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Did you know that Canada has some of the best retirement homes in the world? Here are five more things you might not know about retirement homes.

1. Retirement homes are privately-owned residences.

They offer rental accommodation along with services and care for seniors who can live on their own with varying degrees of support. People choose the retirement home they want to live in; the wait list will depend upon each home. There is typically flexibility among suites, activities, and services. All of these will impact the price you will pay. If you are looking for a retirement home, you can search for one near you.

2. Retirement homes are not the same as nursing homes.

Retirement homes offer rental accommodation with services and care for those who can live independently, while nursing homes are for those who cannot. Long-term care homes are for people who need 23-hour nursing care and supervision. Some nursing homes offer secure settings, and often receive government funding with residents paying for accommodations. There is usually a waiting list for nursing homes, and people may not always get their first choice for a facility.

3. There’s a legislative act that covers retirement homes in Ontario.

Seniors are protected by the Retirement Homes Act (RHRA). The RHRA enforces safety and care standards, and uses licensing, inspections, and investigations of complaints in order to support the rights of those who live and work in retirement homes. You can use the RHRA website to look at individual retirement homes’ track record of compliance.

4. Retirement homes offer a range of services and facilities.

Of course, every home is different but most will offer full wheelchair access, your own room or even apartment, social and recreational programs, gardens, a beauty salon, a gift shop, housekeeping, meals, laundry, a swimming pool, shared dining rooms, common areas or lounges, a chapel, and a library.

Most homes will offer residents flexibility like the choice to opt in or out of meal plans and other services. You can also leave for extended periods, such as to go on vacation, and will keep your residence as long as you pay your rent and fees for that time.

5. Residents of retirement homes pay for the full cost of housing and care.

Unlike with nursing homes, retirement homes are not funded by the government. This means that you will need to cover the whole cost of your stay there. The cost of a private room will range from $1500 to $6000 per month depending on the facility and the services offered.

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