What to Ask When Choosing a Senior Living Community Back
When considering senior living for yourself or a parent, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Making an informed decision that best meets you and your family’s needs and desires is vital when there are so many options when it comes to senior living. Finding the right community that fits your needs will provide a sense of hope and security as you begin your next chapter in life. It is a big decision that requires a lot of information. Asking better questions, big and small, will get you the most complete answers; which will allow you to make the best possible decision. Here are a few questions to consider as you search the internet, talk on the phone, or tour a senior living community:
1. Tell Me About the Accommodations Senior living communities vary in the accommodations they offer. What are the floor plans? How much privacy can residents expect? What personal belongings can residents bring? When are visitors allowed and can they stay overnight? What utilities are included in the rent? Is Wi-Fi available and reliable? Ask if you can tour a model unit and see if you can envision your belongings in it.
2. What Kind of Care and Service Do You Provide? Senior communities specialize in certain care for their residents. It is important to know the types of accommodations the community you are interested in provides. Many senior communities offer independent and assisted living only, so there are no rehabilitation, memory care, or nursing home options on site. This is important to consider if, at some point, you or a loved one needs to transfer to skilled nursing or memory care in the future.
3. What Activities are Available? Having an appealing range of activities both inside and outside of the community will make life much sweeter. Are there activities that catch your interest? Will you be able to learn, play, worship, or socialize in meaningful ways? Don’t forget to ask about any eligibility requirements for activities the community offers.
4. How is the Staffed Trained? A big part of finding a great community is knowing that you will have a kind, friendly, knowledgeable, and trained staff available to help you. If is important to ask what training and qualifications each staff member needs at every level. You may be interacting with certain staff on a daily basis. Who are they, and what experience and training do they have? What kind of additional training and continuing education do the staff participate in?
5. Tell Me About the Food! This question should probably be number one! Ask to take a tour of the dining room, look at the menus, taste test the food! Many senior communities offer all-day dining services with several meal options. If you have specific dietary needs, it will be important to discuss these concerns and questions.
6. What are the Costs? Asking direct, specific financial questions will help you determine if a senior community is a good fit or not. Ask about the base price (per month or year), how often these prices increase, and any additional costs for any amenities.
7. How Does the Community Communicate with Residents and Family Members? You don’t want to move in to a senior community only to feel detached and isolated. It is good to know how the community relays information to residents and family members so you can stay in touch. Do they have a facebook page? Do they send out regular newsletters? Do they have a website, email, or a blog? How does the community reach out to family when there is important information regarding medical care?
Don’t be afraid or feel shy when it comes to asking lots of questions. Involve those you trust and care about to help you with this important decision. When you ask questions you need answers to, you will be able to find a senior community that fits right along with who you are and what you need.