As the first wave of Baby Boomers reaches their 70s, there is an increasing demand for retirement residences across the country. Their children, a sandwich generation caring for both them and their own children, often have the responsibility of choosing the right care option.
So what should you look for in a retirement residence and how can you help ease the transition for your parents?
Selecting the best retirement residence for your parents is a life-changing decision that requires thought and planning. Talking about aging with your parents is not easy, but delaying those important conversations will only cause more heartache if you're forced to make a hasty decision in crisis.
Think about the following:
What type of care do your parents require?
- What kind of lifestyle are they looking for?
- Where do they want to be located?
- How much can they afford?
Be realistic about their current needs and likely future ones as well. Many retirement residence facilities provide varying levels of care that can advance as needed.
Do your research
There is an abundance of information online about retirement residence options. As you review options, compare their services, facilities and costs with your needs to create a short list of retirement residences.
Take a tour
Book a visit at each of the residences on your short list. On your tour, experience and rate the following:
- activities offered to residents
- staff morale
- quality of food
- care options (e.g. bathing)
- emergency procedures
- resident happiness
Try it out
Once you've narrowed your options to one or two, plan at least a week-long stay to experience the facility first-hand. This will be the best way to determine if you're making the right choice.
Tricia Tankovic is the Program Manager of Fanshawe's School of Tourism and Hospitality, which offers over 20 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programs in culinary arts, travel, event planning, retirement residence and more. She has been at the College for 9 years and is responsible for the effective operation and delivery of programs in the School of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts.