When considering a senior living community, prospective residents and their families should visit in person and tour the grounds while taking the time to talk to residents and staff. These are a few questions to keep in mind when touring a potential community.
Related Blog: How to Make the Most Out of Your Visit to a Senior Living Community
10 Questions to Ask a Senior Living Community
1. What is the Staff-to-Resident Ratio?
This indicates how much time and attention they will be able to provide to individual residents. Think of it much like a student to teacher ratio that you'd look for in a school. The last thing you want is too many residents per staff member and letting people in need slip through the cracks.
Asking this question will help you get a grasp on the size of a community and if they're capable of caring for your loved one the way they deserved to be treated.
2. Will Future Needs be Met?
The level of care that an individual needs may change over time. This is especially true with sufferers of dementia. Look into whether the community provides different levels of care and ask about progressive care as people age.
Make sure that the community you decide on has the staff, resources, and facilities to take care of your loved one in every stage of their aging process.
3. What is the Demeanor of the Staff?
Staff should be warm, courteous, and friendly. Staff demeanor is often an indicator of the quality of life in a senior living community and the way the staff are treated by management.
Remember, you're choosing a place to live out your life in peace and relaxation. If the staff's moods and demeanors won't let you do that, then you don't want to live there.
4. What Exactly is and is not Included in the Baseline Fee?
This is a very important factor when choosing a senior living community or assisted living facility. Prospective residents should be sure to find out about additional charges for services so you don't get surprised by a bill or charge in the future. It's also crucial to make sure that the community you're touring fits your budget in a way that will allow you to live comfortably.
5. Is Transportation to Medical and Dental Appointments Provided?
If this is not provided by the living community, the resident or their family may be handling transportation themselves. Alternatively, they may have to pay someone for transportation to appointments. This goes hand-in-hand with question number 4 and is something you need to know for the future.
6. How Big is the Community?
There is no recommended size for an independent living community. Some are smaller and quieter while others are larger with more opportunities to socialize. The person who will be living there should choose based on personal preference.
7. Are There Activities for Residents?
In most cases, a nursing home or senior living community will provide activities for residents. Prospective residents should find out about the daily schedule and about unscheduled activities.
Ask for an events calendar to see what types of activities are available at the community and see if they fit your wants and interests. At the same time, check out each amenity to be sure the community has everything you desire.
8. How Easy is it to Access Amenities and Services?
Will it be necessary to have transportation to get to amenities and services? The importance of nearby amenities and services depends largely on the resident’s mobility limitations. The last thing you want is to live somewhere that's hard to navigate and get around.
9. Have the Meal Plans Been Evaluated by a Dietitian?
Meals should be well-balanced, attractive and taste good. The facility should also be able to make accommodations for special dietary needs including low sodium and gluten free.
10. Are the Units Accessible?
Housing units should be adaptable for potential future needs. It should be possible to add features like ramps, if necessary. Make sure that the unit you'd be selecting has all the accessories and helpful tools you'll need to live comfortably.
BONUS: How Did You Handle COVID-19?
In these times, it's important to know that your future senior living community was effectively responsive in times of crisis. Don't be afraid to ask them about their response to COVID, how they handled guests and doctor's appointments, and how effectively their plan worked.
Now that you know the questions to ask, it's time to ask them. If you'd like to set up a tour, contact us for further questions!