Goldilocks had to sleep in several beds before she found the one that fit her. Choosing an assisted living community for yourself or an older loved one is no different. You’ll want to visit several and “try them on” for size: take a tour, talk to staff and residents, inspect the grounds, have a meal, join an activity and take good notes. Then, do it a few more times before you make your final choice.
A checklist for touring an assisted living community
Make a list of questions you want to ask or things you want to be sure to look for before touring an assisted living community. That way, you won’t get too distracted and will be sure to cover everything that’s on your mind. During your visit, be sure to look for the following:
Are there lots of activities to choose from?
Today’s senior living communities know that staying active, learning new things, and spending time with like-minded people are all ingredients in the recipe for better health. Ask to see the activities calendar and check if there are programs or events that appeal to you or your loved one. Find out if you can suggest a new activity or class if you have a special interest. Plan to drop in on an activity while touring an assisted living community to get a feel for how many residents are participating and what the atmosphere is like.
Are there inviting outdoor spaces?
Being outdoors is good for you. Research shows that spending time in nature reduces stress; helps you sleep better; increases attention, cognition and focus; lessens pain; and increases vitamin D levels. Check if the community you are considering has an outdoor patio or areas where you can walk outside and spend time around trees and flowers. Being able to get some fresh air is a welcome respite.
How well does the staff interact with residents?
When touring an assisted living community, be sure to take a moment to just stop, listen and observe. Watch how staff interact with residents—is it friendly and positive? Does everyone seem to be interested in helping each other? You might want to talk to a few residents or visiting family members if possible to get their impressions.
Download our free guide, Just the Facts: Assisted Living Guide.
Is the property well maintained?
Be sure to record what your first impressions are as you approach the community. Does it look as though someone is taking good care of it? How is the landscaping? Are there high levels of cleanliness outside as well as inside? Note if anything seems neglected or damaged. Inside, pay attention to how it feels… comfortable and updated, or is there clutter that suggests lack of attention?
What is the dining program like?
Sampling a meal or two is a big part of touring an assisted living community. Ask for a sample menu, and find out if the chef is able to accommodate any dietary restrictions.
While having a meal, pay attention to the interaction between those serving and the residents. Does it feel comfortable and pleasant? Is the atmosphere relaxing? Ask how often the menu changes and if there is an “always available” menu as well.
Does the community have the services and amenities that matter to you?
Different things appeal to different people. Decide what kind of services are on your “must-have” list, such as housekeeping, transportation, dining and maintenance. In addition, ask about common areas; are they comfortable and inviting? Find out if there’s a private dining room where you could host a family event. Another must-have is an on-site beauty salon/barber shop so you can stay looking your best.
Remember, assisted living is centered on you—your health and wellness, your comfort, and your satisfaction. You want to be sure you can feel at home.
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: