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If you’re a prospective resident, or interested in a tour for someone you love, you are making the right move by doing your research first. And our checklist can help keep you organized as you tour and evaluate communities. 

There are a lot of options in the senior living community and knowing what to look for can be overwhelming. Today's senior living communities are as diverse as today’s senior population, and offer unprecedented services and amenities.

Community tours are essential to finding out whether a particular community is right for you. Here are some excellent insights you’ll gain as you take your tour of senior living communities:

You’ll Get a Feeling for the Community’s Atmosphere

When you visit a community in person, you can walk through the hallways, see the apartments and get a feel for the environment. Ask yourself if this is somewhere you can see yourself living. How does the atmosphere feel when you walk in? Does it give you a warm and cozy inviting feeling or does it feel a bit cold and corporate? Is the space attractive and does it feel safe and secure? In particular notice the lighting and whether common spaces are well lit.

What Are the Amenities Like?

One of the biggest perks of Senior Community Living are the amenities available in the community. When taking your tour, keep in mind amenities that are important to you, especially if you have any “must haves” on your list. Some areas to consider might include a fitness area or onsite hair salon. Does the community have a pool, fitness area, walking paths, gardens, gameroom or library? If community activities are important, you will want to know what kind of activities they have and who runs them. You might want to know some of the attractions and shopping destinations nearby and what community transportation options are available. You’ll want to know how information is shared in the community. Such as do they have mobile apps like a cruise ship to keep you up to date on community events, menus, and to make maintenance requests. If you’re a pet owner, the allowance of pets is probably high on your list.

See the Staff In Action

The staff at any senior community will become an important asset in your day-to-day life. You might say they’ll become your second family. You should chat with them during your visit, and ask residents how they like the service they receive. Just by observing how staff and residents interact, you’ll gain a window into the community. If the staff members are warm, call the residents by name, and seem respectful, you know you’ll be in good hands.

Sample the Food and the Dining Room Experience

Food isn’t just nutrition, it’s social pursuit. When touring, be sure to enjoy a free lunch. When you sit down for a complimentary meal in the dining room, you’re sampling more than the cuisine -- you’re also savoring the atmosphere. Are people having a good time? Is it a restaurant or a buffet experience? Do you enjoy your meal? And don’t be afraid to ask to speak to the chef to find out more about menu choices and alternatives.

Interact With the Residents Already Living There

When you’re touring a prospective new community, the current residents are often your best resource. There’s a reason they chose to live in that community. Schedule to participate in an activity or dine for lunch with a resident ambassador in the dining room. Sharing a cup of coffee with someone who’s been in your shoes can be a comfort, and current residents love to share how much they like living in their community. 

You Can Ask Questions!

When you take your senior living community tour, you will have unique experiences that aren't covered on any website. Even with the best research, you may have questions that come up as you tour the hallways and grounds. Addressing questions as they arise means you don’t have to remember to ask later, and should make your personal knowledge about the community more complete. You can never ask too many questions when it comes to choosing your new home.

Time Saving Tour Techniques

To find the best fit, there are several things to keep in mind as you visit each community. These techniques will help save you time and shoe leather:

Schedule Tours In Advance

Make a point to schedule your tours in advance. This ensures there will be a staff member available with dedicated time to answer each and every one of your questions.

Know What Questions You Want to Ask and Take Notes

Prepare your questions in advance, and take detailed notes as you take your tours. This keeps each community distinct from each other, and prevents having to schedule an additional tour or phone call later

Text Graphic - Finding the Right Fit - a Checklist for evaluating

Let Intuition Be Your Guide

The search for a new senior living community should be a fun and exciting process. It’s kind of like dating, and you want to find the best possible match. So even if a community ticks all the boxes on paper, if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t the one for you.

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