What’s Included in All-Inclusive Senior Living

Illustrated senior lady gesturing

“Retirement living communities are often described as cruise ships that never leave the shore,” says Matthew Jackson, General Manager at The Waterford seniors community in Tsawwassen. “But just like you’ll find extra charges on a cruise ship, a few things are not included in our residency rates.”

All-inclusive living may look different from one senior living community to the next. As you research, make sure you find out what additional costs are involved.


Your Private Apartment
Your suite inside a senior living community is your private and secure home. It should be a blank canvas, where you bring your furniture, artwork, and decor.

All Your Meals
Meals are a key part of any all-inclusive package. Matt encourages you to expect more than institutional-style food. “Your meals should be fresh and prepared in-house, and a Red Seal chef should be involved,” he says.

Weekly Hospitality Services
A visit from a housekeeper who vacuums and cleans toilets, showers, sinks and floors is a must. “Don’t forget weekly linen service,” says Matt. “Most seniors find it a relief not to have to strip, wash, and re-make the bed.”

Safety & Security Features
“You won’t find these services on a cruise ship,” says Matt, “but they are essential.” Wearable safety alert systems and 24/7 staff are essential. Physical safety features like walk-in showers, grab bars, smooth transition flooring also matter.

Lifestyle & Wellness Services
Just like when you’re cruising, it’s the amenities and social events that make each day awesome. Programs focusing on health and wellness should be on the calendar next to live music, games, crafts, clubs and volunteer opportunities.

Transportation Support
For seniors who want to live car-free, access to a private bus to take residents shopping or on excursions that aren’t within walking distance is helpful. A courtesy shuttle for personal trips is also ideal.


A Roommate
“Our residency rates are based on single occupancy,” Matt notes. “The charge for a second resident accounts for their meals and access to programs, safety services and transportation.”

Personal & Health Care Services
Various personal services, such as hair styling, spa access, and personal care, may be offered; generally, you pay the provider directly for whatever you receive.

Phone Service
You decide whether a landline is important for your lifestyle. The residence may offer access to its in-house services, but you’ll most likely cover the monthly charges.

You may have the option to pay for in-house wireless (WiFi) internet services. Depending on your personal internet use, you may choose to carry over your provider and plan.

If you own a car and want to keep it on-site, access to a parking space may not be included in your residency rate.

The article originally appeared in the Senior Living Expert newsletter. Sign up for free and receive senior living tips, advice and resources delivered to your inbox monthly.