Whether you’re choosing a retirement living provider for yourself or a loved one, there a great many concerns to deal with. Costs, facilities and services vary considerably among the retirement homes in Kingston and throughout the surrounding areas. In order to ensure that you choose the long term care that’s right for your family, there are at six least vital questions that you should ask a prospective location.

1. Is the Facility Accredited and Certified?

Not all nursing homes and other kinds of senior homes are licensed. In Ontario, there are organisations such as the Ontario Retirement Communities Association, or ORCA, which exist to ensure that providers have the needed facilities and adhere to all laws and accepted standards. ORCA ensure that its members meet the requirements defined by the Retirement Homes Act.

2. What Are the Facility’s Official Policies?

Be mindful that while laws like the RHA set standards, they don’t dictate policies. Policies vary between senior homes, and it’s necessary to determine if the policies in question suit your lifestyle. Some important considerations include visiting hour restrictions; access to telephones, televisions and Internet; and whether residents can keep their own doctors.

3. How Much Freedom Do Residents Have?

Loss of independence is a great concern for people considering retirement homes. Due to the communal nature of senior homes, some loss of privacy and independence must be expected. Nevertheless, many homes seek to nurture continued independence as much as possible. Providers can do this by giving residents options and providing windows for necessities like eating and bathing.

4. What Are the Staff Hiring Protocols?

The staffs at nursing homes are essentially surrogate families for the residents and must behave accordingly. Therefore, it’s necessary to not only ensure a high degree of competence but a high level of character. The best long term care providers perform an extensive screening process for employment but also ensure that employees receive ongoing training for care, abuse prevention and so forth.

5. What Security and Safety Precautions Are in Place?

While medical attention will undoubtedly be a focal point when considering nursing homes, don’t overlook what the facility does to keep residents safe and secure. Some important points to go over include how transportation is provided and by who; how facility access control is handled; fire safety systems and protocols; and emergency vehicle response times.

6. What Is the Fee Schedule?

Quality of long term care is the most important factor, but cost is of course a practical consideration. You need to know what is covered by insurance policies and how much you’ll need to pay out of pocket and when, but you’ll also need to know precisely what’s covered. Many homes aren’t all-inclusive and provide choices that will add to your costs on a per-item basis.