How to choose your residence

Comment choisir votre résidence

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Aging in your neighbourhood and in a safe and pleasant environment is paramount. We have some advice to help you choose your senior residence.

Like everyone else, you watch the years go by. You are still independent, but for any number of reasons, the place where you are living now is no longer suitable for you. Here is how to choose your senior residence. 


1. Start looking early

The residence you choose may not have apartments available. However, by starting your search early, for example one or two years before your desired move-in date, you will be able to add your name to a list of interested people. Don't wait to the last minute!

2. Ask for help if you need it

Many people in your situation have their children or someone they trust help them. Don't be shy about asking for help if you think it might be useful.

3. Make a budget

Your goal is to find a residence that suits you, at a price you can afford. The rent amount in a senior residence includes many services, such as some meals, electricity and heat. See the How to make a budget section for more details.

4. Make a list of your needs

There is no perfect residence. Or if there is, it is overpriced! You will likely have to make some compromises.

Start by writing down your needs. Highlight those that are really important to you. This will help you compare the different residences.

We designed a comparison chart to help you. Check off the needs that are really important to you: an on-site doctor? storage? green space? Whether you use this chart or your own list, make sure you have your needs and questions written down. Otherwise, you might forget what they are.

5. Choose your neighbourhood – this is a very important criteria

Many future residents want to be closer to their children. If that describes you, the important thing is not to live in the same neighbourhood, but in a residence with easy and fast transit. For example, Résidence Alfredo-Gagliardi is located at the Jean-Talon metro station. Getting there from Saint-Louis Square, in the Plateau, takes only 10 minutes by car or 15 minutes by metro.

6. Compare the residences

You can use the directory of seniors' residences available from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec to find residences that interest you, in neighbourhoods you would like to live in. Visit their websites. Check the services offered at the residence itself, but also the shops in the immediate vicinity. Look at the photos.

Make an appointment to tour the residences that look good to you.

7. Take a tour

If need be, have someone come with you. Two pairs of eyes are better than one!

Arrive a few minutes early. Have a look around the neighbourhood. Would you enjoy living there? Go with your first impression. Is the lobby inviting? Are the premises clean?

Feel free to ask questions. Bring your list of needs and questions. Ask what services are included in the rent and which are extra. Ask for an information sheet on the residence. It will outline the different conditions, procedures and operating rules.

Chat with the residents. They know what they're talking about! If you can, sit down for lunch with them. This will give you a very good idea of the quality of the meals at the residence.

Do not sign anything while you are there, and make no promises. It is important that you make your decision without pressure after weighing the pros and cons. 

8. Make your choice and sign your lease

Before making your choice, talk to your loved ones. Don't be shy about asking their advice.

If you have to leave your current apartment because of your health, two months' notice is enough. Check the details on the Régie du logement website.

When choosing, bear in mind:

  • your actual needs
  • your tastes
  • your degree of independence
  • your financial situation

Take all the time you need to read your lease. If necessary, ask for a few days to do so.

9. A fresh start

You are about to make a fresh start.

If you are moving to a smaller apartment, sort through your belongings. Your new apartment will be less cluttered.

Give your new address to your loved ones, but also to the places you do business with (bank, magazines, etc.).

Once you have moved in to your new apartment, continue your relationships with family and friends. Stay active and participate in activities you enjoy, both at the residence and elsewhere. You will get a deep sense of satisfaction from it because you will have chosen a life that is in harmony with who you are.


A tip for your visit

If you make an appointment, an ENHARMONIE employee will show you the apartment, but can also help you make your budget. Bring a list of your income and expenses where you are living now. See the How to make your budget page for all the details.