Before you move into your new assisted living community, there are many factors you will want to consider before signing your lease. Will the community meet your needs? Is the community laid out in an easy-to-navigate way? What kind of amenities do they offer? You can avoid second-guessing yourself during your move by performing due diligence on the community before you sign up, which can be done with these steps touring assisted living communities.
Have a Meal
While visiting an assisted living community, make sure to have a meal there. Even if you do not feel hungry, it is essential to eat to experience what meals are like in a real-life situation. If you have concerns about portion sizes or food quality, consider eating somewhere else before heading over to your tour. In addition to tasting how healthy and fresh food is prepared in a senior living community setting, take note of how long meals take and whether residents seem rushed during mealtimes.
Talk With the Residents
Often, a well-written brochure or a slickly produced video will paint a very pretty picture of assisted living. But to get a good idea of what it is really like, you need to go in and talk with people that live there. Ask them about their likes and dislikes. Do they feel safe? Is staff responsive when residents need help? What do they think about daily activities? If you cannot meet current residents, speak with former ones—they might have valuable insights into specific concerns you may not have thought of. Asking questions and getting answers is critical to making an informed decision about your loved one’s future home and care provider.
Explore On Your Own
Visiting assisted living communities on your own can be an eye-opening experience, so do not forget to explore some on your own during your tour. If there is a common room or dining area, pay attention to whether people seem engaged in activities like games or TV. If you see people getting involved with community-type events, that is usually a good sign. Some loved ones prefer to keep to themselves; if you notice any residents who appear isolated or lonely (even if others are hanging out with them), make a note of it. It may not be as important for everyone else, but it could mean something different for you and your loved one.
Schedule Your Tour Around an Event or Activity
If you are looking to tour assisted living communities, try scheduling your tour when residents will be enjoying an activity. The more citizens there are in a community, the better. They will give you a better idea of how it is to live in an assisted living community and what is required of family members who choose to reside there. Events and activities include bingo, movie night, art class, afternoon tea, and even celebrations like birthdays and holidays (for example, Christmas or Thanksgiving). Offer to help out with events if possible; not only will it make for an exciting story, but you will also have a chance to meet many people from different resident groups and staff members.
Learn About Safety and Security
One of your top priorities should be to ensure that your loved one is safe and secure at all times. You will want to find out about any safety concerns, fire alarms, cameras, and other security measures in place in the community. Some communties have alarm systems for people who wander away from their rooms or other areas; some even require loved ones to wear bracelets or other devices that make it easier for staff members to track them. Make sure you understand how these safety features work and whether they are used consistently by employees.