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The Senior Living Search: Key Questions for Making an Informed Choice

senior living search

Moving to senior living can be one of the biggest decisions you make in life, so it’s important that you feel informed and confident with your choice. One of the best ways to experience a community is to schedule a time to visit the campus. You’ll likely meet with a member of the sales and marketing team for your tour.

Before you arrive, it’s helpful to prepare a list of questions to ask during your visit. Consider what matters most to you or your loved one. Would you prefer to be near family and friends? Are there certain amenities you’d like to have, such as a fitness center, pool, or on-site salon? What type of dining options are you looking for?

10 Questions to Ask During Your Senior Living Search

1. What type of living options do you offer?

You’ll want to get an idea of the different sizes and styles of residences available. Does the community have homes, apartments, or both? Can you choose the flooring or paint colors?

During your visit ask if you can walk through residences to determine what works best for you. Consider storage space and what your view will be. Are you close to campus amenities?

2. Is there a structured activity program for residents?

Moving to a senior living community can typically provide numerous opportunities to socialize, learn new hobbies, and continue past interests. Ask if there is an experienced life enrichment team that organizes outings, special events, and a wide variety of activities.

Request a copy of the current activity calendar. You or your loved one may want to attend events or activities that interest you to see what it’s like and meet residents and staff.

3. What dining options are available?

Some senior living communities offer dining plans, and others include meals in your fees. Find out what options are available and what the costs are. Ask for a copy of the menu and see if you can make a reservation to dine there.

Are there set mealtimes? Are snacks and beverages available between meals? Does the dining program offer meal delivery services? Can loved ones join you for meals?

4. What levels of care do you provide?

Most senior living communities offer continuing care to meet the changing needs of residents. This can vary from one community to another, so it’s essential to ask what is offered. Even though you or your loved one may not require additional services upon moving in, it’s good to know if your future needs can be met on the same campus.

Ask if they have memory care for those experiencing cognitive decline. Are there on-site rehabilitation services for residents recovering from surgery or an unexpected illness? Is long-term care available for residents with chronic diseases? Do current residents receive priority access to continuing care services?

5. What safety and security measures do you have in place?

Feeling safe and secure in your home is key, so make sure to ask what measures are in place to keep the community safe. This can include camera security systems, a security department, or secure access to campus buildings.

Safety can also include a community’s plan to keep residents safe during flu season or a Covid-19 outbreak. What response plan does the community have to lessen the spread and risk to residents?

6. Can my loved ones visit me anytime?

Since senior living will be your new home, you’ll want to make sure it still feels like home to you. Are your guests welcome anytime? Do they have to check in with staff before coming over?

Are guest rooms available for out-of-town friends and family? Is there a policy regarding overnight guests?

7. Do you offer transportation services to appointments and shopping?

Transportation services can be a top benefit in senior living for residents who no longer drive. Often, communities provide scheduled trips to local grocery stores or shopping malls. Some may offer transportation to medical appointments.

Ask if there are additional costs for the transportation services. Do they plan trips to nearby restaurants, plays, or sporting events? Do they offer multi-day trips?

8. Is there a waitlist for your residences?

It’s common for senior living communities to have a waitlist for certain living options that are more popular than others. If you or your loved one’s desired residence has a waitlist, you’ll want to find out how long a typical wait may be and if there is a fee to be placed on the list.

Sometimes communities may have priority member groups that include discounted or complimentary memberships to the community’s fitness center or other wellness amenities. They may also include the option to dine there or attend special events. Ask about these options and find out what the costs and benefits include.

9. What are the costs of living here?

A very important question not to be overlooked is the cost of living there. What payment options are available? Some senior living communities may require an entrance fee while others may have a monthly fee with no upfront costs.

You’ll want to ask about refundable plans and how someone is eligible for a refund. It’s also essential to ask what is included in the fees. Should you expect additional costs outside of the monthly fee? If so, what could those additional costs include?

10. What type of training does your staff have?

You or your loved one will be surrounded by a community of residents, staff, and resident families after moving to senior living. It’s important to get an idea of what departments work in the community and what roles they serve.

Ask to meet staff during your visit. Are they friendly? How do they interact with their co-workers and with residents? Do they greet residents by name?

You’ll want to feel comfortable and confident with your decision when choosing a senior living community. Keep in mind what is most important to you while you weigh the pros and cons of the places you visit. If you can, talk to residents who live there. You might even inquire about staying for a night or more to truly experience the culture of the community.

Life at Golden Bell Senior Living

Senior living communities like Golden Bell provide the comforts of home with the added benefits of supportive care, engaging activities, and a maintenance-free lifestyle. With your daily needs met, your loved one will live more independently and have opportunities to meet friends, discover new interests, and live each day to the fullest.

Golden Bell Senior Living, family-owned for over five decades, offers a full continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, and respite care. Residents have personalized care plans, are treated like family, and are greeted by name in a warm, welcoming environment.

Amenities and activities include:

  • Beautiful accommodations
  • Landscaped grounds and gardens
  • Community outings
  • Recreation and social activities
  • Chef-prepared meals
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Beauty and barber shop
  • Housekeeping and maintenance services

Please contact us to learn more about our communities or set up a tour. We’d love to hear from you and are happy to help answer any questions you have about senior living.

At Golden Bell Senior Living, we understand that some questions require more personalized support. If you have any queries or need further assistance, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to assist you with any individual needs and ensure you feel supported every step of the way.

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