You and your parents have discussed, and agreed, that moving to a senior living community would be the perfect fit. And like many families, you’re looking forward to finalizing the decision, knowing their quality of life will increase. With so many opportunities to be active at social events, meet and make new friends, participate in fitness classes, eat healthy and have support in maintaining their independence, the benefits are many. Although you’re ready to choose a specific community, you may be unsure of what to look for or what questions to ask during a tour.
Good news! The tips and questions below can help guide your family to the best decision.
What To Look For When Touring a Senior Living Community
Knowing what to look for before you arrive can help prepare you for the best visit. Consider the following suggestions:
- Pay attention to the first impression.
You know your parents better than anyone. So when you tour a senior living community, pay attention to your instincts. Not all communities are the same and some will feel like a better fit for their lifestyle and personalities.
- Does the staff appear happy?
Do the employees appear to be satisfied at work? How do they interact with the residents and each other? Look for staff that enjoy spending their days caring for and supporting the residents.
- Are the residents content?
How about the mood of the residents? When you tour a senior living community, try to have conversations with a few residents and ask them how they like living in the community.
- Is the community well taken care of?
Take note of the appearance of both the interior and exterior, and whether it’s apparent that upkeep is a priority. This may also provide insight into the quality of care provided, as well.
Questions To Ask When Taking a Tour of a Senior Living Community
- What residential options are available?
Most communities will have different layouts and floor plans to offer. This may be the number of bedrooms, the location in the community or the choice of a balcony, patio or view.
Look at the different options to find one that meets your parents’ needs and preferences.
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
If your parents ever require assistance, you’ll want to make sure the staff-to-resident ratio allows for a reasonable response time.
If your loved one needs memory care, you’ll also want to ask if the staff receives special training and is experienced in caring for those with dementia and other forms of cognitive change.
- What type of assistance is needed by your parents and does the community offer it?
Before making a final decision, you’ll want to have a good understanding of the type and level of assistance your parents need before touring a senior living community.
When taking a tour, confirm with the community representative which of the senior living options are available. Independent living, assisted living, memory care and long-term or skilled nursing care are all very different. Knowing which type would be the best fit for your parent(s) is vital to choosing the right community for them.
- Are there any services or assistance that is not available?
As your parents age, their needs will continue to change and evolve, so it’s important to find a community that can provide the care they require today, but also offers the services they may require in the future.
Remember that while some communities offer all levels of care and senior living options on one campus, it is also important to ask what their process is to accommodate a person whose needs are changing so that you’re prepared if additional care is needed.
- What type of dining program is offered?
Eating healthy is an important part of living and aging well. Make sure to take a look at a community’s daily menu when you visit. Even better, see if you can enjoy a meal in one of their dining rooms when you take your tour.
Ask about the flexibility offered, such as when meals are available and whether eating in their residence is possible if your parents should prefer it.
- What activities and amenities are included?
Having opportunities to stay active and engaged can go a long way in helping your parents live a healthy life and enjoy their new home. Ask to take a look at the monthly calendar of activities to get a better idea of what is offered.
Before you tour, it’s a good idea to talk to your parents about what they would like to have available at their new community. Is it a swimming pool, art studio, walking trails or to be near a golf course? Maybe they prefer robust fitness or lifelong learning programs. The only way to know is to ask!
- How are new residents supported in feeling at home?
Change is not always easy and moving can be challenging. However, many older adults find themselves becoming lonely or isolated living at home, so moving to a senior living community can be a positive transition.
When touring a senior living community, ask how they help new residents feel welcome, settle in and make new friendships.
- Is transportation offered?
If your parents no longer drive, they may have found themselves staying at home when they would have enjoyed going out.
Having transportation options available at the community can help your loved ones feel more independent. Ask what is available and what destinations are typically scheduled.
- How is the family supported in remaining involved and informed in the care of a loved one?
You will still play an integral part in ensuring your parents are receiving the best care, even after they move into a senior living community.
Ask how the community supports the family and includes them as part of the care team. Are there educational resources available or staff members that can answer questions about certain conditions?
Life at Eskaton Communities
The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living.
We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to choose the right senior living community.
To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.