Exploring Assisted Living: What to Expect During a Visit
When searching for an assisted living community for yourself or a loved one, knowing what to expect during a visit can help you better prepare and put you more at ease about the process. Although offerings and lifestyles differ greatly among assisted living providers, most communities follow similar practices and etiquette for first-time meetings with potential future residents.
A Typical Assisted Living Community Visit
You can expect the following to happen when you visit an assisted living community.
- During the pandemic, visitors are required to wear masks and undergo COVID screenings at the front door before entering the community.
- Visitors then meet with a community representative in a comfortable meeting space to discuss their needs and wants and ask questions before touring.
- During the pre-tour meeting or after the tour, the community representative will ask you financial questions to determine your budget.
- While on a personal tour, you can assess firsthand if the community meets your needs and is a good lifestyle fit.
- Tours usually include a visit to a community living room, other gathering spaces, exercise room, dining room (guests may be able to stay for a meal and sample the cuisine), model apartment home and showcase features such as libraries, bistros, courtyard patios and other amenities.
- You will likely meet team members and residents along the way and should take the opportunity to talk to them about their thoughts and feelings about the community.
- After the tour, you will return to the meeting space to review your experience, finances and paperwork and plan next steps.
Make the Most of Your Visit
The goal of the visit is to determine if the senior living community is a good fit or not. Can you see yourself or loved one being comfortable, secure and happy living at the community?
Beyond a first impression, asking the right questions will help you get the information necessary to assess the community and make an educated decision about whether or not the community is right for you.
Questions to Ask
- What’s the difference between assisted living, independent living and nursing homes?
- What type of accommodations are offered?
- Is there a full kitchen or kitchenette?
- Is the bathroom equipped with safety devices?
- Is there storage in the apartments?
- What services are offered?
- What amenities are available?
- What does a typical day look like?
- Can I see a recent activities calendar?
- What is your meal plan?
- Can I see a sample dining menu?
- What experience or training do team members have?
- What type of medical assistance is offered?
- Is care available around the clock?
- Is there current availability or a waitlist?
- Do you offer memory care?
- Under what circumstances would someone have to move out?
- Is there an entrance fee? How much?
- What are the monthly charges and what do they include?
- How often and under what conditions are monthly charges increased?
- What are your billing and payment guidelines?
- What happens if funds are depleted?
- Do you offer financial assistance? If so, how does one qualify?
- Do Veterans and/or their surviving spouses receive any benefits?
- Do you accept long-term care insurance?
- What is the visiting protocol for family members?
- How do you communicate with residents’ families?
- Can I talk with other family members or residents?
After the Visit
No doubt, there is a lot to process after an assisted living community visit. Talk about the experience with loved ones and share your thoughts and opinions about the visit. Reach out to the community representative with any additional questions or for clarification on previously provided information. Helping older adults and their families through the process of selecting and moving to senior living is their job and oftentimes their passion.
By knowing what to expect and being prepared, you can make the most out of your assisted living visit and be well on your way to confidently choosing a senior living community that offers a bright future and peace of mind.
To learn more about Pathway to Living or find a community near you, visit pathwaytoliving.com.