Senior woman using laptop

7 questions to ask before touring a retirement residence

Is making the move to a retirement home the next big chapter in your life—or the life of a loved one you’re supporting?

You’ve no doubt thought about it and talked about it. You’ve done your research, looking into locations, amenities, services and costs of different retirement homes. There’s a lot of information to guide you and you’re ready to move to the next step: taking a tour of your potential retirement community choices.

Before you step through the door, there’s one more thing to do that’s important to help you make the decision that’s exactly right for you.

Rather than focus on the residence itself—which you definitely should do at almost every other step in the move-in process—think instead about examining your own personality when it comes to aspects such as likes/dislikes, interests and passions, and compatibility with others who may be similar or different from you.

By asking yourself a few pertinent questions, you’ll learn more about what you really want from your next home and will be able to successfully choose one that suits you. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1)   What are my favourite activities, and does the residence offer those? Are you interested in trying new activities or are you happy to pursue just your current ones? If—say—you enjoy a daily swim, does the residence have a pool? Or perhaps a craft room? Ask to see an activity calendar and talk about your interests with your Retirement Living Consultant.

2)   Do I enjoy meeting new people, or am I a little shy? If you do want to meet people, what opportunities does the residence have that will make you feel comfortable? What are the arrangements regarding meal seating?

3)   Are my family and cultural traditions important to me? Is the residence welcoming and inclusive and able to accommodate your needs?

4)   Is space an important consideration for me? Even if you’re ready to downsize, how much space do you still want to have? Does the residence offer two-bedroom suites in addition to one-bedroom or studio suites? This is an especially important question for couples!

5)   Do I still enjoy making my own meals, and is this something I would like to continue doing? Many residents are happy to retire from meal preparation, but if you find you still want to do the majority of your meal preparation, be sure to ask if the residence offers suites will full kitchens or kitchenettes, as well as what meal packages are available. Be sure to also look at sample menus and stay for one or two meals!

6)   Do I think at some point I may need more personal support? How much do I worry about the future in terms of my health and peace of mind? It will be important for you to determine how much daily support you think you may need before choosing the retirement residence that is right for you. Ask if the residence offers multiple lifestyle choices—like independent living and assisted living—and if they could accommodate you if your needs changed in future.

7)   What does “home” mean to me? Is it the people who surround me? Is it a feeling when I walk in the door? Is it a sense of belonging? This is often an intangible feeling that’s hard to define, as it can be fostered by a welcoming atmosphere, a pleasant physical environment and the presence of opportunities to be engaged and active.

If you’re interested in booking a personal visit at a Chartwell retirement community, we invite you to call 1-855-461-0685 for more information.