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Visiting Checklist: Questions to Ask When Touring


Alissa Sauer

When it comes to finding the perfect senior community for yourself or a loved one, it can be hard to know where it start. Today’s senior living communities are as diverse as today’s senior population and offer unprecedented services and amenities. Our visiting checklist can help you ask the right questions to find the right community for yourself and your family.

How to Find Your Perfect Senior Community

Visiting a community may feel overwhelming. How do you even know where to start? What to ask? These questions can help you decipher what life at each community will look and feel like and help you find the place you want to call home.

Appearance and Physical Features

  • Is the community a place you could imagine calling home?
  • Is the community attractive? Would you be proud to live here?
  • Are the community grounds, landscape, and building exterior well maintained and easy to navigate?
  • Are there different apartment/cottage floor plans to choose from?
  • What is the lighting like at the community? Is it natural, calming and inviting?
  • What does the community smell like?
  • Is there an apartment home that you could see on your tour?
  • Is the community interior well maintained (freshly painted, clean carpeting, comfortable furniture)?
  • Are there common areas for residents to entertain and socialize?
  • Is the community easy to navigate and accessible to less mobile residents?
  • Is parking convenient or will visiting be less convenient due to poor parking spaces?
  • How do you feel in the community? Do you feel calm, welcome, and excited about the future?

Amenities and Location

  • Is the community located in a desirable area with conveniences nearby (grocery stores, pharmacy, public transit, hospital, etc.)?
  • Does the community have a unique location that makes it more desirable (near a university, park, beach, etc.)
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Does the community offer all the amenities you’re looking for (concierge services, a gym, pool, theater, spa, etc.)?
  • Is the food/dining service to your satisfaction?
  • Do residents seem to be engaged in social events and taking advantage of community amenities?
  • How does the food taste?
  • How often are the menus changed?
  • What times are the meals served?
  • Is there a cafe or bistro option? What about a coffee shop?
  • How are meals served (buffet style, restaurant, etc.)?
  • Is there an extra charge for certain amenities? If so, which ones and how much will they charge?
  • Do apartments have cable TV?
  • Does the community have wireless internet?
  • Is there a computer room?
  • Are there onsite classes or lectures for residents?

Care Services and Terms of Residency

  • How do the staff members treat each other and residents?
  • Do the residents seem happy and well cared for?
  • Was the staff able to answer your questions clearly and sufficiently?
  • Was the management team well staffed, experienced, effective, friendly, and personable?
  • Ask to review any sample contracts or any agreements the community would have you sign before move-in.
  • If applicable, is there a written plan of care for each resident? If so, how often are care plans reviewed?
  • Will residents need to move if care needs change over time? Or, is the community able to meet a wide range of needs?
  • How often will you be paying rent?
  • What exactly is included in the rent?
  • What is the best way for you to make a payment?
  • Will a payment reminder be sent by the community?
  • Is there a grace period for payment?
  • How does the community handle utilities? Who will pay for them?
  • Are there certain visiting hours for friends and family?

We know our communities are pretty great. We know because our residents tell us. But, the truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect community. It doesn’t exist because the perfect community looks different for each person. The needs of each resident are as different and unique as our services and offerings. That’s why we encourage every one of our future residents to stop by for a tour, ask questions that will help you gain a greater understanding of community life, and, ultimately, find the one that will best fit your retirement lifestyle. Bring this checklist with you and stop by any of our communities today. Lunch is on us. 

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