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Transitioning into Retirement Living that Everyone Deserves

Sharon Maye,                                     
Director of Operations and Programs, Renfrew County 

Aging is a natural progression in life’s journey – a journey that is different for everyone. Seniors may approach this time with a renewed sense of vitality, adventure, and independence. Others will be faced with managing chronic health conditions, being a caregiver for their spouse, or struggling with needing more help with everyday tasks.

In Renfrew County, where seniors 65+ are expected to account for 30% of the population, many need supportive housing. Such individuals need help with activities of daily living and personal care but have difficulty accessing service and are increasingly socially isolated. Yet, many worry about moving from their homes to a retirement home with good reason.

Here are Carefor’s 5 tips for transitioning into retirement living with ease: Carefor's Pembroke retirement living options provide community, healthy nutrition, safety, and happiness

1. Start the conversation with your support team

An important step when making any major decision is reaching out to people who can provide the best guidance. Having open and honest conversations with friends, family, and others with a wealth of knowledge, like financial experts and estate planners will make sure you’re creating a retirement plan that will minimize the anxieties that come with transitioning into retirement living.

 2. Research our retirement living options 

The stigma surrounding retirement homes is centered on misconceptions of losing freedom, connections with friends and family, choices, and dignity. At Carefor, with decades of expertise, our emphasis is to provide independent, assisted senior care in a healthy, inclusive retirement home by focusing on community, healthy nutrition, safety, and happiness.

Though large geographically, Renfrew County is known for its smaller villages and towns where everyone knows each other. The sense of security and community is profound and important in the lives of residents. Leaving your community and home is daunting and bears the question: How will one adapt? It is a huge transition filled with uncertainty and often fear.

The teams at the Carefor Civic Complex and Mackay Centre are committed to making the transition to retirement living as smooth as possible. Our mandate is not about taking a senior away from their community, but more about ensuring they remain connected by staying in the area, close to family and friends, while helping them become a part of the retirement home community. A community that welcomes individuals from various backgrounds, where fellow residents are considered family and friends and there is a sense of home and belonging.

Living in a retirement home can help seniors access the very services they need to stay independent, healthy, and socially active. While services can differ within the retirement care sector, offering an affordable assistive living based on individual needs it what is important to seniors. Sometimes, it is things many take for granted: three nutritious home-cooked meals and snacks, access to laundry and housekeeping, taking part in recreation activities, or living in a safe, secure, accessible building.

For others with more health challenges, retirement living needs to be a place where there are no worries about maintenance and upkeep, there is assistance with accessing health services, the environment is senior friendly with the appropriate available equipment, a nurse or PSW is available for medication administration, to help with personal care, or to monitor worsening health conditions.

Carefor can provide all of this while considering the individual’s right to choose, make decisions, and to be an active partner in their care. 

3. Make the appropriate preparations to set your loved one up for success

They say home is where the heart is, and oftentimes the things that make us feel at home are memorable possessions. In a state of transition, decluttering becomes a time-consuming task and a source of stress. That said, picking out the essentials to recreate a familiar environment will make a world of difference as your loved one enters a new chapter in their life.

Keep in mind that it takes time to settle in a new home, so it’s also important to schedule family visits or chats to ensure a seamless transition.

In any case, Carefor staff are there to support you and your loved one at each step of the way.

4. Moving in

 Change is unsettling, especially as we age, but it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to enjoy life, make new friends, and be part of a caring and vibrant community.

 Carefor Civic Complex and Carefor Mackay Centre offers a wealth of resources and activities to ensure everyone feels safe and welcome

5. Take a tour

While you can research everything a retirement center has to offer, the best way to get a sense of the atmosphere is by making an appointment to tour the building.

Get in contact with us or visit our website to learn how to book a tour:

Steve Fortin, Program Manager

613-732-9993 ext. 3222 

For general inquiries


(During the ongoing COVID pandemic, we’re videotaping a virtual tour of each building to better serve our community, so stay tuned!)

Dealing with the nuances of aging should not mean having to settle. Seniors have a right to high-quality care and housing. They need to find the right place to live so they get the amount of help they need to live exactly the way they want to. A place that focuses on the four pillars of community, healthy nutrition, safety, and happiness for that is what Everyone Deserves.

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