Key questions to ask when visiting a senior living community
When you visit a senior living community, it can be easy to forget questions or lose sight of your priorities during your visit. After all, there's a lot to keep track of! Here are eight essential questions that will help you get the right information every time. (Before you take this list with you on your next community visit, be sure to review your needs and priority for every question).
- Who are the residents? It’s important not to assume that all communities have the same type of residents. From differences in the ratio of males to females, percentage of couples and/or average age, communities can be very different from each other demographically.
- What medical assistance is available? Learn exactly what medical services are available to residents both regularly and in case of an emergency and how that compares to your needs. Asking about staffing patterns at night and weekends can help with this as well.
- How often is housekeeping and maintenance done? Figuring out a community’s level of cleanliness should be a focal point of your visit. Learn what types of housekeeping and maintenance are done, too, so you can get a better idea of management’s commitment to creating a clean, comfortable environment for residents.
- What's provided and what costs extra? Make sure you have a good grasp on the “true cost” of the community. For example, some will charge separately for laundry services, utilities, cable TV and internet, while others include everything in a flat fee.
- What are your dining options? The dining experience is crucial to a great senior living community, so gather as much information about it as possible. This can include number of provided meals per day, how the meals are prepared and dietary accommodations.
- Are the activities well-attended? If a community boasts a robust activity calendar, that’s a good sign, but double-check that residents of the community actually participate in the activities.
- What kind of transportation is available? Most communities have transportation services, but they can vary in frequency, schedule, maximum distance and cost. This may or may not be a deciding factor for you, but it’s always helpful to know.
- What are your goals for the community? This is a “big picture” question for the management teams. Their response to it can help you evaluate the more intangible qualities of a community, such as a sense of purpose and values. If they struggle with it, that may be a red flag.
These eight questions are a great start, but you should not hesitate to ask more. Are you looking for a specific activity? Do you need a special type of apartment? Are you able to bring your pet along, too? Then ask! Any good senior living community will have staff with the patience and understanding to gladly address all of your concerns. Choosing a senior living community is a big decision, and you deserve all the information you need.
Ready to check out a community? Come visit us at Holiday Retirement! With chef-prepared meals, purposeful programming and genuinely caring staff, it’s no wonder our residents love their Holiday communities.
Learn more about independent senior living at Holiday Retirement.