Today, you can still hear many people refer to and many people searching for “nursing homes” as well as other colloquialisms like “old folks home.” “Nursing homes” are largely a thing of the past, especially in Canada’s senior housing industry. In fact, the phrase evokes notions of people alone, badly neglected or under-served by staff that treats residents like numbers… or worse. In today’s culture of retirement care, as with education and many other institutions, neglect and abuse are zealously being put in the past. On the other hand, residents often receive pampering like never before.
In today’s retirement homes, there are a wealth of amenities and services available to residents who expect to be treated well. Many retirement homes are built with seniors’ needs in mind. There are a wealth of ownership options, everything from full ownership to life leases, an option created specifically with seniors and their families in mind, to rental of units, condos or houses. In some high-end luxury retirement homes, residents may be treated to indoor golf greens, exercise classes, indoor swimming pools, spas and much more. All of this is with caring staff, ready at hand, should any assistance or care be needed.
Of course, nursing is not a thing of the past. There are many people who require assistance or daily care with activities such as bathing or cooking. In turn, today’s retirement residences offer a wide variety of services that are tailored to elderly residents who have various levels of ability. The model of care offered in most long-term care homes today (the closest thing in the retirement industry to what might be called “nursing homes”) goes far beyond a one-size-fits-all blanket treatment of elderly residents.
Today’s retirement homes smartly offer residents a variety of care options and many homes include the availability of nursing staff, assistance to long term care and Alzheimer’s patient care. Of course, that does not make these places “nursing homes.” This is simply a way of accounting for people with a wide variety of needs.