Wednesday, 02 October 2019 18:25

Preparing for Retirement Home

Are you thinking about a retirement home for yourself, your parents or an elderly member of your family or circle? Have you given some thought around what different homes offer and provide?

A few years ago we had a call from a client who wanted to move her mother into a retirement home but couldn’t decide where. She had loads of brochures and had been to visit quite a few. She was struggling to make a decision but hadn’t drawn up a list of what she wanted for her mom. We chatted a bit and talked through her basic needs and requirements, and armed with a list a decision was made. We assisted with the downsizing and moving process and her mother settled in well.

I have shared this list before but I think it worth sharing again. Here is a comprehensive list of questions you should be asking:


  • Activities (crafts, social events, sports, educational, etc.)
  • Meals (individually prepared or in a dining room)
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Transport
  • Security
  • Assistance with grooming, bathing, and dressing
  • Administration and management of medications
  • A doctor on call
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Shopping and errand running
  • Social services and therapeutic care
  • Spiritual services and worship
  • Emergency medical care


  • Are services provided by in-house staff or outsourced to other agencies?
  • Do you have a choice of room / apartment sizes and layouts?
  • Do they make it easy for friends and family to visit?
  • What does the monthly rate include? Are there charges for other services?
  • Can furniture and other personal items be brought from home?
  • What kinds of activities and recreation are available? How often?
  • Is the facility clean, well-run, and efficient?
  • Can the facility provide a higher level of care later on if needed?
  • Is the facility licensed?


  • Well-lit stairs and halls
  • Handrails in the bath tub and by the toilet
  • Emergency call buttons in the rooms, or worn by residents
  • Well-marked exits
  • Fire and smoke alarms for the hearing impaired
  • A bill of rights that identifies and respects residents

All of this seems fairly obvious, but going armed with a list ensures you don’t miss anything important.

Do you have you own questions to add to this list?


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