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  • The Grand Canal Retirement Residence

How to Choose a Retirement Living Home and Senior Community

If you think all senior living communities are the same—think again! Today, there are so many diverse types of retirement homes that offer an array of services for older adults, while ensuing seniors maintain their independence. From restaurant-style dining and luxurious suites to nearby amenities and fun activities daily—there’s something for everyone.

But before choosing a senior living community, it’s important to do your research first. As with any move, there are key factors to consider. Look into various independent living communities and take into consideration your individual needs (and wants). Making a list may help to sort through the must-have elements and narrow down your favourite places. Packages can include accommodations, a meal plan, and social classes with an option to add other programs.

If you’re ready to take the nest step in your retirement plan and move into an independent senior living community, continue reading to learn how to find the best retirement home in Ontario.


We always hear “location, location, location” is the key to living in the best spot. This is true when choosing a suitable retirement community. Do you want to stay close to the neighbourhood where you have spent years forming friendships and bonds over fences? Or perhaps it is time to move closer to your adult children and grandchildren?

Another consideration is what neighbourhood the community is located. You may want to choose a place close to shopping malls, churches, medical centres, restaurants, or theatres. Location is crucial particularly in terms of available public transportation if the retirement homey does not offer shuttle service.


Look for retirement communities that offer services that you have become accustomed to while living at home, as well as other convenient services. Many places offer lifestyle services such as beauty and nail salons, personal laundry service, and housekeeping for your unit. Additional social activities may also include outings, tours, and overnight excursions. Onsite physicians, nutritionists, physical therapists, and fitness trainers can be an option in some independent living communities.


In addition to basic services, some senior living communities offer specialized amenities with programs that can be suited to your individual needs. These programs come in form of recreation and fitness classes, libraries, gardens, and music lessons. Some places even offer a lounge to unwind with a full bar. If the residence allows small pets, a pet grooming service onsite may also be a huge perk for you and your fur baby.

Health and Medical

A retirement community may not be geared towards assisted living but may offer basic health services such as a doctor’s office onsite and trained medical staff. Ask if the residence offers specialists visits. If no onsite medical office is available, most communities are located near doctor’s office or hospitals. Keep in mind that most staff at independent senior living communities have first-aid training and may also have specialized training. This is something you should ask about before choosing a residence to call home.


Wellness refers to being at peace and a good state of mind, body, and soul. This implies having daily healthy habits to improve mental and physical health. It is important at any age and includes more than just exercise and healthy eating options. While many places offer classes such as yoga and aquasize, they may also provide mental health support. This can include counsellors and group therapy classes. Other retirement communities offer Independent Supportive Living, meaning there is always the option of receiving additional care services down the road should you need it.


Keeping your body and mind active is important and moving into a retirement community shouldn’t stop you from helping others. If you enjoyed volunteering at your local hospital, animal shelter, or library, ask if there are programs you can sign up for near the community. You may even be able to volunteer at the residence in the games room, library, or kitchen.


When we talk about a “retirement community,” we are referring to more than just the physical location. A community is one where you can feel included, safe, and productive. Meeting new friends and trying new experiences is one advantage of being part of a community. Studies have shown being socially active help seniors live longer, boost their immune system, and lower the risk for diseases such as dementia. Furthermore, retirement homes are strategically located near entertainment, shopping, and neighbourhood centres.


One major aspect of a retirement community is the food! While some living arrangements offer in-suite kitchens, there is often an experienced chef on hand. A fully-equipped dining room or restaurant will offer regular meals, beverages, snacks, and even a menu of dietary restriction options. A specialized meal plan to combat high cholesterol, address weight management, or allergy concerns can be created with kitchen staff. Aside from providing essential nutrition, independent living promotes community through enjoying meals together. This not only serves as a welcoming chance to socialize but encourages seniors to eat balanced meals, which often is not the case.

The Grand Canal Retirement Residence offers many of the comforts of home and beyond! Our certified staff are qualified and ready to welcome you to your new community. As a newly built independent senior living community in Welland, the Grand Canal Retirement Residence offers living spaces ranging from studio to two-bedroom suites. We offer salons, a restaurant, bistro and bar, and countless health and wellness programs. We are located next to the canal for water activities such as boating, and the local community centre is situated on the same grounds. For more information and to schedule a visit at our retirement community in Welland, contact us at 905-218-3650 or visit


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