8 assisted livings tour tipsYou've had the conversations, weighed your options and decided that an assisted living community will provide your loved one with the help and care they need. Now, it's time to start evaluating assisted communities in your area. The problem is that after the first couple of tours, it can be difficult to keep the details of each community straight. These tips will help you ensure that the community you choose ticks all the right boxes for your family.

  1. Is the community clean and fresh-smelling?
    Questions to ask: How often does housekeeping tend to community spaces and individual suites? Is laundry service included, or is that an added cost? Is personal care, such as bathing and dressing, part of the care package?
  2. Schedule your visit during an activity.
    If your loved one is with you, note his or her level of interest in the activity and if he or she interacts with the residents. Take note of the staff during activity time, too. Are they enjoying themselves? Are they kind and engaged with the residents?
  3. Observe the staff in other areas of your tour, too.
    Are they friendly? Do they greet you warmly or smile as you pass?
  4. Explore the outdoors. Does it feel safe and secure?
    Questions to ask: Do the residents have unfettered access to the outdoors? Are staff break areas separate from the resident gardens?
  5. Take in a meal.
    This is a great time to talk to other residents and give your loved one an opportunity to interact.
  6. Take note of security features.
    Questions to ask: Are residents allowed to move around freely? What security measures are in place to prevent a resident from wandering off?
  7. Do the residents look healthy and happy?
    Are they well-groomed and clean?
  8. Stop by unannounced for a follow-up visit.
    See if the community looks and feels the same when you're not on a guided tour.

We recommend creating a checklist or a score sheet of some sort to help you keep track of the pros and cons of each community you visit. You should also trust your instincts. If you're uneasy in the space, your loved one will probably be, too.