15 Nov Let’s Talk About It: Do the research when considering a private residence
The food is not to your liking.
Mealtimes do not suit you.
The activities are not interesting and not always in the language you speak.
The residents are not as active as you.
There does not seem to be adequate staff.
The manager is hard to reach.
The yearly rental increases are too high.
There is a smoking smell on your floor.
You have been told that you need more care and have to move to the care floor.
And the list goes on.
Most complaints such as these can be avoided if proper questions and research are done prior to lease signing. In accompanying clients to scout out residences I suggest that they ask questions and then I ask the ones they asked. Most are usually surprised at how much they omitted to inquire about.
Don’t just ask about the food and meal plan; eat a meal in the residence and judge for yourself. Check the times of meals, ask what happens if you miss a meal, if you want tray service or other foods than the meals of the day.
Attend an activity to meet other residents, check interest and attendance, and of course language. Are movies shown in both languages? The lease in a seniors residence falls under the Régie du logement. Inquire about yearly increases, extra services, and make sure you can afford them to avoid having to move for financial reasons.
Ask about staffing. While you will hear the term ‘nursing staff’ ask whether they are registered nurses, nursing assistants or attendants. How many work at one time in shifts? Some residences allow smoking in private apartments. Find out if you will have a smoker near your unit if you think it will disturb you.
Do not wait to sign a lease to read about building rules. Ask about protocol for medical emergencies, lodging complaints. Is there a doctor, can you become a patient of the doctor? How often do they visit?
Think of the future. Should your health situation change, will you be asked to move? Ask for specifics. While you might not need extra services now, study the list of services offered and the costs attached to them.
Many clients of mine are thrilled with their choice of residence and wouldn’t change anything. Others have minor issues but are satisfied overall.
But at times I am contacted by seniors who ask for my assistance to move into another residence and when I hear their reasons, it appears that if they had done the proper research prior to their move, they probably would not have chosen the residence where they are living.
Research, educate yourself and ask lots of questions. Visit more than once and meet the nursing director and the general manager.
Moving to a residence is a big change, hopefully one that will improve your quality of life. Do your best to make the right choice. Then enjoy your new lifestyle!