Choosing an assisted living community is an important decision. The number of choices can be overwhelming, and because no two communities are exactly alike, it takes time to research, compare, and evaluate your options. Whether you’re looking for yourself or a loved one, it’s helpful to take a tour of potential communities to determine which one is the right fit. Here are some of the top things to look for when touring an assisted living community:
Clean and attractive common areas and living spaces
As you begin to tour assisted living communities, pay attention to the look and feel of the communities you visit. Is the environment warm and homelike, or cold and sterile? Are the living arrangements attractive and clean? Are there spacious common areas for residents and visitors to enjoy? Is there an outdoor area where residents can walk and gather? Most importantly, can you imagine your loved one feeling safe and comfortable living in the community?
Friendly staff and cheerful residents
On your tour, take a moment to observe the staff members and residents. Is the staff welcoming and friendly? Are the residents sociable? Ask to see the community’s monthly schedule of events and programs for residents. Do you see activities that would interest you or your loved one? Are there weekly opportunities for fitness, learning, and entertainment? If you get a chance, talk to a few residents in the assisted living community and ask them questions. This will give you insight into what it’s really like living there.
Security and safety features
When it comes to choosing an assisted living community, you want to find a place that makes safety and security a priority. Look for safety features in the hallways, common area, and private living spaces. Are these areas easily accessible to individuals in wheelchairs and walkers? You’ll also want to find out about the community’s standards and procedures for emergencies. Are there registered nurses on site 24/7? Does the community use an alert system? Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the community’s approach to ensuring resident safety.
Services and amenities
Assisted living communities can vary greatly in the services and amenities they offer to residents. On your tour, ask about the on-site services and amenities offered by the community, such as transportation, laundry services, housekeeping services, and on-site beauty salons, barber shops or restaurants. Is the community pet-friendly? Ask for a list of the services and amenities offered so you can compare the other communities you visit.
Dining options and food quality
If possible, stay for a meal in the community. You can view a copy of the weekly or monthly menu and sample the quality of the cuisine prepared for residents. This is also an opportunity to observe interactions between residents. Do people seem to be enjoying their time together? Is the social atmosphere inviting and vibrant? Dining is an essential part of life, so you’ll want to be sure that the community you choose makes it an enjoyable and delicious experience!
As you will see, assisted living facilities differ greatly in terms of location, amenities, and the types of care offered. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you or your loved one feels safe, comfortable, and happy! Always trust your instincts; if you can envision yourself or your loved one thriving and enjoying life to the fullest in the community, you’ve found the right fit.