn more about the services offered at assisted living facilities, read more at  

Personal Care Homes

Personal care homes are privately owned homes that provide seniors with one-on-one care and assistance with daily living services. Personal care homes are designed to serve a smaller number of residents at a time (3-10 residents) and are considered an affordable option in comparison to larger retirement residences.  

Personal care homes are normally found in provinces or areas where smaller communities are geographically spread out and are commonly seen in provinces such as Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.  

Home Health Care

Home health care provides seniors with the option to stay at home while hiring medical or non-medical care professionals for additional support. Home health care is ideal for seniors who wish to remain at home and live independently, but have physical or cognitive limitations that prevent them from doing so. 

You may choose to hire a private aide to provide care and help with basic necessities such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, transportation, administering medications, etc. To find care services to provide services for yourself or your loved ones, visit  

Memory Care

If you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, there is a special level of care available called memory care. Memory care provides seniors with health care and treatment in a safe and controlled environment to ensure their personal safety. Memory care facilities are equipped with alarms and security systems, and staff members are specifically trained to assist seniors in avoiding straying into unfamiliar places and becoming upset or frightened. Servies at memory care residences include:   

  • 24-hour personal care
  • Dining Services
  • Health and medication management
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Mobility assistance
  • Transportation assistance
  • Daily activities

Long-Term Care

For seniors dealing with physical or cognitive limitations from illnesses or diseases, long-term care provides them with the option to have 24-hour assisted care such as personal care, hygiene, transportation, and medication management. Residents must be over the age of 65 to qualify for long-term care and must require assistance with essential daily living activities. This form of care is offered across the country and is often funded by the Ministry of Health, however, some provinces also offer private pay long-term care for those who may not qualify for publicly funded long-term care. Long-term care home services often include:  

  • Comfortable private, or semi-private rooms
  • Dining Services
  • Housekeeping and Laundry Services
  • Exercise and physical therapy programs
  • Daily activities and programs
  • Medication Management
  • Hospice Care