10 Questions to Bring on Your Senior Housing Tour

Download this guide to help you decide on your elderly loved one's new "home sweet home".

By Clare Absher RN, BSN  

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1. What is your first impression of the facility during your tour?
Don't get wrapped up in elaborate décor or distracted by needless bells and whistles. Instead, focus your attention on basic cleanliness, necessary amenities, and staff.

2. How is the dining experience?
Don't overlook the importance of a good meal and a pleasant dining experience. It should also come as no surprise that good food really matters a great deal to your parent.

3. Are you free to visit and talk with staff, residents, and other families?
Expect to have private, unsupervised conversations with whomever you choose. Staff should encourage communications, surprise visits, and not tolerate any “hush-hush” nonsense.

4. What social and recreational activities are of interest to your parent?
Socializing is often a big reason for moving into a senior facility. Explore which activities offered might spark some interest for your mom or dad.

5. Does the facility feel safe and secure?
Many seniors, including your parents, may be afraid and feel unsafe living alone. Safety and security are often big motives for relocating to a facility.

6. What are your parents' choices for living accommodations?
Facilities range from spacious apartments to single rooms. Your parents will want to have a say in their living space.

7. How much does it cost and what's involved with the moving in and out?
The needs assessment determines whether your loved one is a good match for the facility. Affordability may ultimately be the deciding factor of the facility being a good match for your loved one.

8. Does the facility offer the personal care and health services needed?
It's a deal breaker if the facility can't provide the help your mom or dad require. Make certain the care offered can meet your parent's needs now as well as in the future, to avoid relocation as their needs evolve.

9. Is the staff professional, kind, and qualified to care for your parents?
Make no mistake that it is the caregivers that matter most when it comes to deciding where your parents will be happy. Look for caregivers that seem genuinely content with their jobs.

10. Investigate the facility licensure, certifications, and reputation in the community.
Be sure the facility meets your state requirements as they vary a lot. Word of mouth is always a good way to find out first-hand about the reputation of the facility in your community.

Clare Absher RN BSN

About the Author

Clare Absher is a Registered Nurse with 44 years of experience. Most of her experience is in home health serving as a caregiver, educator, patient advocate, and liaison between families and community resources. She has also worked in acute care, assisted living, and retirement settings. She is passionate about helping families care for their elderly loved ones at home.

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