This post, discussing questions you may wish to ask during a senior living tour, is part of a series exploring the different questions that come up when searching for senior living solutions. Follow along in our “What is Senior Living?” series to learn more about the ins and outs of senior living.
You’ve done the work of researching communities near you. You’ve gone through their websites and reviews, and have narrowed down your list to a few communities you think might fit your needs. Now, it’s time to take the step into the communities to see them firsthand! Anytime there is a big life change — such as a move– there will be some stress to making the right decision. Going into your selected communities prepared will help in easing some of that stress. However, before you move into the stage of touring, there are some questions that will help you narrow down your choices that you likely should ask.
Things to Ask About When Researching Senior Care Communities
- Ask about financing. Make sure the community that you are touring is within your budget.
- Ask about care. Make sure the community is able to take care of the your known care needs.
Below are some common questions that might be helpful to ask during your tour process. Compare the communities you visit to answers to help you narrow down your choices. Ideally, you’ll want to go into the tour knowing what things are necessary for you or your loved one’s care needs, what is most important for general happiness, and some things that would be nice, but are not necessary. This will give you some flexibility in making your decision!
Questions to Ask While Touring a Senior Care Community
When you are visiting a community, you’ll want to be prepared with questions to ask, as well as a list of things that are most important to you. Knowing your negotiables and non-negotiables is going to help you in selecting a senior care community that fits you or your loved one’s needs. Below are some questions you may want to consider asking. Don’t forget to take notes and compare with your notes with those from other communities you have visited!
- Does your community craft individualized care plans for your residents? If so, what is that process? How often are those care plans updated, and how is the update communicated?
- Is there a nurse or physician that regularly visits the residents? If so, how often and what is that process like?
- Can the staff administer medications? Are they able to do so on a schedule?
- What is the policy for handing medical emergencies?
- What happens if my loved one needs additional services? Is your community able to address those needs?
- Does your community provide hospice care, if needed? If not, do you have reputable services to recommend that can come in to provide that care?
- What services will need to be provided by outside services? How is that coordinated?
- What is the procedure for residents who need to leave the community for one reason or another?
- May I try a meal from your kitchen? (Make observations as to whether the meal is healthy and appealing!)
- Are you able to adjust to dietary needs? What limits are there on your kitchen’s accommodations?
- Can residents have snacks? How often?
- Are residents allowed to have food in their apartment?
- How often do caregivers engage with residents throughout the day?
- If a resident needs help, how do they signal that to staff, and what is the response rate?
- How does your staff deal with ____________ needs? (Fill in the blank with any care concerns you may have for your loved one.)
Life Engagement Questions:
- Do you have a community event and activity calendar to view? May I or my loved one participate in one of the activities?
- Is there a place of worship? If not, can residents be transported to church or other worship services?
- Is there a transportation service? Can residents arrange for transportation? What type of notice is required for the use of these services?
- What are some regular events or activities that your community hosts?
- How many of your staff have longevity? How do you cultivate positive relationships with staff, residents, and family members?
- How are resident concerns handled?
- What training does your staff receive? How often do they receive additional training?
- How did your community fare on your recent state survey?
- Are residents required to carry renter’s insurance? If so, do you have recommendations for reputable carriers?
- What is the monthly fee? When is it due? If late, what are the late fees and when are they applied?
- What are your avenues for rent payments?
- Are there additional fees? If so, what are they?
These questions act as a good overview of those you may wish to ask during a tour to help you narrow down your choices and make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. In addition to these questions, you’ll want to write down observations of cleanliness, as well as the resident and staff engagements you see. It will be useful to have notes to refer back to when you are sitting down to compare communities.
Sometimes, after doing online research, you tour a community and have a feeling that it is the right fit from the get-go. In such cases, these questions may help solidify your decision and allow you to feel confident in putting down a deposit immediately.
Are we missing any questions from our list? If so, please let us know in the comments below!
We welcome you to visit one of our 19 senior care communities throughout the Northwest in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, and Montana. Find a Radiant Senior Living community near you and contact us today!