As we say in the Assisted Living industry, “When you’ve seen one assisted living community, you’ve seen just one.” They come in all different shapes and sizes, and offer a variety of features, amenities and prices. That’s why it is important to take a tour to see personally if it’s “the right fit” for you or your loved one.
The Top 7 Things to Ask & “Feel” on Your Assisted Living Tour:
1. Is the community attractive?
Is the décor attractive and homelike? Does the community have good natural and interior lighting? Is there a nice outdoor space? Do you like the apartments? Can you envision yourself or your loved one feeling comfortable living here?
2. Do you have a warm feeling being in the community?
Did you receive a warm greeting when you arrived? Does the executive director call residents and staff by name and interact warmly with them as you tour the community? Are people saying hello to you?
3. Do people look happy and engaged?
Are residents socializing with each other and engaged in programs or activities? Do you see evidence of a robust program for social, fitness, lifelong learning, entertainment and other activities, such as a calendar of events or notices around the community? Are staff members personable and friendly?
4. Did you sample a meal?
Is it tasty and nutritious? Does the menu have variety? Do you like the dining room? Is the wait staff friendly and courteous?
5. Does the community have all the latest safety features?
Does the community have 24-hour emergency response in the apartments? Can you see handrails throughout the building and grab bars in the shower and elevators? Are there floors that are non-skid and / or carpets that are easy to walk on? Are there smoke detectors and sprinklers?
6. Is the person giving the tour really listening to you?
Are you able to fully describe your current situation and what you hope to achieve by moving to an Assisted Living community? Are you focused on specific solutions and services the community can offer or are you just listening to a long list of their amenities? Can the community can adequately meet your needs? Have they clearly explained all of the services and monthly costs, including how they charge for personal care? Do you have a clear understanding of the assessment and move-in process?
7. Is there anything about the community that makes it stand out from the others you visited?
Does the community have any special or unique programs, or a way of doing things that seems better? Does the person giving you the tour feel real pride in his or her work and in the community? Do they speak about the company’s values or mission and really mean it?
Other Assisted Living Tour Resources:
- Download a checklist to take notes during your tour about what the monthly fee includes. (published by the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association)
- Download a consumer checklist with a LONG list of things you should be looking for and thinking about! (Look for “Choosing an Assisted Living Residence: A Consumer’s Guide”, published by the National Center for Assisted Living)
- A checklist for families considering Assisted Living – knowing when your loved one is ready.
- Questions and issues that professionals who work with the elderly need to be aware of when referring clients or patients to Assisted Living