Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Did you know we offer multiple search services? Have questions about our retirement living search? Check out our retirement FAQ or give us a call!

Do you have a question?
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Who is Tea & Toast?

What does Tea & Toast do?

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Tea & Toast provides a compassionate, convenient, credible, customized and complimentary local service for families and individuals looking for a retirement residence that fits their unique needs and budget. Our senior living advisors act as “brokers” in finding the best place for this next stage of life.

Where did the name "Tea & Toast" come from?

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From our years of experience in the industry, we have come to understand that for seniors, tea and toast can be comforting—but family members often see this go-to “meal” as a nutrition concern. We named the company Tea & Toast because tea and toast can bring up many different emotions for people—for some, nostalgia; and for others, concern and worry. In both cases, it means focusing on the needs and wants of a senior.

What geographic area do you cover?

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We are based in the Ottawa area, and our reach extends to the east, west and south of the city. We can also help explore options out of town - Brockville, for example.

Is there a fee for using your service?

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We have contracts with, and receive direct payment from nearly all retirement residences in Ottawa. That means Tea & Toast's search services are complimentary to you. If you choose to extend your search beyond our contracted homes, we offer additional consulting packages. Please contact us to discuss which service best suits your family.

If you are paid by retirement residences, are you obligated to recommend certain homes?

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No. It is most important to us that we find you the best home for your needs. We are familiar with the local industry and have arrangements with just about every retirement residence in town, which means we can provide unbiased recommendations. For those homes that do not cover our fee, we also offer a consulting service in order to give you all of the information you need.

Who are your clients?

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Tea & Toast has two main audiences: individuals who are moving (or considering moving) to a retirement residence; and their adult children.

Working with Tea & Toast

Why should I use Tea & Toast, rather than just doing research on my own?

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In a nutshell? Tea & Toast saves you a lot of time, provides expert advice, and eases your emotional burden.

Conducting the search process - research, calls and touring - can take up to 80+ hours. It can lead to information overload, confusion and stress.

Here’s one more reason to use our services: because Tea & Toast senior living advisors have toured every home in Ottawa, we can bring you options that you probably didn’t even know existed!

What if I want to just sit down with you and discuss options—even if I’m/we’re not quite ready to select a retirement home?

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We do charge an hourly fee for basic consulting services when families are looking to make a longer term plan. Please contact us to learn more about this option; we’d love to hear from you.

What type of homes does Tea & Toast help people find?

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Depending on your (or your loved one’s) needs, we have helped seniors find retirement residences geared toward independent living, all the way through to assisted living and memory care

Learn more about all the different types of senior residences

What will you do with my personal information?

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We use your personal information to determine the retirement living options that meet your criteria. Once we choose the top three options, and once tours for those residences are scheduled, your personal information is shared with the Marketing Director of each residence. This is done to provide relevant information to help personalize the tour. Additionally, we have a privacy agreement that you sign at the beginning of our relationship so that everything is laid out in black and white. WE DO NOT send your private information all over town, and you will not receive phone calls from the retirement homes.

Do you have a criminal background check?

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Yes, the Owner and all Tea & Toast Senior Living Advisors have background checks.

How will you find the right home for me/my aging parent?

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Our senior living advisors are here to help fit a retirement home to you, instead of you trying to fit into a home. We do this by:

  • Identifying your needs, wants, budget and location preference(s)
  • Recommending to you the best choices for your unique situation
  • Accompanying you on tours of each residence - to be your advocate and make sure all your questions are answered.

Ultimately, we look out for your best interests— resulting in a more accurate home choice and smoother transition.

Finding the "right" home

What’s the main difference between a retirement residence, and a nursing home or long-term care home?

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Put simply:

  • Retirement residences are privately owned and operated businesses that charge a monthly fee for services.
  • Nursing homes—also known as long-term care (or LTC) homes, are government-subsidized, and require an assessment process to be accessed.

Can I/my parent afford a retirement residence?

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Possibly. It is very difficult to know which homes would be suitable without having a conversation. Contact us to discuss your situation and if we can’t help you, we will point you in the right direction

I need to find a place for me/my parent/my spouse to stay for a short time. Can you help me?

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Yes! Tea & Toast can help set up a “short-term stay” for you or your loved one. Many retirement residences offer a place to stay for convalescence following surgery, or for respite care.

Learn more in this blog about all the benefits of short-term stays (also known as winter stays).

My mom/dad isn’t quite ready for a retirement home, but we see it happening likely in a year or two. Should we start our search now?

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It’s possible you have noticed your parent’s health and well-being decreasing over the last several months or years. We advise everyone to be proactive and explore their options before something happens to force a move. Contact us any time; we're here to help.

My siblings and I don’t agree on what our mom/dad should do. Can you help us?

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Absolutely. Often when there are several adult children in a family, not all siblings agree on which path to take for their parent. Our senior living advisors can take on a mediator role to help ensure everyone’s perspective is taken into account (including your aging parent), provide you with expert insight about your options, and help you come to a decision that best meets your criteria.

My mom/dad doesn’t want to move to a retirement home—they’re really fighting it, but I know they need it for their safety. What should I do?

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Contact us. We know that this is an emotional time for everyone involved. We have a lot of experience in this area and can act as a mediator to explore why your parent is feeling this way. Together we can come up to options to suit everyone’s needs and concerns.


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Read about other families' experiences

“Amy was very sensitive when interviewing my father and in providing us with the information as to the right assisted living space for Dad. Amy explained to us how she would orchestrate the smooth transition from hospital to assisted living. The places she showed us were appropriate, affordable for Dad’s budget, clean welcoming and met our expectations. Amy was a God sent and a true professional. I would not hesitate to recommend Tea and Toast Ottawa to anyone.”

- Karen Sutherland

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