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Everything You Need to Know about Touring a Senior Living Community
Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on January 9th, 2014

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Everything You Need to Know about Touring a Senior Living Community

united methodist homes  |  assisted living  |  touring a senior living community  |  affording senior living  |  Aging & Caregiving

describe the imageTouring a senior living community with an aging loved one is a great way to introduce them to the options and lifestyle of assisted or independent living. While your loved one may feel like they are not ready to make a move, a tour can help to disarm fears, erase myths and clear up misconceptions that accompany this major life decision.

So, how do you go about arranging for a tour? What if you have questions and concerns you need addressed on the spot, such as cost? What if your aging parents are unable to make the tour, or change their mind at the last minute? Let us help you plan for a visit by answering some of these common questions.

1. Where to Start?

A good place to start is to gather reliable information and recommendations from friends, families and advisors. Input from this important group is helpful in your research of the numerous senior living communities in your city, state or even neighborhood. If someone you know and trust had a good experience working with a particular community, then maybe you consider heading there first.

The internet and local newspapers can also guide you to professional organizations and senior directories with further resources.

2. Which Senior Living Community Will Best Suit My Love One’s Needs?

Match your loved one’s preferences and needs to the list of potential senior living communities you are considering. It is important to take into account their location, their size and layout, the healthcare services they offer, amenities and activities.

There is a senior living community to fit most every budget and lifestyle, however, knowing the needs of your parents will often give you a good head-start in the evaluation process.

3. How to Arrange a Tour?

Arranging a tour is just a matter of making a call, sending an email, filling out an online form, or simply stopping in.  At our UMH communities, any of our helpful admissions counselors would be happy to set up a time for you to talk one-on-one about the specific options available. Not only will they offer to answer all of your questions, but they will serve as a resource to you in your search for senior living.

4. What to Expect on Arrival?

Once you arrive for a tour, you will be introduced to the entire community….the building, the staff, the residents, and even the food (if you choose to stay for lunch, which is often arranged as part of the tour). You will get a close look at the apartment options, common gathering areas, the dining room, activity space, the library, fitness areas, country kitchen and more. You will have the opportunity to meet residents and staff and inquire about staff longevity at the community. Any questions you have can be answered on the spot and brochures, welcome packages, and other resources will be given to you and your loved one.

 A tour will help your loved one decide if the community and lifestyle is right for them. Of course, if your mom or dad is unable to make the tour, keep their wishes in mind and consider them when asking questions during the tour. If mom or dad decides to cancel the tour at the last minute because they’ve “changed their mind” or they “don’t want to move,” choose to take the tour without them and bring back some information for them to consider. Then, try again and schedule another lunch date to allow them a second (or third!) chance to see the community. For some, the touring process can move quite quickly while for others, it can take some time…..be aware of how your loved one is responding throughout the process and be supportive.

What’s Next?

Having jointly decided on the ideal new home, most senior living communities will schedule an assessment of your loved one’s basic health needs and will create a personal care plan to meet their needs. The assessment may be done in the comfort of their home, at the community, or even a rehabilitation facility, if your loved one is making a move directly to their new home after a rehab stay. Arrangements will also be made for a detailed medical information form to be filled out by your loved one’s physician before both the assessment and admission.

5. What if Moving-In is Urgent?

Most senior living communities will accommodate concerns on a case by case basis. If time is against you, discuss this need right away. A health evaluation can be made with or without a tour to help support your loved one and make their transition smooth.

So….. take a tour! Write down your questions and get some answers to all your senior living questions!

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.