Tips for Touring a Senior Living Community
Choosing the Perfect Senior Home
When you or a loved one have made a decision that it’s time to downsize from your current home and move to a senior living community, and are interested in independent living or assisted living, one of the first steps to take is to choose where you want to make your new home. Since this is a major life decision, it’s wise to become informed and explore all your options before signing any paperwork or putting down any deposits or entrance fees.
This is why it’s widely recommended that you visit several different senior living communities, rather than settling on one that is nearest to you or your loved one’s current home. As you tour the communities and walk the grounds, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re making the best decision for you or your loved one’s future.
6 Tips for Touring Senior Communities
Once you’ve decided what communities to visit, here are a few tips to keep in mind during your tour:
1) Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions while you’re touring senior communities- a lot of questions! Find out how secure the building is, if there’s an emergency system in place and if staff undergo background checks. Ask what kind of meal plans are available and if the kitchen takes special requests. Inquire whether visitors are allowed at any time and if overnight accommodations can be provided. Learn what kind of social activities are offered and whether transportation is provided to off-campus appointments and events.
2) Meet the staff and residents. On your tour, talk to the staff members as well as the residents. Take note of their attitudes; are they friendly, courteous, and seem happy to be there? Do the residents look like they are engaged and energized?
3) Enjoy a meal. The quality of food is very important to overall health and happiness, so if possible, join the residents for a meal. Find out if you can order items other than what is being offered, and if the kitchen takes note of special dietary restrictions or food allergies.
4) Take note of the state of the building and grounds. Note how well-maintained the parking lots, walkways and landscaping are as you enter the building. There should also be some outdoor areas for residents to gather and enjoy the fresh air. Once inside, pay attention to how clean the hallways and communal areas are; the community should smell fresh, clean and be as dust-free as possible.
5) Look for reviews or feedback from residents. During your tour, talk to residents and ask how they feel about living in the community. Also, look for reviews of the community on the internet to see what others are saying, but remember reviews can be subjective.
6) Go with your gut. If you’re finding it difficult to make a final decision, remember to trust your instincts. Did it seem like you or your loved one would be happier at one place over the other? Did you like the décor better, or were the staff slightly more welcoming at a certain community? In the end, it’s important to go with where you feel you’ll be most comfortable in the years to come.