WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN VISITING A SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY
Let’s face it. Shopping for senior living is a lot of work. Evaluating amenities and services, understanding complicated pricing structures, reviewing ratings and touring communities isn’t a simple process. It is easy to become overwhelmed and make mistakes.
SeniorLiving.Net has put together a list of common mistakes, as well as some tips, to keep you on the right track when searching for the perfect senior living community.
EVALUATE A SENIOR CARE COMMUNITY ON MORE THAN JUST APPEARANCE
Pretty buildings don’t always translate to good care. Likewise, older buildings sometimes have tenured, dedicated staff and great care. When you are touring a community, pay more attention to the residents and to the staff instead of how pretty and new the building is. Are residents clean and well cared for? Does the staff seem involved with the residents? Are residents engaged in activities and with the staff? Does there seem to be enough staff? Are there pervasive odors? Are call lights going off for long periods of time? These are the items that are the true measure of a good care community.
VISIT A SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY MULTIPLE TIMES
Weekdays are when care communities are best staffed and a lot of management is around to supervise. But what happens in the late evenings or on weekends? Once you have narrowed your choice down to one or two communities, visit after hours and on weekends. Is there enough staff? Are call lights answered promptly? Do residents still seem engaged and well cared for? Be sure you are as happy with the after hours and weekend feel of a community as you are with their weekday face.
ASK PLENTY OF QUESTIONS
Ask as many questions as you need to get a real answer. Some communities spend a lot of money on sales training for the staff and have come up with some “non-answers” to important questions. For example, ask what their staff-to-resident ratio is. If they answer with something like “We staff according to acuity”, ask a follow-up. “How many caregivers does that mean exactly?” This is an important decision for you and your family. You need to feel like the answers to the questions you ask are giving you the peace of mind you need to make a good decision.
IF POSSIBLE, ADJUST YOUR BUDGET ACCORDINGLY
That isn’t easy to do when you look at how much senior living costs. But a few hundred dollars a month can sometimes mean the difference between marginal care and quality care.
TAKE YOUR TIME MAKING A DECISION
Know when you start this process that it isn’t a fast one. Give yourself time to tour communities on various days and times, follow up with questions, and extra time to review your pro and con list for each community. It isn’t easy for an older adult to move once, let alone twice. Take time to make a confident decision.
GET HELP FROM A LOCAL EXPERT
SeniorLiving.Net’s Senior Care Advisors do much of the legwork for you. They will help you understand what level of care your loved one needs, what the financial requirements are, and match you with the senior care community choices that best meet your needs. Care Advisors will provide you with the resources you need such as checklists and questions to ask, directions to senior living communities, and even schedule tour appointments for you. All of this at no cost to you or to your family! Call (866) 342-4297 to speak to your local Care Advisor!
For more helpful tips while looking for a senior care community, select the type of care you are looking for below:
- Adult Day Services
- Alzheimer’s & Dementia
- Assisted Living
- Continuing Care Retirement Community
- Home Care
- Independent Living
- Nursing Home
SET UP A TOUR
Call your local Care Advisor at (866) 510-9738to narrow down your search and to set up appointments to tour local communities, all for FREE!