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The Difference Between a Retirement Home and a Long Term Care Home

There are a lot of differences between a retirement home and a long term care home. Even though they are both places where seniors can live, the cost, services, and moving in process are very different.

Here is a clear understanding of what these residences are and how they are different.

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What is a Retirement Home?
A retirement home, also called a retirement residence or senior home, is where a community of seniors live. Focused around flexibility and independence, these types of retirement residences offer a lot of choice. Residents can choose to enjoy a fully independent lifestyle or have some care and personalized services. You might be asking “How old do you have to be to live in a retirement home?” and you will be pleased to know that there are residents from a range of ages, from their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s to centenarians. In a retirement home, you have your own suite, create your own schedule, and can come and go as you please. You choose your own meals and how you like to spend your time – whether it’s on your own or with the people who live in the community, taking part in social activities, exercise classes, or outings. It’s all up to you.
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What is a Long Term Care Home or Nursing Home?
A long term care home, also sometimes called a nursing home, is centred around 24/7 supervised care. Those who qualify for long term care are seniors who need a high level of care, require continuous supervision, or can no longer take care of themselves independently (e.g. eating, bathing, dressing). Long term care homes will have 24-hour monitoring, and round-the-clock nursing and staff within the residence. Meals are served within a central area and prepared with dietary restrictions and requirements in mind. Revera long term care homes focus on person-centred care which includes physical, social, intellectual and spiritual activities. In selecting a long term care home there are some requirements such as a referral from a physician or agency.
Differences Between a Retirement Home and Long Term Care Home
Cost, types of services, and the overall process is different when it comes to moving into a retirement home or long term care or nursing home. Here are some of the differences between the two, so you can determine which option makes sense for you or your loved one.
Revera provides personalized care and services, no matter the residence.

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Retirement Home Costs
The individual or family member is responsible for the total monthly cost of living in a retirement home.
Long Term Care or Nursing Home Costs
The individual or family member is responsible for a partial amount of the total cost. The other portion is covered through the government.
Retirement Home Services

Retirement home services can include:

  • Full-service dining
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreation programs
  • Modern amenities (fitness centre, hair salon, library etc.)
  • Parking and/or transportation for outings/outings transportation
  • Care services (falls prevention, wellness programs, and access to nursing services)
Long Term Care Home Services

Long term care services are heavily centred around care. These types of services can include:

  • Medication administration
  • Meals service and special diets
  • 24 Hour Nursing Care
  • 24 Hour Staff
  • Injury Reduction
  • Falls Management
  • Emergency Call System
  • Physiotherapy
  • Assistance with essential activities of daily living 
  • Social, recreational and spiritual programs
Choosing a Retirement Home
If you’re considering moving into a retirement residence or have a loved one who may be, there are many Revera residences across Canada. You can arrange a visit to tour any residence, at any time. Our doors are always open.

Choosing a Long Term Care Home

In order to move into a nursing home or long term care home, there are some requirements such as a referral from a physician or agency. Once a referral is completed, the agency will provide some choices based on the level of care needed, and will notify you when a spot becomes available. If you’re deciding which long term care home might be right for your loved one, or if you have questions around long term care, you can always call or arrange a visit at one of our Revera long term care homes across Canada. No one with a referral to a long term care home can be turned away, although you should be aware than sometimes the wait list can be extensive.

See a list of agencies by province

Have Questions? Feel free to contact us to ask any questions you might have. A Senior Living Advisor is always willing/able to help and provide you with any information you need.

Retirement Home & Long Term Care Home FAQs

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