Listen to the Experts: Questions for Current Independent Living Residents

Questions for Current Residents

Brochures and sales pitches have their place, but if you really want to know what life is like in a senior living community, you need to go straight to the people with the real answers:  the residents. They are your friends, your neighbors, your peers—people who made the move and are now living their decision. And most likely, they are eager to share their real-life experience with you. 

10 Questions to ask independent living residents:

What’s your favorite thing about the community?

Many times this is a great conversation starter and opens up a dialogue about how the community is impacting the lives of its residents—not so much in terms of amenities, but in how it makes residents feel.

What is a typical day like?

Ask for a few examples: what do they usually do in the morning?  What about a weekday afternoon? Are weekends special for any particular reason? This is a good way to find out what residents look forward to, and how they fill their time. So many residents find themselves far busier than they ever imagined. 

How is the food? 

Maybe one of the most important questions for current independent living residents! Let them tell you what they think about the entire dining experience, from the wait staff, to the atmosphere, to the menu, to special occasion dining. Ask if they bring their family to dine with them occasionally. 

What do you think about the staff?

When you tour a senior living community, you are most likely seeing staff members on their best behavior. So don’t be shy to ask a current resident their opinion of the people caring for them, serving them or assisting them throughout the day. Do the residents feel respected and valued? Do they feel the staff has done everything possible to help keep everyone protected during the pandemic? 

As an independent living resident, do you feel at home here?

Moving into a new setting always takes some adjustment, but after a while, a resident is either going to feel like it’s home or realize for some reason it’s not a good fit. This is one of the questions for current residents of senior living that might reveal some very valuable insight. 

Do you enjoy the activities?

Find out if the activities calendar is updated regularly, are there events and things to do in the evenings and on weekends, and how well attended activities are. You might also inquire about how flexible the staff is concerning adding new hobbies and pastimes. 

Are the grounds kept up nicely?

Do the current residents feel pride in their community?  Do they think the landscaping looks good year-round, the interiors are clean and orderly, and overall, the ambiance is fresh and vibrant? 

How are requests handled?

If the resident has a concern, complaint or suggestion, is it easy for them to register it with the executive staff? And how long before action is taken? What you really want to know is if the lines of communication are open and input is welcome and encouraged. If so, then it is a senior community that really wants to be your home.

Do you like your independent living residence?

Moving from a long-cherished home isn’t easy, and many seniors have to do a fair amount of downsizing. But often after a period of transition, they find that living in a new space with no housework or chores feels very good—and they appreciate less square footage. Ask a resident if they feel the design works for them.

Do you have peace of mind?

This can open a discussion of several topics. First, there’s personal security. Just knowing they are living in a setting with on-site security and a full staff can offer a great deal of reassurance. Then there’s the availability of on-site care, whether it’s 24-hour assistance in an emergency, or additional care levels when needs change. Don’t forget safety requirements, such as how many residents have received their Covid vaccines, social distancing in place, and more. Talking to someone who’s actually benefiting from this worry-free lifestyle can be quite eye-opening.


We do everything we can to make a positive difference in the lives of Senior Star residents. Schedule a virtual or in-person tour to meet our team and learn more about life in a Senior Star community. For more helpful information about senior living download the Family Decision Toolkit: Your A–Z Guide To Choosing The Right Senior Living Community.

New call-to-action