Tips on Touring
Finding a perfect place for your loved one is one of the most important decisions you will make. We at Waltonwood have devised a list to help you when touring senior living communities:
The community staff/team must project expertise and a friendly attitude. You should see them treating all potential residents and existing residents with kindness. Make sure you understand the structure in the community and who the staff members are who will be caring for your loved one. Any good resident focused community will introduce you to the staff at the community.
Make sure the community is fresh and clean. Check baseboards and windows. Inquire how many times housekeeping is provided, what services are provided by maintenance and how often?
If there are any foul odors this will indicate a lack of cleanliness or a temporary problem at the least. If odors persist throughout the community this indicates the likelihood of a larger problem. Check with the manager.
Watch the activities center. Are they well attended and is the staff playing a hands-on role? Review the community calendar - this should always be available at any senior community. Make sure there are various activities including on-site and offsite social events and, inquire about religious services if this is important.
- The Community
Make sure the community consists of everything your loved one desires, indoors and outdoors. All seniors love the outdoors especially when the weather is nice outside. Check what accommodations have been made to provide a safe outside area where residents can walk around, spend time gardening or even grilling in the summer! The dining experience has to be one of the most significant to many senior residents. Ask to see the sample menu, and what accommodations are made for any special dietary requirements. Sometimes senior communities will invite you, your family and your loved ones for a complimentary lunch to let you get familiarized with the community. Ask if the community is licensed or not? Licensed communities have more regulations in place.
Security and safety is a concern for all family members. Check out that the apartments are constructed for your loved one to move around easily. Ensure bathrooms are equipped with grab bars, 24-hour emergency pull cords and care-giving are available throughout the apartment. What staffing is available at night and day. Is there medication management? Do they provide community gates or a monitoring system to ensure security?
- Is care being provided with dignity?
As a family member you will want your loved one to be treated with dignity and respect while being cared for in the best possible way. Meet current residents at the community while you are touring. Observe them. Do they appear to enjoy the environment of the community?
- Are there any surprise costs that you need to be aware of?
Most importantly trust your instincts. Can you imagine your loved one living there? You must feel comfortable about the community you are touring and that they will have your loved ones best interests at heart.