So your thought process is at a stage where you think relocating would be the better option at this point. Then all these questions come to mind….Where? What price? What does it look like? What will the care be like? What about aging in place at that new address? Are there waiting lists? Where do I start? ….“All I know for sure”, you say, “is that I want to find the best residence ever.”

You and I are different people, with different likes, different dislikes, different passions, with different view points on life. Often people ask me if one residence is better than another. That is a very hard question to answer, as, better for you is worse for me or vise versa. Having visited hundreds of residences in different parts of the world all retirement residences are similar as they specialize in helping seniors but they are all different in their own way. It is like comparing apples to oranges.

When looking for a new living space (in this case a retirement residence—for me this means all buildings big and small, that cater to a senior clientele from fully autonomous to complete personal care) it is about looking at the whole picture. Who is the person who is moving in terms of: culture, financial means, personality, religious believes, autonomy, sexual orientation, the living space they are looking for…all of this and more needs to be considered when looking for the ideal new address.

To my surprise I have had a client move into a residence because there was a McDonald’s just down the street. Another client, before even setting foot into a specific facility looked at the outside of the building and said ‘My Mom is moving into this place as there is a generator on the roof’—his Mom moved in 2 weeks later. In these two situations this made it the ‘best residence ever’ for them even though there were some compromises that had to be made, as there always are.

When you start visiting residences there are so many emotions, sensory information and thoughts that occur all at the same time. Be in tune to the whole environment, visit a sufficient number of residences and keep in mind that the goal is to not like some, say ‘maybe’ to others and tentative ‘yeses’ to others. There will be compromises, all compromises need to be ‘weighed’ and evaluated side by side.

Finding the ‘best place’ means finding a residence where once a move occurs there will be a feeling of safety, a feeling of fitting in, having specific needs met in terms of care and an overall feeling of ‘this is the best place’ (budget, location, care/support provided, etc.).

What is good for one person is not always good for another. Remember that a residence is about moving the community closer to the people living there and that they will be living there 24/7, there must be a good fit. Always listen to your gut feeling. Sometimes it cannot be expressed in words what we are feeling about a certain residence, but we just know it is right. Be in tune to that. Decide to move forward when you feel you have found the ‘best place’, at that point, you will have confidence to take the next step.


*Do you know my view point on the word ‘place’? If not, or if you may have forgotten, please visit my blog “Argh I hate the word “place”, January 2013