Senior Living Tour Steps
Beginning to explore senior living communities can be exciting, overwhelming, and sometimes a little scary. We want you to be as prepared as possible to make this big decision! At St. Andrew’s, we want to help you stay focused on the positive and maintain excitement as you or a loved one begin to think about your transition. Here are a few senior living tour steps to take before your visit and what to ask while on tour.
FINDING A PLACE TO TOUR
What level of care do you need?
One of the first senior living tour steps in planning for seniors is determining what care option will fit your medical requirements. Speaking with a doctor about the care needed is a good idea.
Each option described starts with less hands-on options like Active Living and Independent Living, up to higher levels of support like memory care and assisted living facilities.
- ACTIVE LIVING communities are designed for older adults with a focus on lifestyle, wellness, and to promote an active and engaged lifestyle promoting an active and engaged lifestyle. Our communities shine with optimism, social fun, and new adventures.
- INDEPENDENT LIVING eases your burdens and grants you maintenance-free homes with access to social events. These apartment homes give you freedom and security to live as you always have. Additional services are always available when you’re ready for them.
- REHABILITATION is short-term care available for individuals recovering from surgery, illnesses, or injuries. Physical, occupational, and speech therapies help assist in recovery and the transition back to your home.
- ASSISTED LIVING provides healthcare and personal services for each resident 24 hours daily, as needed. Suppose you need specific assistance with medication or rehabilitation-type activities. In that case, you can have peace of mind while still participating in a wide array of programming in an assisted living community.
- MEMORY CARE is a distinct form of senior care for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Staff members attend to residents’ needs with medication, bathing, grooming, eating, dressing, and other daily activities.
- SKILLED NURSING provides services and accommodations designed to provide full-time nursing and medical services to seniors with more severe health needs. Qualified nurses and staff members offer medication management, personal care, and more.
Where do you want to live?
Since you have narrowed down your options based on the level of care needed, you can begin to look at the locations of various senior living communities.
Think about what area would be preferable. Decide whether staying in a familiar suburb is essential to you or if being closer to a family member, child, or friend takes precedence. It’s also good to consider where things like doctors, church, and family are located near your potential new home. Maybe there’s a desire to live in a different state or climate altogether? (but keep in mind that pricing will change and might go up from state to state)
Like all decisions throughout this process, it’s essential, to be honest, realistic, and open about what a good location would be and any possible impact (positive or negative) it could have on those involved.
When do you want to tour?
Now that you've narrowed your search, you probably have a few options. If there is an option to take a virtual tour of a retirement community, you might be able to save time with that. However, there is nothing like seeing a place with your own eyes! To start scheduling in-person tours, contact the community online or call them directly to schedule an appointment. Many staff members are happy to get you in at your convenience.
A word of advice would be to keep the list of senior communities narrow by only touring your top choices. That way, you won't be overwhelmed by all the different options.
ON THE TOUR
Questions to Ask
- What types of help and care are available? (Bathing, helping in and out of bed, laundry, etc.)
- How do you determine what personal care assistance is needed? Are the caregivers skilled to handle behavioral health challenges? (Depression, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, etc.)
- What makes this community different from others?
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
- What is the lifestyle like in a senior living community?
- Whichever community I choose, would I like involvement, socialization with friends and family, and assistance from St. Andrew’s team members and volunteers?
- Are there specific visiting hours?
- How are apartments and floorplans chosen? Do we make the selection, or do you?
- Can I bring my décor to a room?
- Is there a waiting list? If so, do you charge a fee to be on the list?
- What interior and exterior safety precautions do you have in place?
- What preventive measures do you take to prevent falls?
- Is there the option to have daily “I’m OK” check-ins?
- What kind of system is in place for residents?
QUALITY OF LIFE
- What are outdoor and courtyard areas available for use?
- Do you assist residents if/when they wish to go outside, or can they do so independently?
- What kind of dining options are available in the dining room? How do meal plans work?
- What are social activities or life enrichment programs available? (Bingo, card games, movie nights, craft groups, spiritual groups, etc.)
- Do you measure resident satisfaction? If so, how often?
THE TEAM MEMBERS
- What qualifications do team members and care providers have?
- What are the hours that team members are available?
- How will team members get to know the current residents?
- Who owns and manages this community?