Whether you’re exploring options for yourself or a loved one, taking a tour of a senior living community is the best way to learn if it is the right option. Ideally, a tour will allow you to ask questions and give you a feel for the atmosphere and the amenities. But, it can be difficult (and perhaps overwhelming) to gather all the important information. To help, we put together a senior living checklist that highlights key things to observe and questions you may want to ask while on your tour.
The Facility & Atmosphere
One of the most important things is for a senior living community to feel like home. You’re trying to find a warm and welcoming place where you or your loved one can feel confident and comfortable. As you tour the grounds and interior, try picturing yourself in the space—dining at the cafe, reading in the library, and socializing with neighbors in the common areas. Is this a place you could call home? During this part of the tour, you can learn a lot by simply observing the activity around you. Plan to ask a few pointed questions, but try to concentrate on getting a feel for the overall environment.
Things to Observe:
- Are the grounds well-maintained and easy to navigate?
- Is the interior well cared for (clean, tastefully decorated, comfortable furniture)?
- Is the community accessible for everyone, even less mobile residents?
- Are there open and inviting areas for residents to meet and socialize?
- What kind of neighborhood is the community located? Is it generally safe and quiet?
Questions to Ask:
- What floor plans are available?
- What security features are in place?
- Who can help me if I have an emergency?
Amenities & Activities
Many senior living communities offer modern amenities and an abundance of activities. You may create a wishlist of activities or read up on those that are available . Are you looking for unique dining options, a robust social calendar, or more leisurely options? Once you have a wishlist, you can write down questions that align with your priorities. If possible, speak with a few current residents. Ask them about their favorite activities and what they enjoy most about living in this particular community. Additionally, here are recommended questions to ask on your tour.
Questions to ask:
- What are the most popular activities?
- Is there an extra charge for any of the amenities or activities?
- Are residents attending social events and engaged in the living community?
- Are there educational events available?
- Is resident parking included and is it in a convenient location?
- What are my dining options??
- How are dietary restrictions accommodated?
Another vital aspect of any senior living community is the staff. This is another area where observation is key. Take note of how staff members interact with residents and with each other. Are they friendly, genuine, and willing to assist if needed?
Things to Observe:
- Do residents seem happy and comfortable?
- How do staff members interact with residents and with each other?
- Do staff members handle residents’ requests and/or concerns swiftly and effectively?
- Does the management team seem experienced, friendly, and personable?
Questions to ask:
- What is the staff to resident ratio?
- Do you employ your own staff, or do you use contracted staff?
- Are staff well-trained, educated, and properly licensed?
- What is the organization’s mission statement? Do staff members live it in their day-to-day tasks?
Most senior living communities will have a variety of financial options. Your tour should include a time to sit down with an admissions counselor or a realtor to discuss specifics. If this isn’t included, you should request this information and set up a time go over all the details.
Questions to ask:
- What are the pricing specifics (entrance fee, monthly rent, utilities, services, and etc.)?
- Are there any contracts involved?
- Is long-term care insurance accepted?
- Are there financial assistance options?
- Can you help me with selling my home?
- Can I bring my own furniture and belongings?
Long Term Options
If you or your loved one are considering a move to a senior living community, it’s important to choose a place that can accomodate your needs now and in the future. Facilities with multiple care options are often called continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). They are designed to provide a continuum of care—from independent living to rehabilitation and skilled nursing—without the need for a resident to leave the community.
At Sunset Senior Communities, our Life Plan is more than a full continuum of care. It is a unique approach to living that ensures a quality of life that nurtures your physical, mental, social and spiritual being. We view life as a journey and we feel blessed to walk it with you.
Come See Life at Sunset
As one of the largest Christian-based nonprofit organizations in West Michigan, Sunset provides trusted, high-quality senior care and living facilities. We welcome everyone into a family-like living environment and provide care and services that focus on residents’ total well-being. While each of our four communities are uniquely different, we are united by our mission to provide quality services for senior adults in a spirit of Christian love.
We’d love for you to take a tour! Simply fill out this form and indicate which community or service you are most interested in. Come prepared with questions or let one of our expert staff show you around our friendly neighborhood. We look forward to meeting you!