May 3, 2022 - Assisted Living
What to Look for When Touring an Assisted Living Community
When you’re trying to find something that fits just right, you have to do your homework and “try it on,” so to speak. It’s the same with choosing a supportive lifestyle. There are a lot of choices out there and finding the one that feels right is important. Here are some suggestions on what to look for when touring an assisted living community.
It’s more than a feeling.
Today’s seniors are choosing assisted living because they want to remain active and engaged. They value the lifestyle, choices, and quality of life that this option provides. While there’s a lot to be said for “knowing it when you see it,” choosing an assisted living community is about more than a gut feeling. It’s making sure the details are there that matter most to you.
That’s why it’s so important to make a list of what you want to see and the questions you want answered, when touring an assisted living community.
First, consider your priorities.
- Budget: have an idea of what will work for you and your family. Keep in mind that the monthly payment often covers a range of services and access to amenities.
- Location: do you want a community that is near family? Is a particular neighborhood more appealing? Would you enjoy being able to easily access a certain shopping area or park?
- Non-negotiables: give some thought to what is essential for you. It might be a certain type of residence or how a dining program is structured or whether other levels of care are available should your needs change over time. Write down a list of “absolutes” and keep it with you when touring an assisted living community.
- Nice-to-haves: some things aren’t essential, but they’re on our wish list—so don’t be shy to acknowledge them. Outdoor spaces, a dog park, multiple dining venues and so on.
Next, identify the assisted living communities you’d like to tour.
Search online and check out the information on community websites. Look at their amenities, their services, floor plans if possible, a sample menu and anything else that gives you a feel for life at your potential new home. Choose those which draw your attention and contact them to set up a tour with a complimentary meal. Also, it helps to take a friend or family member with you.
Now comes a very important step: make a list of what you want to look for when you tour an assisted living community. You’ll stay focused on what you want to learn and less likely to be distracted by others. With your list in hand as you tour, be sure you find out:
- How the staff interacts with residents. Is there a sense of respect and patience? Lots of smiles and pleasant greetings? At Peregrine, we treat your loved one as if they were our own family. We call it The Peregrine Way®.
- How well-maintained the property appears to be. As you walk around inside and out, pay attention to cleanliness, as well as any signs of neglect.
- The dining experience. Be sure to have a meal on your visit. Is the food good? Are you served with a smile and courtesy? Does the atmosphere feel welcoming?
- The breadth of activities. Look at the activities calendar and see what catches your eye. Find out how well-attended activities and events are. Ask if residents can suggest new groups and experiences.
- Opportunities to go outdoors. Nature is good for you, having access to a walking path, outdoor patio or nearby park might be on your list of essentials.
- The right mix of services and amenities. As you tour an assisted living community, find out what services are offered that can make your life easier, e.g. housekeeping, scheduled transportation or a concierge. Visit each common area to see how residents are enjoying the atmosphere.
- Reputation of community/management company. Ask about reviews or wait lists. Find out the turnover rate and what type of training staff receives.
Don’t forget: talk to residents!
When touring an assisted living community, be sure to occasionally stop and chat with a resident or family member and get their perspective. Ask them about what daily life is like there. They can give you the best insight into how moving to assisted living benefited them.