Cover These Topics on Your Visit
Few things are as life-changing as making the decision to move your mom or dad to a senior living community. Fortunately for many people, choosing the right senior living community can begin a whole new phase of growth and discovery. And the best way to ensure this possibility is to help your mom or dad find the right fit for them — their home away from home.
To assist you in your quest to find “the one,” check out our list of things to ask and issues to consider. And don’t forget to download our handy list of questions to take on your visit!
Enjoy the Activities
Try to schedule your visit during a planned social activity. Observe the staff and the residents. Do the seniors and staff look like they are having fun?
It’s also important to visit a community at different times during the day. Are events well attended and do they occur on weekends too? Are some events offsite? Be sure to examine the variety of activities on the community calendar and see if there are any activities your mom or dad would enjoy.
Inspect the Community
During your visit, make a note of the cleanliness of the furniture, windows and baseboards. Are there any pervasive odors? Though they may seem minor, these can be indications of the kind of care your loved one will receive and the overall health of the community you’re considering.
Look for Friendliness
When visiting a community for the first time, it’s important to make a note of the wellbeing of staff and residents. Do residents look happy, engaged, healthy and well cared for? Does the staff seem alert, responsive, competent, cheerful and satisfied? Also, ask how staff members are chosen — what their qualifications are and what the hiring process entails.
Visit the Great Outdoors
It’s certainly important to survey indoor spaces, where your loved one will be spending most of their time, but it’s also good to make a note of the outdoor amenities as well. Are there benches, walking trails and outdoor amenities available to residents and their families? Are outdoor activities offered?
Sample the Cuisine
Most communities will brag about the tastiness of their food, but the only way to know for sure is to sit down and sample a meal during your visit. Be sure to evaluate the cleanliness of the dining room and the cordiality of the staff, as well as the variety and nutritional value of the meals. How are meals prepared and chosen? Are there sample menus you can evaluate?
Survey the Security
Be sure to examine public areas and private rooms for safety features like grab bars, handrails, call buttons, good lighting and easy access bathrooms. Find out if residents are outfitted with emergency call buttons, how often staff check in on residents and what kind of medical staff is available onsite, day and night.
Also take a note of both indoor and outdoor security features, emergency exit lighting and signs, fire sprinklers and no-slip floors. Is the facility designed to keep intruders out and residents — particularly those with dementia — safe inside?
Ask About Personal Care
After visiting a community, it’s a good idea to ask questions about how your loved one’s specific personal and medical needs will be met. How will they get their medication? With they receive dignified help with bathing, dressing and grooming?
Seek Out Recommendations
When it comes to your loved one, you want to make sure they’re receiving the best possible care, so be sure to ask staff, residents and families about their experiences with a particular community. In addition to onsite conversations and online ratings and reviews, be sure to ask the facility for recommendations from past residents and family members too.
Hammer Out the Logistics
Make sure you know the total monthly cost, as well as any additional costs your loved one may incur. Are there extra charges for meal delivery, laundry, housekeeping and transportation? Does care cost separate? Are there annual rate increases to expect? Be sure to ask about their visitor policies and their move-out policies.
We’re Always Here to Help
It’s certainly important to be informed, but even more important to trust your instincts. Visiting several different communities will give you a good idea of what’s out there. Be sure to visit the grounds, speak to staff and residents and participate in a guided tour. And most importantly, ask your loved one where they feel most comfortable and at home.
From independent living to assisted living and dementia care, Brookdale offers a range of communities and services to suit the needs of seniors and their families. At Brookdale, we’re here to help you find the right community for you and your family. Give us a call today and let us see how we can help you during your search.
Don't Go Into Your Visit Empty-handed
Download and print out this list of questions so you'll know what to ask the senior living community during the visit.