As Canadians anticipate their golden years, choosing the perfect retirement destination becomes a critical decision. With a variety of factors to consider, such as climate,
Retirement Homes vs. Nursing Homes In Ontario
In today’s rapidly aging society, the decision of where to spend one’s “golden years” has become a pressing concern for many families. As seniors and their loved ones navigate the complex landscape of elder care, two main options often emerge: nursing homes and retirement homes. While both serve the purpose of providing a safe and comfortable environment for the elderly, they differ significantly in the level of care, amenities, and cost. The key distinctions between a nursing home and a retirement home is discussed below while examining the advantages and drawbacks of each, to empower you to make the best-informed choice for your family’s unique needs and preferences.
|Nursing Home (Long-Term Care Home)
|Retirement Home (Retirement Residence)
|Provide 24-hour care for seniors with complex medical needs or requiring specialized care
|Cater to seniors who are relatively independent but may need some assistance or prefer community living
|Level of Care
|High, with medical support and assistance with daily living activities
|Varying levels of care, focused on assistance with daily living activities and amenities
|Regulated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario
|Regulated by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) in Ontario
|Based on an assessment of need conducted by the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) or Home and Community Care Support Services
|Based on individual choice, with residents paying for services and accommodations
|Accommodations & Services
|Private or shared rooms, 24-hour nursing care, meals, housekeeping, laundry, and recreational activities
|Range of accommodations, services, and amenities, such as meals, housekeeping, recreational activities, and varying levels of assistance with personal care
|Partially funded by the provincial government, with residents responsible for co-payment fees
|Privately owned and operated, residents pay for the services and accommodations they require
What is a Nursing Home?In Ontario, Canada, the terms long-term care facilities, also known as a “nursing home”, and a retirement home refer to different types of facilities that cater to the needs of seniors, but they serve distinct purposes and offer different levels of care. Long Term Care Facilities (Nursing Home):
- Also known as Long-Term Care homes in Ontario, skilled nursing facility that provides 24-hour care to individuals who require assistance with daily living activities, medical care, and support (at times it can be considered assisted living residence depending on the amount of care needed)
- Nursing homes are regulated by the provincial government, specifically the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario.
- Residents in a nursing home typically have more complex medical needs or may require specialized care for conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Admission to a nursing home is usually based on an assessment of need, which is conducted by the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) or Home and Community Care Support Services.
What is a Retirement Home?
- Retirement homes, also known as retirement residences, cater to seniors who are relatively independent but may require assistance with some daily living activities or prefer the convenience of community living (independent and assisted living residences vary in terms of amount of care services offered)
- Retirement homes are privately owned and operated and are not directly regulated by the provincial government. However, they must comply with the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) in Ontario.
- Retirement homes generally offer a range of accommodations, services, and amenities, such as meals, housekeeping, recreational activities, and varying levels of assistance with personal care. Generally promoting activities that also promote retirement living and independent living.
- Admission to a retirement home is typically based on the individual’s choice, and residents pay for the services and accommodations they require.
- Baycrest Health Sciences (Toronto)
- Sunnybrook Veterans Centre (Toronto)
- Bridgepoint Active Healthcare (Toronto)
- The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre (Ottawa)
- West Park Healthcare Centre (Toronto)
- The Village of Erin Meadows (Mississauga)
- The Village of Humber Heights (Etobicoke)
- The Village of Riverside Glen (Guelph)
- The Village of Taunton Mills (Whitby)
- The Village of Tansley Woods (Burlington)
- Amica Senior Lifestyles
- Chartwell Retirement Residences
- Revera Retirement Living
- Delmanor Seniors Communities
- Hazelton Place Retirement Residence
- The Dunfield Retirement Residence
- V!VA Retirement Communities
- The Village of Winston Park
- The Village of Arbour Trails
- The Redwoods Retirement Residence
Cost of Long-Term Care HomesLong-Term Care (LTC) homes and nursing homes in Ontario are partially funded by the provincial government. Residents are required to pay a co-payment fee for accommodation costs such as room and board for the skilled nursing facility. These fees are standardized across the province and are updated periodically. The monthly co-payment fees for a long-term care home in Ontario were approximately:
- Basic or ward room (shared by 3 or 4 residents): $1,891+CAD
- Semi-private room (shared by 2 residents): $2,280+ CAD
- Private room (single occupancy): $2,701+ CAD
Cost of Retirement HomesThe cost of staying in a retirement home in Ontario can vary widely depending on factors such as location, type of accommodation, services, and amenities provided by the facility. Retirement homes are privately owned and operated, so there is no standardized fee structure across the province. The monthly cost for a retirement home in Ontario can range from around $1,500+ CAD for basic accommodations and services to over $6,000+ CAD for luxury suites and a comprehensive list of services and amenities. Typical expenses in a retirement home can include:
- Rent for the living space, which can be a private room or apartment-style accommodation.
- Meals, which are often provided in a communal dining area.
- Housekeeping and laundry services.
- Personal care services, such as assistance with bathing, dressing, or medication management.
- Recreational and social activities.
- Additional amenities, like fitness centers, swimming pools, or transportation services.