Myth Buster: What are the meals like in a retirement home?

Wondering about the dining experience in a retirement residence? Need to know if you can you live in retirement and still host your loved ones for a meal? The answers to your questions are inside!

There is a lot of myths surrounding the dining experience at retirement residences. Below, we’ve tried to address the biggest questions you may have.

What is the dining experience at a retirement residence really like?

The answer varies from residence to residence. At Aspira Retirement Living, all meals are freshly prepared by professional chefs and a culinary team. Menus are created at the residence level by the executive chef and feature local, in-season products whenever possible.

When touring residences, it’s important to ensure they offer at least two options for each meal, as well as an à la carte menu for those days when you want something comforting. Meals should be served in a clean, well lit dining room. Often, residences will have the option for room service at an additional cost.

Some residences may have seating plans for meals, while others will not. If you have a strong opinion about your preference, make sure to ask!

In most cases, you will be eating almost all your meals at the residence you choose to live in, so ensure they’re able to accommodate your dietary needs. If you have an allergy or special diet, it’s important to bring that up early in your touring process.

Some residences cater to a specific culture. Kensington Place in Toronto, as an example, caters to the Jewish community and serves fresh kosher meals. Villa Da Vinci in Vaughan, on the other hand, caters to the Italian community and serves Italian cuisine.

Can family or friends join me for a meal at a retirement home? Can I host an event like I used to?

Yes, family or friends are always welcome to join you for a meal. If you have more than one or two people joining you, it’s good to let the employees know ahead of time so they can prepare. Around the holidays, residences often make a point of asking residents if they will have guests so that they can ensure everyone gets to enjoy their meals with family.

When it comes to hosting events, all Aspira residences have a private dining room that you can reserve. In some cases, you will be invited to work with the chef on creating the menu for your event — whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, holiday, or just to have a nice reunion. Aspira communities also have activity rooms that can be reserved for large gatherings and events.

Can I still cook at a retirement home?

It depends on the residence and which services you require. If cooking your own meals is important to you, look for residences that offer seniors’ apartments, such as Royale Place in Kingston or Red Oak in Kanata. Seniors’ apartments usually feature kitchens and optional menu plans, giving you the option cook the meals you want and go to the dining room when you want to be spoiled.

You can also look for independent living suites that have full or partial kitchens. Independent living suites usually have the meal plan included. But if you’re ever craving something different, the kitchen is there for you to use whenever you need!


Aspira-Easy-Guide-to-Retirement-Living-04.14.22_Page1Learn more about your options with
a free download of our
Easy Guide to Retirement Living.


Have more questions? Our friendly, Canada-based call centre would be happy to help you with anything you need. Call them toll-free at 1-866-959-4848.


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