If you’ve decided that it’s time to move yourself or your parents into a senior’s residence, you’re probably taking your time to scrutinize the options. While there are some good options to choose from, it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff: many big companies in the field are beholden to real estate investment trusts (REITs) and are simply interested in making a profit. It’s important to find a company that really cares about its clients and puts effort into creating a friendly atmosphere with high-level care and amenities.
It’s a good start if you can meet face to face with the recreation director, the executive chef, some of the friendly caring nurses and any other employees who happen to be around so you can get a feel for the staff and their personalities. Keep an eye out for lots of natural light, spacious common areas and general cleanliness; it’s also a good idea to find out how old the building is and how well insulated.
It would be impossible to list all the qualities to look for in a top-tier retirement residence in a single post, but here are four factors that often define an outstanding modern alternative to seniors homes and REIT owned complexes:
Nutrition & Food Quality – Even if a dining room looks nice, it’s what’s going on in the kitchen that really counts. Great retirement residences spring for fresh ingredients that are high in potassium, folate and B12 – vitamins which seniors tend to be deficient in. In Canada, you should look for a retirement residence with red seal chefs; a mark of excellence in the Great White North. In addition to the food being nutritious, it should also be tasty so that everyone’s motivated to eat plenty and stay healthy!
Pet-friendly simply means you can bring your beloved pet without paying some ridiculous hidden cost. Studies show that access to pets increases overall mood and health in seniors and gives residents a greater sense of responsibility and independence. In fact, some residences go out of their way to arrange for pets to come and visit in keeping with the principles of pet therapy. A good residence should welcome your pup or kitty with open arms!
Swimming is one of the best low-impact workouts and has immense benefits for strength and cardiovascular health. It’s also a form of exercise that provides a joint-friendly, full body workout! Fun activities like water-polo and aqua-fit classes can run all year round, even when there’s snow and frost on the ground outside!
A good location means that the residence is located in a nice part of town with access to shopping and cultural points of interest. It also means there is ample green space to walk and play croquet and bocce ball — or to practice tai chi. Being right downtown is not necessarily desirable, but being way out in the boonies is no good either. Great seniors care companies are extremely picky about where they put down roots.
Hopefully this list has got you off to a good start on your hunt for perfection. Good luck and Godspeed!