Key Questions to Ask During a Senior Living Community Tour

If you’ve scheduled tours at multiple senior living communities one thing you probably realized very quickly is that no two communities are the same. Services, amenities, recreation opportunities, continuing care options, staff capabilities, and many more aspects can differ greatly between places. 

That’s why having a checklist with questions to refer to during a tour is such a great resource when searching for a retirement community that’s the best fit for your loved one. 

 

Arrive Early for Your Tour

Before you even get an opportunity to ask questions, it’s wise to get a feel for the community atmosphere by spending some time observing. Make sure you’re early for your tour and, if possible, take a walk around the campus. Pay attention to how things are maintained, whether residents seem happy, and how the staff interacts with you. Also, if you get the chance, chat with residents and their families to get a sense of how they like the community.

Once the tour starts you can get your questions ready. Here’s a breakdown of four key areas you want to be sure to cover:

 

Are Staff Prepared to Meet Resident’s Needs?

To help you get a better sense of the facility’s caregiving staff’s capabilities and experience, consider these questions:

 

What is the caregiver-to-resident ratio? How many residents live here?

How many caregivers and staff members are on duty during day and night shifts? 

What kind of training and certifications does the staff have?

Does the community perform background checks on all employees?

Do caregivers administer medications?

Do residents have access to an on-site or on-call doctor, nurse, or other licensed healthcare professionals?

Do caregivers assist with activities of daily living?

 

What Type of Activities Are Available?

It’s important to know how a community helps residents stay active physically, mentally, and socially. Learn what types of options are available and how they might complement your loved one’s hobbies and interests. Here are some questions to get you started:

 

Are residents encouraged to participate in activities?

What types of activities are available and are they regularly scheduled? 

Is there a calendar of events?

What amenities are provided (library, daily fitness, salon, barber shop, etc.)?

What outdoor spaces (walking paths and greenspace) does the community have?

Is there a space where residents can garden, do arts and crafts, or engage in other hobbies?

Does the facility collaborate with local community organizations for events? 

Do residents go on regular outings? 

 

Does the Community Prioritize a Safe, Clean, and Comfortable Environment?

It’s important to learn how a facility maintains cleanliness, stays current with rules and regulations, and ensures safety standards are met. To get the specifics on how facilities foster a safe environment, ask these questions:

 

What are the safety features available in rooms and public spaces such as handrails, grab bars, or zero threshold showers?

Is accessibility an issue? Ask about and look for elevators, handicapped parking, wheelchair ramps, and other accessibility features. 

Are exits clearly marked?

How often are the common areas cleaned and sanitized?

Are the grounds and buildings well maintained?

Are the community’s facilities regularly inspected by state and local agencies? What was the most recent rating? 

 

Access to healthcare services?

For seniors who suffer from a health condition, it’s important to ask facility staff about access to healthcare and the availability of transportation services. Questions should cover:

 

Does each resident have a written plan of care? If so, how often is it updated?

What’s the medication management policy? 

Are there any additional care services available on-site to provide services your loved one may need at some point? 

Is transportation provided for resident’s healthcare appointments? If so, is the transportation arranged by staff and handicap accessible?  

 

Tour Our Senior Living Communities in Saratoga, NY

At Home of the Good Shepherd, our staff is always available to answer questions about our communities. If you’re looking for the ideal senior living experience for yourself or a loved one, contact us today to learn more about our outstanding services and amenities. Also, we encourage you to schedule a tour to see why our residents thrive while aging-in-place with us.