Difference between a nursing home and a retirement home?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Susie 9 months ago.

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    I’m having some difficulty understanding the differences between a nursing home and a retirement home. Aren’t they basically the same thing?



    A nursing home and a retirement home share many similarities, so it can be a little tricky to comprehend. I think the problem is because many people use these terms interchangeably. In the end, you don’t know what’s what!

    I believe that a person who wants to move to a retirement home makes this decision by themselves. However, for a nursing home, it is the government that makes that decision.

    Basically, if you want to go to a retirement home, the process is pretty much like going apartment hunting. This also means you must be able to pay the rent.

    For a nursing home or long-term care, I believe there are certain guidelines. These must be met. That means it may be possible to be turned down if you are deemed too healthy. If so, then you probably won’t get a place.



    I believe retirement homes aren’t covered by the government’s health care plan. Long-term care is covered though. I am not 100 percent sure, but I think you can still receive good health care in a retirement home, but you need to pay for this,

    In a nursing home, I believe the Ontario government will pay for your health care, but accommodation is something that is not covered.



    You have more freedom in a retirement home than a nursing home. If you decided to visit someone in a different province, you can just go. Places like Red Oak Retirement Homes can be quite accommodating, so it doesn’t really feel like you’re living in a retirement home, more like a community of peers.

    However, in a nursing home, there are restrictions. You may be told how long you can go, or even if you can go. I suppose it all depends on the situation too. But you are not as free to come and go as you please.



    Just like a regular tenant in an apartment building, when you are living in a retirement home, you may be evicted. So, if you did not pay your rent on time and this occurs frequently, you can be kicked out.

    In a long-term care home, you cannot really be evicted if you cannot pay your rent. Sometimes, safety issues can cause you to be moved elsewhere.

    So, if your safety is in question, or if you started hitting out at other tenants for example, you still cannot be evicted. You will just be moved to a more suitable long-term care home.



    In a nursing home, you can receive professional medical services. In assisted living, the help you receive is based mainly on your daily activities.

    In Ontario, seniors receive services whether in a retirement home or in long-term care. However, the services are different. Long-term care comes under the Ministry of Health. Retirement homes do not.

    So, if there was some kind of problem or complaint, the way it is handled will differ. Long-term care, being under the Ministry of Health will have a specific way to deal with it.

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