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What Questions Should You Ask on a Senior Living Tour?

What Questions Should You Ask on a Senior Living Tour?

When choosing a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with a myriad of options available, from accommodations to amenities and local area attractions. As you tour different senior living communities, it’s important to ask the right questions to help you keep track of the different communities you visit and to be able to decide what’s right for you.

In this article

When gathering your list of questions to ask when touring senior living facilities, here are some key areas to keep in mind:

Questions About Senior Living Community Lifestyle and Activities

What types of activities are offered, and how often? 

Ensure the community offers activities that match your interests, such as fitness classes, lectures, social events, field trips, crafts, and games.

Is there a focus on resident choice and personalization of activities? 

Having the power of choice with senior living activities helps residents to maintain a sense of independence and control while continuing to enjoy activities they’re used to as well as providing opportunities to try something new.

How does the community foster socialization among residents?

Inquire about the community’s commitment to social wellness. Review their events calendar for group activities like outings, movie nights, and book clubs.

Does the community offer transportation for outings, errands, or appointments?

Having transportation assistance available enables residents to maintain their independence, helping them to get to appointments and other outings while still living independently. This also gives peace of mind to residents and their loved ones by relieving the stress involved with driving.

Senior Living Tour Questions About Health and Wellness

What levels of care are provided?

Depending on you or your loved one’s needs, you may be looking for an independent living community, assisted living, or a memory care program. Ensure that the community can provide the appropriate level of care.

What are the staff qualifications and experience?

Having a staff that is not only compassionate but qualified for varying levels of medical and personal care is essential to maintaining safety and giving residents the best experience possible.

What is the staff-to-resident ratio?

Having a lower staff-to-resident ratio can ensure that everyone gets more attention.

How are medical emergencies handled?

It is always wise to know the process for a medical emergency before one may occur, including who is available to help, who will be contacted, and what are the next steps .

How does the community involve family members in the care and decision-making process?

Communities that are committed to inclusivity and resident wellbeing, ensure that families are engaged partners in their loved one’s care planning.

What senior fitness activities and resources are available?

Having a gym with senior fitness programs helps promote an active senior lifestyle and is great for physical and mental health. Ageility physical therapy services are available at many of our Five Star communities.

What are the dining options and can they accommodate special dietary needs?

Senior living dining options are meant to be both delicious and convenient. Many senior living communities offer customized meals for dietary needs and personal preferences.

Senior Living Safety and Security Questions

What security measures are in place?

Are there things like emergency call systems, security cameras, or other protective devices installed on the premises? Where, and what are the protocols for handling a safety concern?

How is the building maintained for safety?

What measures are in place for fire safety, slip-fall prevention, and other safety accommodations?

Questions About The General Senior Living Environment

Can you see a model resident apartment or room?

Getting to see an example can really help you accurately visualize what it will be like to live in the community and help reduce anticipatory anxiety for future residents and their loved ones.

What amenities are private and which are communal?

In independent living communities, apartments often have private kitchens and bathrooms, but there may also be communal amenities like dining halls, activity spaces, and lounges.

How is maintenance and housekeeping handled within the community?

The level of cleanliness, upkeep, and overall comfort residents can expect, directly impacts their quality of life and well-being.

How would you describe the overall atmosphere of the community? 

Each senior living community has a different atmosphere and amenities. Finding one that “feels right” is as important as the technical details on paper.

Is the community pet-friendly?

If you or your loved one already has a four-legged friend or are considering a companion, then finding a pet-friendly community is a must.

Are there opportunities for residents to personalize their living spaces? 

Personalization fosters a sense of comfort, familiarity, and ownership, which can go a long way in turning a house or apartment into a home.

What is your policy on visitors and overnight guests?

The flexibility for family and friends to visit means you can still host holidays or have sleepovers with the grandchildren.

Can residents bring their own cars?

Independent living is just that, independent. As such the expectation would be that cars, or golf carts, are allowed. Get clarity on the policy and be sure to ask about parking too.

Questions About Senior Living Finances and Contracts

Is there a trial period? 

Short term stays are often used as a trial run for families to see if a senior living community may be right for their loved one. Many Five Star Senior Living communities offer respite care or short term stays.

How much does senior living cost?

What is the monthly rent or fee structure? Understand the costs of senior living, including what other expenses may be included.

What utilities and services are included in the monthly fee? 

Are there any additional fees for meals, amenities, or care services?

What is the policy on refunds or transitioning to a higher level of senior care?

Understanding the levels of care and potential next steps for you or your loved one is invaluable knowledge for long term planning.

What forms of payment are accepted?

How you are going to pay for senior living is a valid question to ask upfront.

Additional Tips

  • Be sure to keep organized notes of tours and follow up answers to questions for each community toured or visited in order to help avoid becoming overwhelmed when making a decision. Reviewing your notes will help to clarify your priorities and narrow down your options.
  • Talk to current residents and their families to gain their perspectives. First-hand accounts of their experiences with the community and staff can help you feel more confident in your final choice
  • Trust your gut feeling – is this a place where you or your loved one would feel happy and comfortable? All of the amenities in the world pale in comparison to your happiness or the happiness of someone you love.

Finding the right senior living community involves a lot of personal considerations. By asking these questions and doing your research, you can find a senior living community that meets your loved one’s needs and preferences and provides a safe and comfortable transition to a community that truly feels like home.

Schedule a Five Star Senior Living Tour at a Community Near You

At Five Star Senior Living, we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have in your senior living search process, and can even suggest some of our own! We want you to feel as informed and confident in your decision as possible, and pride ourselves on helping you feel empowered during the process of choosing a senior living community.

Find a Five Star Senior Living community near you to schedule a tour today.

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