Touring a senior living community can sometimes be overwhelming. There’s a lot to see and do while you’re there, and learning as much as possible is important to help you make an informed decision later.
No two communities are alike, so you’ll want to decide which one is the best fit for you. To do this, it’s best to come prepared with a list of things to watch for and what questions to ask.
Do Your Research
One of the best places to start researching senior living communities is online. You can search by location first, then narrow down your list by looking up housing options and amenities that are important to you.
You’ll want to consider whether a continuing care retirement community is right for you or if you prefer a smaller community with a few care options. A continuing care community typically offers independent and assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care services. Knowing your future care needs will be met can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Most websites include floor plans, brochures, sample menus, and activity calendars. You might also find some pricing information. Ask your friends and family if they have firsthand experience with your chosen communities. Often, going straight to the source can offer valuable insights and observations.
Download our complimentary Family Decision Toolkit.
Create a Community Comparison Checklist
Before scheduling your personalized visit, create a checklist that you can use at each community you tour. Jot down notes while you’re there so you don’t have to try to remember each location’s details.
Consider dividing your checklist into the following categories:
- Staff – Observe the staff during your visits. Do they seem friendly? Find out what training and qualifications they have. You may want to ask about staff turnover too.
- Lifestyle – Check out the available floor plans and amenities throughout the community. What activities are available? Are there multiple dining venues and menu options?
- Building – Take a look at the size of the campus. Are the grounds and common areas clean? Is the community located near shops, medical offices, and restaurants? Inquire about the safety and security features of the senior living community.
- Cost – Ask about the fees involved in living there. Is there a current waitlist to move in? What services are available at an additional cost? Are there price increases each year?
- Other Questions – Leave space to add other questions you may think of while there.
Draft a List of Questions
When you create your checklist of categories and questions, always remember what is most important to you. A large community with an extensive list of amenities may not be what you’re looking for.
Decide what you must have and what would be nice to have for a senior living community to feel like home to you. Then, you’ll know what to keep track of when visiting more than one community.
Here’s a sample of a community comparison checklist to help you get started:
|STAFF||Community #1||Community #2||Community #3|
|What ratings does the community have online?|
|What is the resident-to-staff ratio?|
|What levels of care are offered?|
|What qualifications do staff members have?|
|Are staff members friendly and welcoming?|
|How do they interact with the residents? Each other?|
|How has the communication been with you so far?|
|What types of activities are offered?|
|What amenities are available?|
|What is the dining program like?|
|Is transportation offered?|
|Are pets allowed?|
|What does a typical day look like for residents?|
|How is socialization encouraged?|
|Are the residents friendly and welcoming?|
|How secure is the community?|
|What types of apartments are offered?|
|Is the occupancy high or low?|
|Can residents personalize their space?|
|Is the community clean?|
|How’s the location?|
|What is the price?|
|What’s included in the monthly fee?|
|What services are add-ons?|
|What are the payment options?|
|Is there a waitlist to move in?|
Talk to Others
Try to talk with the residents during your community visits. Ask them what they like most about living there. Do they seem happy? Do they have any advice to help you decide which community is best?
Share your notes and observations with your friends and family or trusted advisors like your financial planner, physician, or counselor. Ask for their input to help you make a more confident, informed decision in your senior living search.
Life at Golden Bell Senior Living
Ultimately, you want to ensure your loved one is safe and their daily needs are met. It’s important to prioritize their overall well-being so they experience a high quality of life while maintaining meaningful relationships with others.
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. For more information about choosing senior living, download our complimentary Family Decision Toolkit.