Top 12 Questions to Ask When Touring a Senior Living Community
Finding a senior living community that is right for you or a loved one can be intimidating and overwhelming. How do you know you’re picking the right one for you or a family member? How can you make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision? To help, we have come up with the 12 great questions to ask when touring a senior living community.
1. What are the community reviews?
Community reviews are the gateway to understanding how others who have been a part of a community think and feel about it. They are important in showing the thoughts on quality and standards in different aspects of the community. Customer ratings are usually easy to find online by searching the name of the community you are interested in. Another great way to help give you a grasp on the overall view of a senior living community is to talk to some of the residents before, during or after the tour. Resident feedback can give you a lot of great insight on what it’s like on a day to day basis and what they feel makes their senior living community better or worse than others.
2. What kinds of amenities are offered?Amenities in a senior living community can make or break your decision. Sometimes there are not enough, sometimes there are more than you can imagine. These are the things that make it easier and more comfortable for you. Ask about guest accommodations, things that are nearby or events hosted by the community. Find out the special things that a community offers that makes it different than the others.
3. What is most important to you or your senior loved one?This is the time to determine what you need in a senior living community to ensure it’s perfect for you. What does a community need to have for you to feel confident in your decision? For this, make sure to look beyond things like appearance and amenities. Do they have enrichment-oriented programming for residents? Is there access to transportation? Any question you may have, now is the time to ask it.
4. What services are offered?
Every senior living community is different; they don’t all offer the same things. Some communities have more service lines than others. Be sure to ask about the different types of services offered like memory care, in-home care, assisted living or independent living, to name a few. What kind of services do you need, or may need in the future, and does this community provide them?
5. What are the costs?
Finances are often the number one question people have about senior living communities. Can we afford this? Are there any payment plans? What does the money go to within the community and how does it help? What can you do if money starts to get tight? Are there any hidden costs? These are excellent questions to ask at any point in your tour.
6. How do you feel when you walk in?
You want to feel at home in a place that might soon become your new home. Pay attention to the atmosphere when you walk into a senior living community. Is it cozy? Warm and inviting? Does it give you a sense of comfort and community when you enter the space? If you or a loved one feel uneasy about a senior living community, that is usually a sign that the community you are at may not be the best fit for you.
7. Are pets allowed?Pets can sometimes be our greatest treasures. How could we part with them? If you or a loved one own a pet, ask if they are allowed on the premises, Not all places allow pets, so if this is a must have, be sure to ask about their policy.
8. What do your friends and family think about the community?Getting feedback from your friends and family can be helpful. They might offer insight to things and pose questions you may not have thought about. Bringing along a friend or family member to the tour can also offer comfort and guidance when looking around and finding different parts of the community that fit or do not fit the needs of you or a loved one.
9. What is the staff like?One of the most important things to think about is the community’s staff. Talking to different members of the staff during your tour could be crucial. Are the staff members kind? Do they enjoy working there? Do you find they are helpful and attentive to the current residents of the community? Do you feel comforted or relaxed when speaking with them?
10. What is the community like?What is the layout of the senior living community like? Is it mainly apartments, individual rooms or houses/cottages? Do they offer multiple types of housing? What will be the most accessible and beneficial type of housing for you or a loved one?
11. Are there traveling options?Are there easy and accessible ways to travel or is there access to public transportation nearby? Some senior living communities require residents to provide their own form of transportation, whereas others may provide transportation for residents to many common errands like grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments.
12. Have all parties involved reviewed the contracts and conditions thoroughly?
Contracts are the glue that hold the resident and the senior living community accountable for all the rules, regulations and financial obligations. Make sure to ask any questions about something that is unclear. Having a firm understanding of what is expected from you or a loved one and the community itself will be helpful in maintaining a good relationship.
These twelve questions will help guide you to asking the right questions and finding out the basics when making the decision to move to a senior living community. For more guidance and questions to ask on your next tour, download our senior community evaluation checklist today!
About Erynn Lynch
Recently, Presbyterian Senior Living teamed up with the Communication/Journalism Department at Shippensburg University to provide students with professional writing experience. This opportunity allows students to not only learn the ins and outs of blog writing but also offers them a platform for published works. This author is a Communication/Journalism student at Shippensburg University.