Lanark Lifestyles Blog

The Differences Between Nursing and Retirement Homes

As we age, we inevitably end up requiring additional support and care to maintain our quality of life and living. 

This can mean that we need to move into homes that are more equipped for our care and can help us manage our day-to-day. 

While the term “Nursing Home” and “Retirement Home” might seem interchangeable, there are in fact several key differences between them when deciding what type of care you or a loved one requires to maintain their great quality of life.

In this blog we will go through the key differences between nursing homes and retirement homes, the distinctive features, and the services and care of both.

A senior woman smiling


Understanding Nursing Homes 

Nursing homes, also known as long-term care homes & residences in Canada, are designed to offer comprehensive medical care and assistance to elderly individuals who have complex health conditions and functional limitations. In Ontario, these types of homes are subsidized.

Nursing homes typically house seniors with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or those recovering from surgery, who may need partial or complete assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding. 

They provide around-the-clock nursing care and have a professional staff, including registered nurses, registered practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants.

The primary objective of nursing homes is to provide extensive medical care, including administering medications, wound care, physical therapy, and managing chronic conditions. 

These homes often have specialized units for individuals with specific health needs, such as dementia care units or rehabilitation centres. At a long-term care residence, you often have to share a room with other residents.


Understanding Retirement Homes

Retirement homes also referred to as independent living communities, senior living communities, or retirement communities are intended for older adults who are generally independent but desire a supportive and socially engaging environment. 

These communities are designed to promote an active and maintenance-free lifestyle for retirees. Some offer private or semi-private apartments, allowing residents to live autonomously while benefiting from the available amenities and services.

Unlike long-term care homes, retirement homes focus on providing a sense of community, recreational activities, and a range of amenities tailored to seniors’ interests and preferences. 

Common features of retirement homes include dining options, housekeeping services, transportation assistance, fitness centers, libraries, and social events. 

Conventional retirement homes don’t provide extensive medical care but often have emergency response systems in place. Residents in retirement homes are generally self-sufficient but enjoy the convenience and camaraderie of a community setting.


Understanding The Difference Between A Retirement & Nursing Home

The main difference between a retirement home and a nursing home lies in the governing body, staffing models and the cost level. 

In the past, retirement homes were for active and independent seniors who required minimal assistance with daily activities and medical needs but in recent times, they have started to offer more and more care services.

They offer a social and engaging environment with optional services like meals and housekeeping. 

Nursing homes are catered to individuals with more complex medical conditions or functional limitations that require 24-hour nursing care, assistance with activities of daily living, and medical supervision. Nursing homes have a stronger focus on medical care and are equipped to handle residents’ healthcare needs. 

At Lanark Lifestyles we fit into our own class of senior living offering everything from independent luxury senior apartments in Phase II to Mindful Living (Memory Care), Assisted Living, Palliative Care, and other levels of care in our Phase I residence. We epitomize the evolution of retirement housing into something where all residents can be comfortable.

While not all retirement residences offer long-term care and nursing-level support, our facilities allow you to age in place, in a familiar & uplifting environment. Other homes might not have the adequate infrastructure or care services to support seniors as they age and their care needs increase. This means that these seniors may have to make multiple moves in their later years.


Cost Differences

Cost differences vary from home to home. 

When comparing costs, consider the level of care provided, the medical services and staffing, the amenities and location, as well as the infrastructure of the home itself.

Differentiating between long-term care homes and retirement communities is crucial for making informed decisions about the care of a loved one. 

Understanding the difference helps loved ones ask the right questions to find the best community that aligns with their unique requirements and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and fulfilling living experience. 

Lanark Lifestyles may have a solution for you or a loved one. Our community offers a wide range of options for anyone during their golden years. With senior care at the heart of every decision we make, we come together as a community. We like to think of our residence as the next evolution of retirement homes where luxury and comfort meet!

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Want to inquire about Lanark Lifestyles Retirement Residence or our Luxury Senior Apartments? Contact us today, and we will reply as soon as possible.