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How to Prepare for an Assisted Living Tour
March 3, 2021
When you’re comparing assisted living options, a tour of each community often helps. An assisted living tour is one of the best ways to get a true sense of life in the community. It can help both you and your loved one feel that you’ve made the best choice.
While most tours are about an hour, you want to get the most of your time. Use these six tips for touring an assisted living community before, during, and after your tour to make sure you cover what’s most important.
Discuss priorities with each other. Your priorities may not line up exactly with your loved one’s priorities. Before you take a tour, make sure you’re on the same page. Ask your loved one their top concerns. Then, share what you think is most important. This list of must-have features or services will help you both focus on your shared priorities during your tour.
Prepare a checklist to guide your tour. In the days leading up to your assisted living tour, you or your loved one may think of specific questions. Create a checklist and add these questions to it. Bring your list with you to your tour and take notes. That way, you’ll be sure you don’t forget something essential.
Talk with residents and staff. If your tour is virtual, ask about feedback or reviews the assisted living community can provide from existing residents. You may also be able to hear from a current staff member too. If you are able to walk around the community, you may have the chance to briefly say hi and ask a question of someone on-site. It’s often helpful to see things through the eyes of someone who is there every day.
Walk around the outdoor areas. Even if you don’t go inside, you can get a sense of the assisted living community from the outdoors. These outdoor spaces are an essential piece of well-being and happiness in a community. In fact, access to outdoor areas can help lessen stress, improve mood, and keep your loved one active, according to the journal Extreme Physiology & Medicine. Be sure to walk through shared outdoor spaces during your tour.
Think about safety. One of the main factors in choosing assisted living is safety. You want peace of mind that your loved one is safe and secure. Put safety top of mind as you take your assisted living tour. Safety procedures should start with check-in and continue throughout the community. You’ll want to make sure you know how the community handles medications, emergencies, visitors, and infection prevention.
Check in again if needed. At the end of your tour, the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services says to ask for a direct contact for additional questions. Most assisted living communities want you to feel confident in your choice. So, they will contact you after a tour. However, it’s good to reach out if you need more help or information too. It’s also OK if you feel that you need a second tour before making your final decision.