Downsizing to Retirement Homes vs Long-Term Care Facilities

Downsizing to Retirement Homes vs Long-Term Care Facilities – If you’re beginning to consider the next step for your aging parents, I’m here to help! My own parents moved into a retirement home four years ago after my sister walked into their kitchen and found their medication lying all over the counter. We realized they were taking each other’s medications, and while it was difficult to make the decision, we realized it was time to find help.
This can be a very stressful time in your life, and when you add children and your career to the mix, it can feel like you’re barely keeping it together. Know that you aren’t in this alone, and there are lots of resources at your disposal. I consulted Peg Bocci, Founder & CEO of Silver Lining Senior Advisors to discover the differences between retirement homes and long-term care facilities to ensure you’re making the best decision for your aging parents.

Support for Aging Parents

The biggest difference between retirement homes and long-term care facilities is the level of support they provide. Retirement homes offer more independent living, which is great for parents who can still get around on their own but need some supervision and stimulation from peers. They often provide services such as housekeeping, laundry, social programs, and full-service meals which allows residences a sense of freedom while still providing the support they need.
On the other hand, long-term care facilities (sometimes called nursing homes) offer more support when your parents’ needs have grown. These homes offer 24/7 supervised care and provide help with daily activities like eating, dressing, bathing, taking medication, etc.
One of my clients realized it was time for her mom to move after she experienced consecutive falls. She moved her into a home that offered both independent living and assisted living on separate floors; that way, when she needs more care further down the line, it will be an easier transition.

Move-In Process

The move-in process for retirement homes and long-term care facilities is quite different. According to Peg, “We’re all hearing… about the waitlists, and Bill 7… [Ultimately,] when it comes to retirement living, you have a choice of when and where you want to move. [With] long-term care… it’s basically up to the government to decide where and when you decide to [move].” Oftentimes seniors without safe accommodations spend long periods of time at the hospital until a long-term care bed becomes available. After Bill 7 passed in August of 2022, seniors are being asked to pay $400 a day to continue to stay in the hospital, or alternatively they’re being sent to long-term care facilities that are hundreds of kilometres away from their hometown.


This is a big one and is oftentimes the deciding factor between the two options. Retirement homes are part of the private sector, so you pay for the care you need out of pocket. They vary in price and accommodations but can be anywhere from $2000-$5000+ a month. It’s important to note that there are no subsidies available in Ontario if you choose to go this route.
On the other hand, long-term care is partially or fully subsidized based on your parents’ income and physical needs. Peg says that every case is different. “Once you get in touch with someone from Home and Community Care Support Services they can explain to you what subsidy you can expect based on what you bring in a month.”

It’s so important to have a strong support system during this time—after all, if you’re not taking care of yourself, it makes it even more difficult to provide care to the ones you love! I hope this has helped give you a basic understanding of what resources are available to you and what might be best for you and your loved ones.
I’ve helped families make the emotional move to retirement homes, and based on my own experience with my parents, I know how important it is to maximize the time you have with them. Let me help you take guesswork out of moving your loved ones to their new home! Give me a call at 647-223-0237 or send me an email at to learn more.

Scott Brubacher Broker – Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty Brokerage

6948 Financial Drive Mississauga Ont L5N8J6

Author , adventurer, and lifestyle transition enabler –

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Downsizing to Retirement Homes vs Long Term Care