Questions To Ask When Exploring Senior Living Communities & Elderly Care

Part of the process of searching for your specific Senior Care solution is the actual searching itself, the other part is vetting those choices so that you can verify that they are what they seem. Of course the solution you need for your circumstance will have different vetting courses and questions just depending on whether you are looking at a facility, an In Home Senior Service, or a combination of both.

Once you locate a few facilities that you like you will want to set up an appointment with each facility to take a tour of the grounds. When you make the arrangements make sure to ask the following questions:

Can I arrange for a meal in the Dining Facility?

If there are multiple care levels offered at this facility make sure that you ask to dine in the Dining Area for your specific care level.

Can I tour the available rooms?

If you are shown a model room please make sure to ask if you can view the actual room that they have available or one just like it.

Is there a waiting list for my level of care?

Many facilities have long waiting lists so it is important when you are planning your transition into a Senior Care Facility to make sure that you can move in when you need to.

Is there a deposit required for holding a unit?

Facilities have an inventory to fill, empty units do them no good. If there is a unit that you have toured and you want that specific unit a deposit to hold that unit may be required. Many times that deposit, or part of it, is not refundable if you do not go forward with a rental agreement.

Do you have on site storage or is there a storage facility near?

Downsizing comes with a few challenges. After so many years a person tends to accumulate many belongings, and it isn't likely that all of those belongings are going to fit into a one or two bedroom apartment. Many of those belonging that don't fit neatly into the new living quarters are going to have a strong sentimental value and will need to have safe place to go.

What do you offer for personal security?

Many facilities will make use of technology to keep an eye on their senior residents. While this can seem to be a bit invasive, not having someone monitoring the whereabouts and well-being of the residents can be quite dangerous.

What is your procedure for an emergency?

Will the facility call an ambulance if mom falls? Will they call you? Every facility should have a strict policy that they follow regarding emergency procedures of any type.

What are my channels if I have an issue, a problem, or a complaint?

Problems can and do arise. You may have a bad experience in the dining room or with the cleaning staff and need to have a way to report the incident in a way that you know is going to resolve the issue without causing more problems.

What is your guest policy?

Some facilities have strict visiting hours, some do not. Most of the time these depends greatly on the care level of the facility. But even the least restrictive Independent facilities will have rules regarding overnight guests.

Are There Any Rate Increases and How Often?

You want to know when you or a loved one move into a facility how to plan the budget. For some planning a budget will ensure a longer stay in the facility of choice. An important thing to know when considering a Senior Living Facility is how often and how much they have raised rates in the past and how often and how much they plan on raising the rates in the future.

What is your deposit return policy?

There may come a time for you to move out. Whether you no longer need the care or need to move into a facility that offers more care you will want to find out if the deposit you put down on the unit will come back to you. You also need to find out under what conditions will it be returned. Often times a security deposit will be held until the unit is repainted and carpets are cleaned, many times this can cost as much as the deposit itself so it is important to know that going in.

What are your fire and electrical outage procedures?

So many residents rely on elevators, particularly those with mobility issues. It is important to know what will happen with your loved one if there is a fire or a storm and the senior is stranded in their unit. Will there be a safe way for them to evacuate that they can actually manage? Will someone come to their room to make sure they can evacuate safely?

Finding a new senior solution is hard enough but if you take the time to research a facility thoroughly and make sure to ask the right questions it will be one less thing that you have to worry about.

We hope that this guide has been helpful to you, but if you find that there was a question that you would have benefitted from if you would have asked it when you were touring facilities, please share it with us on our Shared Experiences page so that someone else can benefit from your experience.

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