1 - Why was Solva created?
Solva was created to help you find a retirement community without having to do endless research on your own. We can narrow down your search quickly because – after we learn about what you’re looking for – we’ll know which retirement communities will best suit your needs for care, pricing and location. Since we have overseen many communities in Ottawa (as Regional/Corporate Director) and/or visited every community in Ottawa since then, we can also narrow down preferences and personality. To help you understand their operation but also the atmosphere of each community.
Our goal is to help people navigate and give them referrals. We have recently launched a Senior Living Concierge program that helps people Age in Place at home. We can offer advice, guidance, and referrals to resources including funded, subsidized, and private pay options. Not everyone wants to move to a retirement home, so staying home or downsizing to a condo or apartment may be an option if you know all the options available to you in the community.
“Since 1996, I have worked in both long term care and the retirement home sector. I also even currently teach Retirement Communities Management at Algonquin College. I watched many families try to find solutions in crisis or through Google. The kicker with Google is that most organizations pay to be at the top of the search listings. I wanted to create something where people could tap into my years of knowledge, and have an honest and open conversation with an expert. As an authority on the subject, I love talking about seniors housing and care. It is always something I have been passionate about and something I am very happy to do anytime.” Christine Forget, Founder
2 - What makes Solva different from other similar services?
We are the only Search Assistance Program in Ottawa to have a top tier of staff who have all physically worked in the industry. Our founder has more than 25 years of experience in both retirement homes and Long Term Care facilities. We have a retired RN leading our Education and Outreach program who has more than 30 years of experience in LTC, geriatrics and public health. Our Program Director is a Registered Kinesiologist who worked in several communities and our Principal Consultant owned her own elder care company for many years, assisting clients at home, in retirement homes, and in the hospital. We are all able to truly give you accurate information past the sales process, as well as help you understand community services, LTC, the LHIN and eldercare planning.
Ultimately what you need to know is:
- We approach our service with the highest level of ethics and integrity.
- We are truly independent, impartial, and unbiased.
- We discuss your goals, needs, and preferences and from there we provide you with options and guidance for both aging at home or relocating to a retirement home. ** This is very important because we are not driven by which retirement home pays us.
- Finally, and again very importantly – no one on our team is paid commission. Unlike other similar services, we focus on education based discussions which lead to referrals that truely match your needs. We can do that as our team has no agenda based on remuneration.
3 - What geographical area do you cover?
We offer our full service to all of the Ottawa area from Cumberland to Carp and south to the more rural communities of Manotick, Osgoode and Greely.
We are also able to provide light search assistance in SD&G, Cornwall, The Ottawa Valley, Brockville, and Kingston. As a former Regional Director for Revera and/or Private Consultant in these areas we have visited many communities throughout Eastern Ontario and understand the region well.
4 - When you say your services are free what does that mean?
It means we will never ask you to pay us for what we do. Our liaison, research, follow up, communication, resource and information sharing, as well as accompaniments on tours*, is free.
● never ask you to sign a contract to work with us or ask you for your credit card before we begin;
● never ask you to compensate us if you choose to move into a residence that doesn’t partner with us;
● never ask you to pay for our time if you choose not to move into any home we have referred to;
● never ask you to pay for information that is publicly accessible!
*we can accompany you on up to two tours at no charge. With that said, we will continue to provide guidance and support all along the way at no cost. Including liaising with the retirement home or senior living provider on your behalf.
5 - If your services are free, how do you get paid?
We are funded by our retirement community partners who pay us a flat fee for our services. Unlike similar services who charge up to one month’s rent (this can be as much as $8000!), we have a program that is fair to all our partners and our clients.
Our Advisors are also the only ones in Ottawa we believe, to be paid a salary and not paid on commission. We do not have any targets, incentives, bonuses or a ‘pay-per-stay’ compensation plan. This means that we will never suggest a property for higher remuneration and we will always be impartial, independent and non-aggressive.
6 - If you're paid by provider partners, will you only recommend those partners?
We believe in an inclusive approach to our service. This means that we make it our mission to know and meet with all Retirement Communities in the community, partners or not. That being said, we do partner with most retirement communities and if any within our network do not meet your needs or you would like to visit any outside the network (of which there are few) we will absolutely make this happen!
There are no additional fees or charges for this. Our promise to you is to understand all the options that match your needs even when they’re not a partner. Also, there is never a charge back if you choose someone who is not a partner… this is simply not in our belief system. We can do this because, to the best of our knowledge, our team is the only one that offers a free service where our Advisory team is paid salary. Some similar programs have their Advisors operate on commission based income, which can drive guidance and referrals based on their levels of personal remuneration.
Our team is 100% client-centered and has no agenda which means helping you navigate Aging at Home options when that is your goal.
7 - Are there any hidden fees or catches to your services?
None! As we mentioned, the retirement home search program is entirely free. The ONLY fee based service we offer is a very in depth, personalized report that we can provide on Advanced Planning and Future Care. This is a thoroughly researched guide for you that takes on average 20-30 hours to complete. It is based on meetings and a lot of interaction with you to determine as much as we can about your current circumstances and future needs. Once finished, it will be a tremendous resource as you plan your next steps. The cost for this ranges from $350 to $500.
Our referrals, guidance, in-person meetings, escorting you on visits are all 100% free.
8 - Will you really go on tours of Retirement Homes with me?
Absolutely! We have worked in this industry for many years and have (unfortunately) created some of that marketing language that makes comparing homes extremely confusing. In that previous life we also trained many of the leasing managers. We can help you not only understand everything being said to you but also help you ask the right questions or those you may forget to ask.
We take the time to get to know you and your wants, needs and preferences and then while on tours of communities we can advocate for you in this process and make sure you’re not being sold something outside your goals when you started this process. Selecting a retirement community is a big deal, if you do go on a tour on your own we are always more than happy to help you debrief and compare to help make an informed decision.
9 - What if I just want to talk about my Senior Living options but I’m not ready to make a move?
Then we’d love to hear from you to start making a plan and to chat with you about things to consider. We are always working with your best interests at heart, so if now is not the right time, that’s fine. We will keep in touch, and will always be here to answer any questions you might think of. We can be as hands on or as in the background as you’d like. We also offer a free concierge program to Age in Place, so if that would be more beneficial for you, let us know!
10 - If I decide not to move, can you help me stay?
We want what you want. If that means remaining at home or relocating that if entirely your decision. At no time will our team ever try to convince you either way. In fact, we would warmly welcome helping anyone wanting to age at home create proactive plans by coordinating services that enable just that – Aging in Place!
We have created six principles to successful aging at home and can help you coordinate services to remain at home with freedom, independence, and confidence for both you and your family. This will most likely provide you with referrals to both publicly funded, subsidized or private options. Typically a mix of all three that can keep our seniors safe in place. Similar to a retirement community, we have partners with local Aging at Home providers such as homecare agencies, housekeeping, meal preparation, grocery delivery, home maintenance, fall detection, assisted devices, transportation etc.. The difference here is that we will NOT recommend everyone. These private companies must meet our minimum standards to be referred by us. We do this to ensure these organizations are reputable and trustworthy for our clients.
11 - Do you help people Navigate Long Term Care Facilities?
Our founder Christine’s background is LTC and she has an education in LTC Management with the Canadian Healthcare Association. She is always happy to chat about LTC anytime but there is a process of admission to LTC that is regulated and beyond what we can offer. Nevertheless we can certainly educate, coach and guide you to the right people to speak to. We can share with you publicly accessible information regarding the LTC process including admission process and who to contact as well as the website for wait-times, public reports and other documents. We can also share some strategies about what others have done while waiting for LTC. We always welcome a chat about LTC anytime. We will share with you what we know entirely for free and we would never charge you for information that is readily available publically. We simply help you spend less time researching and more quality time with your loved ones!
12 - If I share information with you, how will it be used?
13 - Can you guarantee retirement home pricing?
You are entitled to receive a Care Home Information Package (referred to as a CHIP) from your chosen residence, which details all services provided, what is included in your monthly rent and the additional costs associated with further care, if applicable. You should review all information carefully and ask any questions of the sales consultant, if you do not understand their offering or terminology. If you are not provided with a copy before or at the time of lease signing, please ask for one.
Solva is always happy to discuss with you any pricing structures that retirement homes offer, and what they mean. Solva is not responsible for any changes in prices that retirement homes may make, nor for guaranteeing any pricing from retirement homes in our communications with you.
Our complimentary program was created to help you find a local Retirement Residence or Aging in Place Service; at no cost to you and without any obligation - ever!