You’ve decided to make the move to a senior living community. What do you do next? If you wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first, then by the same logic you shouldn’t commit to a new living arrangement without taking a tour of a senior living community.
Here are some things to consider when you visit an assisted living or senior living community in Indiana.
Tip #1: Pay Attention to the Staff and Resident Interactions
Aside from whomever is taking you on the tour of your senior living community, you should try to observe the natural interactions between the staff and the current residents. Do they seem friendly? Cheerful? Warm? Or do the interactions you notice all seem stiff and distant? The staff can have a big impact on your loved one’s overall quality of life as a resident.
Tip #2: Consider the Cleanliness
Aside from carpets being vacuumed and windows washed, keep an eye out for dingy baseboards and dust on shelves. Also, if you smell anything strange or foul, don’t hesitate to ask about it. It could be an isolated incident or it could be a larger sewage problem, especially if the smell lingers throughout the entire property.
Tip #3: Stay for a Meal
Food is a major component of everyday life and overall health, so it’s important to choose a senior living community that takes extra steps to create a signature dining experience. If you have specific dietary needs, don’t be shy--be sure to ask about what they can do to accommodate you should you choose to move in.
Tip #4: Engage in an Activity
When you set up a tour of a senior living community for yourself and your senior loved one, ask if they can arrange for you to participate in a scheduled group activity. The community should be able to provide you with a schedule of planned life enrichment activities. This calendar should give you a sense of the variety your family member might enjoy as a resident. Whether they have an interest in fitness, intellectual or social activities, you will both be able to walk away with a better understanding of what life would be like at the community.
Tip #5: Wander the Grounds
If your parent loves the great outdoors be sure to wander the grounds, either before or after your official tour. By walking off the beaten path, you’ll know that you’re seeing not just what they want you to see on the tour, but what life as a resident can really be like. Take note of whether or not the grounds are well-maintained, if they are easy to navigate, and if the property as a whole seems safe and secure.
Tip #6: Ask About Assisted Living
Here are a few more general questions you can ask on your visit to an assisted living community:
- What are all the care options available?
- How is the level of care determined for each resident?
- Is Memory Care part of assisted living?
- Does assisted living include medication management?
- What is your staff to resident ratio?
Making the Commitment
You should have a strong positive gut reaction to the senior living community of your choosing. Making the leap to senior living is a big commitment and it is important to choose a warm and comfortable environment to start your senior loved one on their next phase of life.