Retirement home costs vary widely, depending on the accommodation and the levels of service you need or choose.
The Room or Accommodation
A resident rents a suite and lots of amenities space. Many of the modern new buildings offer 50% or more of circulation and amenities space - dining rooms, lounges, libraries, games rooms, fitness rooms, internet cafés, movie theatres, multi denominational chapels, doctors’ offices, spas, therapy pools and so on. Costs to build today total as much as $250,000 “per door”. Suites range from studios or bachelor suites from 200 square feet in older buildings to small one bedrooms, so you pay for what you get. Although shared suites were popular twenty years ago, they have all but disappeared.
Assisted living services are intended to meet the basic social, nutritional and housekeeping needs and, as a resident becomes more frail or forgetful, additional services may be needed. A much desired service is medication management, to ensure a resident stays on the required regimen. Assistance with the activities of daily living help the senior to continue to live in the residence, can include bathing assistance, grooming and dressing, daily light cleaning and tidying of the suite, wayfinding for those with memory issues, personal laundry and others.
Because these require staff resources at a more advanced level of professionalism, they add to the cost. In our experience, assisted living services can cost $950 or more per month. Providers are required to maintain care plans - a record of a person’s individual care needs and they charge on a usage basis - per hour or increments of an hour, or they offer “care packages” - services in increments - say $250, $500, $750, $1,000 per month and so on.
Residents of retirement homes may qualify for services under the Ministry of Health's Home Care Program - as long as the service is not one already included in the rate, and some retirement homes allow residents to purchase additional care services through outside agencies.
Making Assisted Living "Affordable"
We recommend moving to an assisted living floor or wing, which typically has its own living and dining room. This has several objectives. It allows for the more efficient delivery of care services. And, because assisted living suites are typically smaller, studio suites, they offsets the cost of the additional care with less “real estate”.