Dear Donna,

My mom has been living on her own for several years now. She recently gave up driving and now relies on my husband and me for transportation. Because our lives are already pretty hectic, she’s more isolated than I’d like for her to be.

We finally convinced her to at least consider moving to an assisted living community, and we’d like to take a tour of some local communities. What should we ask and look for on these tours?

Stacey Lawrence Holland, Michigan

Make the Most of Your Assisted Living Tour

Dear Stacey:

The move to an assisted living residence sounds like an ideal solution for your mom and your family. Taking time to visit and get to know local communities is the best way to make an informed decision. The key to making the most of your visit is asking the right questions.

5 Things to do When Touring Assisted Living Communities

Before you start the tour, consider what is important to your mother in a community. What type of lifestyle does she want to experience there? What amenities are most desirable? What is your family’s budget? The answers to these questions will help you narrow your search even before you take a tour.

Once you arrive at an assisted living community, there are plenty of other things to learn. Here are 5 things you should do during every tour.

  1. Observe the interactions between staff and residents.

Luxurious amenities are not as important as courteous, helpful, and trained staff. Watch how staff members treat and speak to those they care for. What you see is a good indicator of what your mom can expect. Also ask about the community’s hiring practices and training programs.

  1. Talk to residents.

An impromptu, friendly conversation with current residents may provide even more information than a tour with staff can. Ask if they have had any serious issues with the community, including thefts. Ask about the quality of meals and activities. You might even ask if they have a resident council. If they do, ask to speak to the resident in charge of it.

  1. Ask if there is a waiting list.

While it may be inconvenient, a waiting list is often a good sign. It means the community is in high demand and indicates financial stability. The possibility of a waiting list is also why it’s better to start the search for assisted living before a crisis occurs.

  1. Ask how the community bills for services and accepts payments.

Most assisted living communities assess level of care charges according to the amount of care and support each resident receives. The size and style of their apartment or suite also impacts monthly fees. Make sure you understand what to expect.

  1. Ask for a copy of the contract before you decide.

A community’s standard contract should include information on how it serves residents as they age and their needs increase. It should also note payment terms, and any costs associated with leaving the community. If possible, have a trusted attorney review the contract. He or she can explain the agreement and identify potential concerns.

Leading Provider of Assisted Living in Michigan

Heritage is proud to be recognized as one of the leading providers of assisted living care in the state of Michigan. Our family-owned business has been serving older adults in the Great Lake state for three generations.

In Western Michigan, we’re pleased to serve families in Holland at our Appledorn Assisted Living community. Call us today to schedule a private tour at your convenience.