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Nursing Home Or Retirement Home – Knowing The Difference

Nursing Home or Retirement Home – Knowing the Difference

When it comes time for a senior to make the move into a new home in Montreal, many questions arise. One of the first big steps is choosing between a nursing home and a retirement home, and it’s essential to know the difference before making any further decisions. This article will provide you with the information you need to choose which facility is best suited for your elderly loved one’s needs.

Retirement Homes

Retirement homes, like apartments and condos, are residential complexes that offer rooms or suites which can either be paid with a monthly rent or bought. These facilities are not government-run or subsidized; they are privately owned, meaning payments are made in full by the tenant or their families. While meals are provided and most homes offer recreational activities, personalized care is not. This means that if a senior requires personalized physical care, it will not be provided by the residence, and a professional caregiver will be needed. However, according to a 2014 report, more private residences in Quebec have started providing care and services in the past ten years. These services, though, are not personalized in the same way as a senior caregiver service, as they don’t include services beyond basic health needs, such as companion care. 

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are also known as long-term care facilities (CHSLD). These are government-run, meaning that the government will cover at least 72% of the cost of residence. These care centers, however, are reserved for seniors with reduced autonomy due to age, illness or physical/mental impairment.


So, What’s the Difference?

Now that we’ve outlined the basic definitions of both residence types, it’s time to go over the major differences between the two.

  • Cost: As mentioned above, a retirement home is paid in full by the senior and/or their family. A nursing home, however, is covered (in majority) by the Quebec government.
  • Type of housing: A retirement home is a private residence. This means that the rooms are generally private (one person), or suite-type with several rooms for couples. Nursing homes generally offer rooms for 3-4 people; however, more private rooms are available for an additional, non-subsidized fee.
  • Availability: There are approximately 2,106 retirement homes in Quebec, and only 359 nursing homes. This means that the wait time for placement in a nursing home can range anywhere from several months to years. Admission to a private retirement home can be done with very little (if any) wait time.
  • Applying: Applications for placement in a long-term care facility must be done through the CLSC. Applications to a retirement home, however, can be done directly through the residence.

Choosing the Right Home

When making the decision to move into a residence, the main factor to consider is the needs of the senior. If your loved one is mostly autonomous, then a private retirement home is the right choice for them. However, if they require nursing and living assistance to be available around-the-clock, especially if they suffer from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, then a nursing home (CHSLD) is better suited for their needs.


The Next Step

If you’ve decided that a CHSLD is best suited for your elderly loved one, the next step is to visit your local CLSC and submit an application. If you’ve decided that a retirement home is the right choice, however, then you’ll need to pick the right retirement home. 

Choosing the right retirement home can be a long, difficult process. If you or a loved one are considering moving into a seniors residence, it’s best to have a retirement home consultant help you find the perfect residence based on your budget, personal preferences, and healthcare needs. At Complete Care Coordination, we offer free assistance with choosing the right retirement home for you or your elderly loved one. Click here to read more about this complimentary service, or feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions.

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