These days, we have access to more information at our fingertips than ever before. So, if you’re researching senior living communities near you, it’s easy to find photo galleries, virtual tours, testimonials and other helpful resources designed to give you a sense of what life is like as a resident.
And yet, despite the sheer volume of available information, there simply is no substitute for touring a senior living community for yourself. How does the community make you feel? What are the residents like? Can you see yourself not just living there – but thriving? If a picture is worth a thousand words, a tour is worth all the encyclopedias in the world.
In this post we’ll share some of our top questions to ask when touring a senior living community, as well as insight from two Senior Star team members. Our goal? To help you get the most out of your tour so you can make a more informed decision for yourself. Let’s get started!
Tips & Questions for Your Senior Living Community Tour
1. Narrow down your list of contenders
When choosing a continuing care retirement community to call home, you’re going to want to tour more than just a single option. However, touring every senior living community near you just isn’t practical. Instead, narrow down your list of top contenders to no more than three options. This will help ensure you stay focused on only the communities that are likely to offer everything you’re looking for in your next home.
2. Don’t be afraid to get personal.
According to Elizabeth Bartleman, the assistant executive director at Senior Star at Weber Place, people are sometimes afraid to ask the personal questions that are really on their minds. She suggests being open and direct about the emotions you may be dealing with, asking questions like:
- Do you feel you give the people who live here the peace of mind they need?
- What will you do to help me if I’m feeling scared or anxious about my move?
- When you show up to work, how do you feel about what you do?
3. Get out and about among the residents.
Some continuing care retirement communities are vibrant, energetic places where people are always coming and going, taking part in fun activities or simply socializing with each other. The best way to experience the atmosphere for yourself is to go where the people are and observe how they interact within the community. In fact, Bartleman also suggests having a meal with other independent living guests so that you can get first-hand answers to some of your questions, while enjoying a taste of the available dining options.
4. Ask to see more than just a single floor plan.
By now, it’s possible that you have a pretty good idea of which floor plan you like best. But seeing them in person can be an entirely different experience. For example, the floor plan you thought was a perfect fit for your belongings could feel much larger or smaller in person than you were expecting. If you look at multiple floor plans, you’ll get a much clearer sense of how the space fits your unique lifestyle.
5. Ask about emergency plans and safety precautions.
While it’s not fun to think about, natural disasters and other emergencies are unavoidable realities of life no matter where you live. When asked, Tracy Reich, program director at Weber Place, had this to say:
“I would ask about security and disaster plans. It’s important to know how secure and safe your environment is and how well-rehearsed the team is for a disaster.”
Depending on the response you get, it will be easy to tell which communities have taken the appropriate precautions and which need to give disaster preparedness more attention.
Come Join Us for a Tour
At Senior Star, we’re proud of our continuing care retirement communities and the charming people who call them home. We’d love for you to join us for a tour where we believe you’ll experience excellent senior living full of passion, purpose and exciting possibilities for a future life well-lived. Find a community near you, or learn more about our vibrant lifestyle options Senior Star has to offer!