Questions to Ask When Touring an Assisted Living CommunityMarch 7, 2022
Moving to assisted living is a significant life change, one often tinged with a great deal of emotion. Whether you’re considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one, choosing the right place is a big responsibility.
Doing your research and touring assisted living communities near you will give you greater confidence in your choice, and help ensure you’re matching your needs with a community that can deliver a greater quality of life.
When to Start Looking
Chances are good, if you’re reading this article, now is the time to start touring assisted living communities. Waiting until you or a loved one is in urgent need of extra support puts you at a disadvantage. You may find yourself pressured to make a decision quickly without considering all your options, or you may end up settling for a community that falls short of your expectations. In addition, some assisted living facilities and senior living communities have wait lists, so choosing a community and getting on its list sooner rather than later will help you or your loved one get settled into a new assisted living home faster.
Where to Begin Your Search
If it’s not practical to tour every senior living community in your area, you may want to start by doing some research to narrow your options. Ask for recommendations from family, friends and trusted physicians. Make a list of features and amenities you know you’ll need, and begin eliminating communities that don’t meet your criteria. You can collect most of this information from community websites and through phone calls. Once you have a short list of the top three to five communities you think might fit your needs, make plans to visit each one.
Questions to Ask When Touring Assisted Living Communities
You may have already asked some of these questions during an initial call, but asking them again will ensure you’re getting consistent information and allow you to explore the answers in greater detail. While answers to all these questions are important, paying attention to what you see and feel while touring assisted living communities will give you an even better sense of the culture and fit for you or your loved one.
- What services are you able to provide under your state license?
- Are there services not available within the community?
- Will I (or my loved one) need to move if they need skilled nursing in the future?
- Are maintenance, laundry and housekeeping services provided?
- Is transportation available for personal and medical appointments?
- Are your assisted living residences private or semi private?
- What floor plans options does the community offer?
- How will I (or my family member) be able to personalize the living space?
- Are any furnishings provided?
- What are your policies regarding visitors during the day and overnight?
- What dining options and menu choices are offered?
- Are meals available throughout the day?
- Do you have a nutritionist on staff?
- Do you accommodate special dietary needs and preferences?
- Can meals be taken outside the dining room?
Quality of Care
- Can I talk with residents and family members about their experiences?
- What makes this community a better choice than others in the area?
- Have you earned any awards or recognition for your quality care?
- What emergency and safety procedures do you follow?
- Who will contribute to and oversee my (or my loved one’s) care plan?
- Do you offer resources for family caregivers?
- What does a typical day look like for an assisted living resident?
- How do you tailor activities and programs to a resident’s personal interests?
- Does a resident’s care plan restrict their access to activities and entertainment options?
- What social, educational, spiritual and recreational programs do you offer within the community?
- Do you offer programming that promotes physical activity and wellness?
- How do you encourage socialization among residents?
- Do residents have access to outdoor areas for fresh air and exercise?
- Is the community pet-friendly?
Plan a Tour to Find a Fit That Feels Like Home
When you’re looking for assisted living near you, where you or a loved one can get some extra support, your decision isn’t as simple as checking a series of boxes. You need to get your questions answered, but we know your feelings and intuition may play an even bigger role in your final decision. Ultimately, you want to feel reassured and confident in your final decision. Touring assisted living communities is the best way to test-drive those feelings and see what fits best.