How to choose a good retirement home


Written By: John McLeish

As we discussed in our last blog, some seniors do end up suffering from abuse or negligence in retirement homes. We have seen such cases as personal injury lawyers in Toronto. However, the vast majority of our ageing friends and relatives are well cared for. Here is some advice for ensuring the next move made is a good one.

CBC News advises asking five practical questions when considering moving to a retirement home:

  • How reputable is the home? Do your due diligence. Talk to people who live or visit there. When you go to visit it, pay careful attention to its cleanliness, the level of friendliness of the staff, and the menu – is it nutritious?
  • How much will it cost? No one likes to discuss finance, but it’s critical that you do. Fees and services do go up; ask how often, and get a detailed overview of all expenses you could face. Can you afford to live there for the rest of your life?
  • What level of care will I need? Surprisingly for some, retirement homes do not contract to care for you until you die. Each has a peak level of care it can provide; find out what that level is.
  • Do I need a lawyer? We’re not saying this because we’re lawyers; in fact, we’re not even this type of lawyer. But the CBC article does recommend that you contract a lawyer before signing anything.
  • Should I rent or buy? It may be smarter to rent, but if you decide to buy, read the fine print carefully and weigh all the ramifications.

Marlo Sollitto at has an excellent list of questions to ask when finding a retirement or nursing home for your parents.

Included among them are:

  • Is the nursing home certified?
  • Does the nursing home specialize in the disease that your parent suffers from (dementia, stroke, etc.)?
  • Is there a special Alzheimer’s or dementia unit?
  • Is the staff licensed and certified?
  • Does the facility have an abuse-prevention training program?
  • How does the facility monitor for abuse?

It’s a big move and must be made wisely and safely. Next, we’ll look at elderly people who choose to stay in their own homes for as long as they can.

John Mcleish

John Mcleish

Founding Partner

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