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.
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?
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?
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?
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.