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Positive aged couple consulting with insurance agent

Questions to Ask When Touring Assisted Living Communities.

When seniors need extra support with personal care and the activities of daily living, they might consider moving to an assisted living community. It’s a process you may be thinking about in order to ensure a better quality of life. Where do you even start? You’ll want to read each community’s brochure and website, plus tour the communities to find the one with the right lifestyle and level of assisted living care.

Evaluating all the factors can feel complicated. To make it easier for you, we’ve prepared a list of important questions you’ll want to ask as you tour the assisted living facility.

1. MAKE WELLNESS A PRIORITY.

Questions to ask
  • What happens if I need more care than assisted living provides?
  • Is home health care available to come into the community and help me?
  • Is there a registered nurse or other medical professional available at all times?
  • Do you provide transportation to doctors’ appointments and medical centers?
  • If I have a long-term stay in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, what happens to my apartment?
  • How does your staff respond to medical emergencies?
  • Are all staff trained in HIPAA policies?

2. CONSIDER DINING AND NUTRITION.

When you tour, you’ll probably be invited to share a meal. Don’t pass up the opportunity to sample the food.

Questions to ask
  • Do I have a choice in meal selection?
  • How often are the menus changed?
  • How do you deal with allergies and dietary restrictions?
  • How much of your food is freshly prepared here? Is it fresh or seasonal?
  • How long has your chef worked in food service?
  • Are all meals included in my monthly rent?
  • Is there restaurant-style service, or is it a buffet?
  • Do you offer room service?
  • Are snacks provided?

3. COMPARE COSTS.

You won’t have time to read the lease and all documents on your tour, so ask for copies to take home.

Questions to ask
  • May I have a copy of your lease contract that details all fees, rules and regulations?
  • What services are considered extra? How are they billed?
  • Tell me about your community fee. What does it cover?
  • Do you participate in Medicare, Medicaid, VA Aid and Assistance, long-term care insurance or any other payment program?
  • How do you handle instances when a resident is either late or unable to pay?

4. MEET STAFF.

Staff should be greeting you as they pass. Feel free to ask them questions along the way.

Questions to ask
  • How much experience does your executive director, chef and program director have in senior living?
  • What background checks do you do before hiring staff?
  • How is your staff trained? How often do they receive training?
  • What do you do if a staff person takes the day off?

5. CHECK OUT THE RESIDENCES AND AMENITIES.

Is the building well maintained? How about the outside grounds? Does the furniture and décor make you feel at home? Does the building smell pleasant throughout? Do you see residents socializing in the common areas, game rooms and studios?

Questions to ask
  • What are the available floor plans?
  • Do the apartment homes accommodate wheelchairs?
  • What type of modifications have been made to the residences to accommodate seniors? Are there grab bars in the shower?
  • Am I able to bring my own furniture, or do apartments come furnished?
  • How often do you upgrade or renovate the building?
  • Is maintenance staff available on-site at all times?

6. ASK ABOUT ON-SITE PROGRAMS.

Ask to review the monthly calendar and a newsletter, if there is one. It’s a plus if you can sit in and observe an activity taking place.

Questions to ask
  • How are residents informed about daily activities?
  • Do residents have input regarding what clubs, programs and entertainment is offered?
  • What activities do you offer that fit my interests and hobbies?
  • If I’d like to go out on my own, do you offer transportation? How is it scheduled?
  • Are there on-site worship services?

7. REVIEW SECURITY MEASURES.

Here’s where you need to take time to look around the rooms. Do you see call buttons? Safety locks on the windows and doors? Emergency exits clearly marked? Overhead sprinklers? Smoke detectors? Do you see broken equipment?

Questions to ask
  • Is the front desk manned at all times? Who is at the desk after hours?
  • How are visitors able to enter after hours?
  • Are the outdoor courtyards secure and locked?
  • May I have a copy of your documented emergency procedures?

8. TALK TO RESIDENTS.

Do the current residents look cared for and groomed? Talk to them, asking how long they’ve lived in the community and what they like best and least about it.

9. ASK ABOUT COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.

You’ll want to be assured your voice will be heard regarding your choices and preferences.

Questions to ask
  • How do you onboard new residents?
  • Is there a resident council?
  • How are any disputes resolved?
  • How much input do residents have about programs, activities and menus?
  • Does the executive director have an open-door communication policy for residents and family?

Your trusted family members and friends can help you take notes and be a good sounding board as you consider the pros and cons of each assisted living community. A second or even third tour will help you make a good decision. Plus, you’ll be more at ease and comfortable with the building, staff and residents as you move in.

Call us for a personal consultation today.