The Senior Living Search: Key Questions for Making an Informed Choice

The Senior Living Search: Key Questions for Making an Informed Choice

If you have never searched for a senior living community before, it might feel overwhelming. You know you should ask a lot of questions so you can make an informed choice, but where do you start? At Heritage Communities, we are here to help you with your senior living search because helping you find the perfect fit is our greatest desire.  

Questions for your senior living search 

While you are coming up with questions to ask both on the phone and during a tour of a community, try to consider both specific details you’d like to know, as well as more general topics. For example, here are a few to consider during your senior living search: 

  • What makes them tick?

Everyone talks about how today’s senior living communities are nothing like those of the past—and for the most part, it’s true! It’s a good topic to bring up on a visit to a community. Ask what makes this community unique. Why should you choose them over another one. How does it better reflect what today’s older adults are looking for, whether in opportunities for socializing and making friends, safety features and protocols, or levels of care.  

  •  What’s most important to the community leadership?

Senior living today is offering more and more ways to enhance quality of life. Examples are exceptional culinary experiences. A renewed focus on lifelong wellness. Innovative technology designed for greater convenience and safety. And so much more.  

As you continue your senior living search, be sure to take the time to ask a community representative what their overriding philosophy is for their residents—their goal for how each person lives their lives. Is it carefree living?  Freedom of choice?  Bringing more fulfillment to a resident’s life? All communities want to provide a safe and pleasant home for older adults, but what really drives them in their efforts. 

  • What is life like there?

Every community is unique just like every person is unique. Some feel more formal, while others seem a bit more laid back. You might be looking for a lifestyle that’s filled with flexibility and fun, with a lot going on each day. Casual comfort might be more your style; a setting that feels like a country inn with friendly staff and welcoming neighbors. Or you might really like a community that puts you close to a favorite local dining or shopping district. Ask what the atmosphere is like, and pay attention as you tour: how would you describe the ambiance?  

  •  What levels of care are available?

Finding a community with multiple levels of care can bring great peace of mind. If that’s important to you, ask what the options are if your needs change. Other questions for your senior living search might include what kind of accommodations are available in each level of care. What training and qualifications do staff members have? Do staff members participate in ongoing training? Be sure to tour the entire community to get a firsthand impression of how staff and residents interact with one another. 

  • What kind of activities are offered?

Staying busy and active is important for both emotional and physical health. Even an introvert needs to be around others now and then. Be sure to obtain a copy of the activities calendar and ask how many residents participate. You also might inquire about special events and outings:  what kind of experiences can residents expect? Are outside speakers and experts brought in for classes or lectures? Weather permitting, are there outdoor activities?  

  •  What is the dining program like?

Mealtime is a favorite part of the day for many older adults—as it should be! It’s a great way to relax with friends and share a good time as well as great food. Make sure your senior living search includes more than one meal at any community you’re interested in. Ask about the menu selections and what types of venues are available. Are dietary restrictions accommodated? How does the chef interact with residents?  Are there daily specials and flexibility in the menu? What is the atmosphere like?    

  • How do they help older adults stay healthy?

Today’s senior living communities are finding new and better ways to help their residents lead longer, healthier lives. Be sure your senior living search includes questions about fitness opportunities. Find out what types of classes they have. Is there a walking club? What about personal instruction on fitness equipment? Are there opportunities for seniors who are less mobile to exercise, such as chair aerobics? What about yoga and Tai Chi and other forms of relaxation and stretching?  

In addition to exercise, wellness programs are important as well. Find out what the philosophy of wellness is and what types of preventive measures are offered, such as health screenings or instruction.  

Your senior living search: find out what you need to know. 

These questions are just a beginning. Think about what matters to you, and make a list. Size of residences. Reputation in the local community. Accreditation information. Experience of the leadership. Outdoor spaces. Services, such as transportation, housekeeping and maintenance. Safety features. 24/7 staffing. And don’t forget as part of your senior living search to ask others about the community, such as friends, relatives, neighbors and trusted advisors and professionals.  

Remember, your senior living search is all about finding the right lifestyle for you—one that you can make your own. At Heritage Communities, we are here to connect you to a community that meets your needs, matches your lifestyle, and satisfies your taste. With plenty of social, intellectual, spiritual and fitness opportunities to keep you as busy or relaxed as you want. Living better: that’s what it’s all about! 

Find the living option that fits you. Download our free guide, The Complete Guide to Choosing Between Senior Living Options. Or contact us today. 

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