Comparing and contrasting senior living communities can be an overwhelming process, to say the least. Often, we know what we want to ask beforehand but while touring with sometimes a tired senior even the most well thought out plans can go off course. To help, we have modified our Community Tour Checklist into manageable chunks below. Sometimes, touring and deciding on a community has to happen fast, we understand that. We are here to help you move swiftly, and make the best decision for your family.
Before you visit a Community, you can do some basic research to determine if the community can meet your required care levels. Often community websites will have these answers, or you can email them. Our Concierges are also able to help you answer these questions as well.
- What are the care levels? What do they include & cost? Is care a la carte or all-inclusive?
- Are caregivers and staff trained to care for your loved one’s specific needs? This is especially important for Dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other higher needs residents.
- What license(s) do they hold? The three licenses are Standard, LNS and ECC. All allow different levels of care. It’s important the community’s license is appropriate for the care your loved one requires.
- Is there a nurse onsite 24/7, or just on-call?
- Does the community administer medications? Any restrictions? Especially important if a resident is prescribed certain psychiatric drugs, insulin, etc.
- Do they have an in-house physician?
- Do they offer in-house Physical and/or Occupational therapy?
- What’s the communication protocol during an emergency? What is their protocol to communicate with family/Caregivers during an emergency such as if your loved one has to go to the hospital, during a hurricane, etc.?
- Resident to Caregiver ratio: This will give you an idea of how much one-on-one care they will get.
- Do they offer Hospice or end-of-life care?
Utilize your visit to do things you can do over the phone or by doing research online, ask to meet people, and get a sense if it will be a fit.
- Ask to Speak to the Director of Nursing. The Director of Nursing will be responsible for creating and managing your loved one’s care plan, so make sure you speak to him/her and feel confident about the discussion.
- Speak to the Executive Director. The Executive Director oversees the entire staff in the community. Their management and communication style usually “trickles down”, so speaking to him/her is important.
- Who is your point of contact when you have questions or concerns? Can you meet them in person?
- COVID policies and procedures: How are they protecting their residents and staff? See for yourself in person!
Also during the visit, it is a good time to see for yourself if the community can provide the quality of life and activities needed to thrive.
- Ask to tour common areas and see an apartment. Communities will be able to do live virtual tours to give you a real-time look in.
- Understand apartment sizes and costs. What services are included?Ask for a price sheet and room dimensions, as well as list of services/amenities included in the base cost.
- Dining: Is there all-day dining or set meal times? Ask to look at a menu. Is there in-room dining available? Do they accommodate special diets (gluten-free, vegetarian, etc.)
- Activities: What activities do they offer to residents? Ask to a see calendar. What are current protocols for residents to do activities or trips out of the community?
- Current visitation policies and procedures?
- Are there transportation services?
After Visit Follow-up:
After the visit is a good time to ask questions that are geared towards the next steps.
- Is there a one-time community fee?
- What is the current move-in process/protocol?
- Is there a waiting list?
- Can you tour again?
If you are in the process of looking for a senior living community, or maybe in the early stages and just wondering where to start, reach out to us directly so we can provide insight and support. We’re always a free service for families and can help you every step of the way! Schedule a free discovery call or download our checklist today!