Know Before You Go: Questions to Ask When You Tour a Senior Living Community

Phot of a senior for the article Know Before You Go: Questions to Ask When You Tour a Senior Living CommunityWhen you set out to tour a senior living community as a possible place to live for yourself or an older loved one, you might think the best strategy is to just see how it “hits” you—you’ll either love it immediately or you won’t. But it’s impossible to make a sound decision about what could be a big part of your future without knowing all the details. And that’s just the beginning.

By asking the right questions as you tour a senior living community, you can learn the nuts and bolt about that community, gain essential facts for making a comparison with other communities, and give yourself the freedom to just experience it as well. In other words, see if it “hits” you just right.

What to look for, what to ask when you tour a senior living community

Give yourself ample time prior to your visit to come up with questions about topics that matter most to you. Think about how you like to spend your time. What you would like in a residence. Whether or not the location is a big factor. Also try imagining what you would like a typical day in a new maintenance-free lifestyle to look like.

Does it feel like a place you could call home?

As you first walk in, take a moment to breathe in the vibe. Is it warm and welcoming, with people milling about and interacting with one another? Does it have a comfortable ambiance that feels familiar? Some communities are a bit formal, while others are all about being casual and easygoing. Ask about occupancy rates and if there are reviews you could check out.

Are there lots of opportunities to connect with others?

Be sure to ask questions about the type of activities and events that are available. Look over a sample activities calendar. Are there classes or clubs that speak to you? You might want to pursue new hobbies or spend time sharing a common interest with others. As you tour a senior living community, ask to drop in on an activity or class and see how many are participating.

Are staff members and residents friendly and welcoming?

Sometimes one of the best ways to evaluate a senior living community is by looking at the faces of those you encounter. Do residents seem at ease and happy? Are they engaging easily with staff? A happy staff usually means it’s a great place to work, and thus, to live. Find out what the staff turnover rate is and what type of training they receive. Be sure to talk to a few current residents and family members, if possible, to get a feel for how contented everyone is.

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Just the Facts: A Guide to Assisted Living

What levels of care are available?

Everyone can use a little more peace of mind and knowing that a plan is in place for the future is an excellent way to get it. Find out what levels of care are available to you if needed and take the time to tour each. Ask if residents receive a personalized care plan and what is typically included. Ask about details such as on-site physician visits, physical therapy, nutritional counseling, wellness programs and programs for encouraging family involvement.

How does the dining experience feel?

Sharing a delicious meal with others is a great way to settle into a community and feel part of a group. Take a look at a sample menu and ask if it’s possible to dine in the community. Does the wait service make you feel welcome? Is there a pleasant ambiance in the dining venue that encourages conversation and mingling?

Even if you still like to cook and dine on your own, just knowing a delicious, nutritionally balanced meal is steps away can be quite satisfying.

Is there a strong emphasis on wellness and longevity?

Staying active and strong is a very important part of healthy aging. Check out the fitness opportunities, such as Zumba, chair yoga, walking groups, strength training and more. Will there be someone available to instruct you if you’re just beginning an exercise program? Observe a fitness class if you can—they are usually a lot of fun!

Is the community a non-profit with a history of serving others?

When you tour a senior living community, it’s important to know how invested it is in the lives of residents. A non-profit community typically is primarily devoted to the welfare and happiness of residents and staff, with decisions driven by what will have the greatest positive impact. You also have the benefit of knowing a non-profit senior living community offers stability and continuity, often with a history of excellent service to seniors and families.

Senior living, the LSS Senior Living way

At LSS Senior Living, our goal is to offer seniors quality care and comfort in a friendly and warm environment that feels like home. We offer a continuum of services to lend a helping hand when you need them. Find out more about our communities:

LSS Kensington Place
LSS Lutheran Village  
LSS The Good Shepherd

Speak to an advisor today. We’re here to help. Learn more about assisted living, download our free guide, Just the Facts: A Guide to Assisted Living.

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