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What's the Difference? Long-Term Care vs. Retirement Homes

What's the Difference? Long-Term Care vs. Retirement Homes

Deciding whether to move your elderly parent into long-term care, assisted living or a retirement home is not an easy decision. You want what’s best for your Mom or Dad, and that’s why this difficult decision is often the right decision for many. 

Long-Term Care vs. Retirement Homes

Is there a difference between a long-term care facility and retirement home?

Yes, there are a few characteristics that separate long-term care facilities and retirement homes. These two types of care homes offer unique services for your loved one, and choosing the right type of facility is very important.

  • Retirement Homes:

Retirement homes tend to offer their residents a higher-level of independence. This type of assisted living provides seniors with the ability to ultimately manage their daily lives and activities while still having access to medical attention 24/7. Most retirement homes are privately owned, however they are usually still required to meet certain standards set by governing authorities. In Ontario, there are four main types of care that retirement homes offer: Independent Supported Living, Assisted Living, Specialized Dementia Care or Memory Care, and Short Term Stays.

  • Long-Term Care:

Long-term care is best suited for those who cannot live independently and need constant care. Long-term care professionals can provide the care and attention your elder Mother or Father needs. Long-term care facilities have the ability to offer and provide care above and beyond what an assisted living home can provide. For those with certain diseases, like Alzheimer’s and dementia, or with physical disabilities, long-term care homes can offer many benefits for your loved one. 


Transitioning Your Loved One into a Long-Term Care or Retirement Home

If you’re looking to move your parent into long-term care or a retirement home, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips and advice we hope will make things easier for you. If you have any questions about long-term care or assisted living, we recommend you reach out to your chosen facility/home or your provincial government. We've also added some helpful links about each province's and territories' long-term care system at the end of this article.
  1. Long-Term Care - Geri Fashions Guide

    Do your research. If you’re not familiar with long-term care or retirement homes, make sure you do lots of research. You can read articles and forums online as well as talk to others who may have experience. 

  2. Tour the facility and ask to see the room where your loved one will live. Ensure you make sure that it’s got everything your loved one will need. If there are things you don’t like about the room or you feel something is missing, ask if they can be changed or added. Pay attention to the details.

  3. Write down any questions you have for your loved one’s caregiver. Remember; there is no such thing as a bad question. As you’re researching, it may be a good idea to have a pen and paper handy to jot down any questions you may have.

  4. Pack durable and easy to wear clothing. Most long-term care homes use industrial washers and dryers, this could cause clothing made of certain materials to shrink or become warped. Ensure your loved one has access to easy-wear items so they don’t have to stress about getting dressed. Check out these 3 Easy-Wear Items for Seniors

  5. Bring their favourite things with them. This includes jewelry, personal care items, decorative items, family pictures, and anything else you know they love or is important to them. Help them feel comfortable and at-home with personalized touches. Make sure you’re not bringing any items that have the potential to do harm.

  6. Label personal items and electronics. If your loved one is bringing personal items or electronics that may be leaving their room, it’s important to label them. A device such as a tablet has the potential to easily be misplaced. Labelling these types of items will help prevent them from becoming lost.

Long-Term Care Information by Province or Territory 

Please note: For the most accurate and up-to-date information, we recommend you reach out to your local or provincial government. You can also get in touch with your chosen facility/home for more information. Geri Fashions does not own or provide any of the information on the websites linked above.

1 comment

Jul 21, 2023
Anna Collins

My grandma has heart complications, so we often need to accompany her to the doctor for checkups, but since she’s too old to move now, the family has decided to opt for long-term care instead. It’s good that you advised us to do our research properly by checking articles, reviews, and online forums about the retirement homes we’re considering. I’ll be sure to take note of this while I look for a consulting service that can help guide us with our long-term care options for our grandma.

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