Now that you’ve decided to make the move to assisted living, how do you choose the right community? Answering that question can often be just as overwhelming as whether or not to move at all, especially if there are a number of assisted living communities in your area! What should you be looking for? How do you compare? Are you even able to tour right now? We can help make the process much easier for you or your loved one.
Take a Step Back
It’s certainly natural to want to jump right into online searches for assisted living communities so you can see what the options are, but take a step back first. By that we mean – before even looking at communities – think about what you really want and need. Knowing what’s most important to you or your loved one before going into your search helps you from being overwhelmed by all the services, features, and amenities available so you can more easily narrow your list. You might consider:
- Must-haves like a particular location, a community that’s pet friendly, or that has private apartments, and, most definitely, one that’s within your budget.
- Preferences like having a full kitchen in your assisted living apartment versus a kitchenette, a community that has plenty of outdoor space, or some utilities included in the monthly rent.
- Nice-to-haves such as concierge services, a 24-hour fitness center, multiple dining venues, or private transportation.
Touring Assisted Living Communities Today
With the above information, you should ideally be able to narrow your search down to two or three assisted living communities you’d like to see for yourself. Many communities today offer the choice of either virtual tours or in-person tours. However you decide to tour, it’s easier to determine the right community when you’re comparing across the same criteria with questions like these:
Accommodations and the Campus
- What accommodations are available? Do they have both private and semi-private options? What are the differences in cost for each?
- Can you tour the different types of spaces available?
- Can residents personalize their space?
- Is the property well maintained?
- How do you feel about the appearance, comfort, and cleanliness of the accommodations as well as the dining, common, and outdoor areas?
Lifestyle and Wellness
- Does the menu have a variety of nutritious and appealing offerings? Can you sample the food when you tour?
- Do they accommodate special dietary restrictions or requests?
- What programs (exercise, wellness, enrichment, social, and other activities) are offered?
- How often do residents leave the community for outside activities?
- How often are housekeeping and laundry services provided?
- Are there enough amenities available? Are there ample opportunities to socialize?
- How often can friends and family visit? Are there common and private spaces to gather with them?
- Is the community pet-friendly?
- Is transportation offered?
Staff and Care
- What level of daily assistance can residents expect?
- What qualifications are required for the staff?
- Are staff members offered additional and/or continuous training opportunities?
- How do staff members interact with residents and you? Do they seem friendly and compassionate?
- Do they accommodate special needs, such as diabetic care?
Safety and Security
- How do they handle medical emergencies?
- How is the community secured?
- What safety features are available?
- What are the monthly costs for housing and care?
- What services are included in those costs?