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Four Tips for Touring Senior Communities

Assisted living for seniors

It can be a startling and painful realization that your parent doesn’t have the independence they once had. At one point in time, your parent met every single human need that you had. As you got older, you didn’t need them to help you eat and walk, but you still relied on your parents for support and guidance. when you felt overwhelmed by life. Now, they are relying on you for support and guidance. It’s time to look at assisted living facilities, to find a home where they’ll get the day-to-day support they need, while maintaining a good quality of life.

Touring assisted living facilities is a lot easier said than done though. Assisted living facilities range in cleanliness and quality from one extreme to the next. In fact, even if you just stick to considering the “good” assisted living facilities, finding the one with the best cultural fit for your parent can be extremely difficult.

If you find yourself in the midst of this quandary, pay attention to our list of tips for touring senior assisted living facilities, below:

Four Tips for Touring Senior Communities

  • Engage Your Parent in the Process
    Taking the step towards less independence is a scary move in life. If your parent feels like they were forced into a senior living facility against their will (even if it was the best and safest option), it can have a terrible impact on their health. You mother or father will have the best adaption to their new living arrangement if they feel like they made the choice to move there.

    If your parent is in the health to do so, take them on the tour of the senior facilities with you. Ask them open-ended questions about what they think about it, so that they know their opinion matters.

    If your parent is particularly shut down to the idea of joining an assisted living community, consider involving something they particularly enjoy in the trip. Maybe your parent enjoys classic movies; after you tour the facility, take them to your local independent movie theater to see a Humphry Bogart hit. If they liken the assisted living tour to a positive experience, it will make them more open and engaged with the process.

  • Let Your Nose Do the Talking

    The cleanliness of the facility is paramount in your parent’s health and quality of life. When you visit any assisted living facility, make sure to ask how often the rooms are cleaned and how deeply. The path that you are taken on for your tour will likely be in tip-top shape, but be a little nosey. Look in the corners and crevices for dust buildup. Use the restroom in a non-main area. Pay attention to how clean it is.

    Use your sniffer to gauge how clean the facility is. Sometimes accidents happen, so if you smell a bodily smell in a single, localized area, it could just be a one-time thing. But if large areas smell unclean, the hygiene of the facility probably isn’t great.

  • Look for Culture That Your Loved One Will Mesh With

    A big part of being part of a senior living community isn’t just that your parent’s medical and physical needs are provided for. Your parent will stay in the best health the longest if they are in a community that makes them feel happy. A good senior living community has ample outdoor space (which is secured with a gate, for residents who struggle with dementia) so that everyone can enjoy the sun. If your parent is in the state of health to do so, you might look for a community who offers day trips to movie theaters or eateries, so that your parent can still participate in the things they love to do.

  • Does the Staff Seem Happy?

    Your parent will get the best care if the staff that takes care of them likes their job. While touring the assisted living facility, pay attention to the attitude the staff has, both with the residents and on their own. If they are overworked and under-appreciated, you’ll be able to tell in their demeanor. This attitude will also rub off on your parent if they spend every waking hour here. Look for staff who are obviously treated well and love their jobs.
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