Your parent has made the decision to move into a senior living community. Now comes the task of selecting the community that is the best fit for his or her needs. You’ll likely tour several communities before making your final decision. Be prepared in advance with a list of questions and a good idea of what to look for as you make your way around each community.
How many communities you opt to tour is entirely a personal choice. The important thing is to feel you have a clear idea of your options before making a final choice.
Ask the Right Questions
Having a list of prepared questions is the best way to ensure that your time visiting and touring a senior living community is well spent. Industry experts recommend asking the following questions:
- What services does the community offer?.
- How many residents live here? How many apartments/rooms do you have? What is your occupancy rate?
- What are the monthly charges for living here? How often do those charges increase? What is the average increase?
- What services are included in the monthly charges? What additional charges might be incurred?
- How many meals are included in the monthly fee? Are there various dining venues?
- Is an entrance deposit required? Is it refundable, and if so, at what point? What steps are required to have the deposit refunded?
- Do you provide transportation for residents?
- Do doctors see residents on the premises?
- How often are staff and resident engagement surveys conducted?
- What kind of background checks do you do?
- What is the turnover rate for your staff? How long does a staff member typically work here before moving on?
- What is the financial stability of the community?
And most important–Why should my loved one move into this community?
In addition to asking a comprehensive list of questions, families should pay careful attention to various aspects of the community as they take a tour. Check on the cleanliness. Observe the interactions between residents and the staff. See how caring and attentive the individuals who work at the community are toward those who live there.
Also, take advantage of opportunities to chat with the current residents.
When you find one (or more) that makes your short list, bring your parent over and have a meal with the residents. This gives your parent the chance to talk with the residents and check out the food!
Take maximum advantage of your ability to learn more about the communities you are exploring. The more you know about a community, the better informed your decision will be—and ultimately, the happier your parent will be with his or her new home in senior living.