What to Look for and Questions to Ask When Touring Senior Living Communities 

What to Look for and Questions to Ask When Touring Senior Living Communities

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

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There are over more than 810,000 people living in senior living communities in the United States, and it’s projected that there will be a need for more than 1 million new units by 2040. 

Choosing the senior living lifestyle is an exciting time for older adults. You’re looking forward to an active, maintenance-free lifestyle with like-minded seniors. 

After talking to trusted friends and family, you’ve decided the senior living lifestyle is perfect for you, and you have a list of possible senior living communities.   

To make the most of your senior living tours, here’s what to look for and questions to ask when touring senior living communities. 

Safety Questions 

The safety of residents and staff should be a top priority for senior living communities.  

Ask the following questions and make these observations to ensure the community has appropriate safety precautions.  

  • Are staff available 24/7 to assist residents in an emergency? 
  • Do you have medical personnel on staff for medical emergencies? 
  • Look for safety features like grab bars, security cameras, walk-in showers, fire alarms, and guard rails 
  • What are your evacuation procedures? 

Staff Questions 

Senior living staff is a critical part of the community. During your tour, observe the staff. Are they friendly? Are they interacting with residents?  

Before you make a choice get answers to the following:  

  • What are the training requirements for staff? 
  • Do you perform background checks? 
  • What is your turnover rate? 
  • Are staff available 24/7? 

<LP: https://info.vitalityseniorliving.com/family-decision-guide> 

Food and Dining Questions 

Let’s be honest! Food (great food) is an essential part of life. We celebrate some of our best moments with food. 

If you’re moving into a senior living community, you want a variety of delicious, healthy, high-quality food.   

During your tour, make sure there are a variety of dining options. Do they have a formal dining room, Bistro, café, or outdoor barbecue area? 

Tip: Ask to try a meal during your tour. 

Here are a few questions to ensure you enjoy your community’s dining options: 

  • How many meals/snacks are provided daily? 
  • How do you handle dietary restrictions? 
  • Are there set times for meals? 
  • Can I order food to be delivered to my apartment? 
  • Do you offer transportation to local restaurants?
  • Can residents make requests?
  • Do you have healthy options?

Social and Recreation Questions 

Today’s seniors are more active and social than ever. Senior living residents want to have opportunities to connect and socialize with peers.   

Whether it’s starting a new hobby, taking a class, or enjoying a meal or cocktail with other residents, sitting around is not on their agenda.   

Retirement and active adult living communities are designed to meet the needs of these active seniors.   

To make sure you’ll have everything you need to enjoy yourself, ask the following questions and observe participation and involvement with the current residents: 

  • What types of planned activities and social events do you offer? 
  • Can I look at an activity schedule?
  • Do you offer live entertainment?
  • Are there opportunities to visit offsite events? Do you offer transportation? 
  • What types of classes do you offer? 
  • What are your most popular clubs and activities? 
  • How do residents sign up for activities? 

Wrap Up! 

Congratulations on your decision to choose the senior living lifestyle! These questions are the first step toward determining your next home. 

For more information on choosing a senior living community, download this helpful Family Decision Toolkit from Vitality Living. 

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