Dear Donna,

My parents asked me to help them find an assisted living community. Every time we have plans to visit a community, they come up with an excuse to not go.

I am happy to help them, but I am starting to think they don’t want to find a place. Should I take my parents with me on my first round of assisted living tours, or can I narrow down their options first and bring them on the second round of tours?

Alison from Saline, MI


When Should Your Parents Start Touring Assisted Living Communities?


Dear Alison,

Many children want to help their senior parents find a senior living community, but sometimes their loved ones don’t make it easy. Regardless of the reason, resistance on the part of a parent can make adult children wonder if it’s necessary to include them in the entire process.

Sometimes, it is more productive to narrow down your options before bringing a senior along for a tour. Other times, it’s better to include them in the entire process. Here are a few tips to help you decide which route to take.

Bringing Your Parents on All Assisted Living Tours

The main benefit of bringing your parents on every visit is that they can decide what they like and dislike about a community. This can greatly increase the chances they will pick one that is the best fit.

Including your parent also helps them maintain a sense of independence and control. That’s an important part of helping a senior feel empowered.

However, bringing your mom and dad with you on every tour can have a downside. Not every community will be a good fit and you will likely recognize those that obviously aren’t. By eliminating those choices, you help make the process a little less stressful.

If your parents are turned off by a community early, they might try to find something wrong with every community. For seniors that are resistant to moving, this can make the process much longer.

Here are a few cases when you might want to bring your parents on every visit:

  • They are excited about the move and want to be included.
  • They enjoy meeting the residents and engaging with the staff.
  • They can walk around the communities without tiring quickly.

Narrowing Down Your Options before Bringing Seniors on an Assisted Living Tour

Narrowing down to just two or three options before bringing your parents to visit the communities can be significantly quicker than bringing them on every visit. This is especially true if you know what questions to ask on an assisted living tour.

Conversely, narrowing down your options from the beginning may not allow you to get the best understanding of what your parents need from a community.

Here are a few scenarios where it makes sense to narrow down your options first:

  • They have mobility limitations that make it difficult to tour several communities.
  • They have a cognitive impairment that makes them unable to make decisions about their living arrangements.
  • They aren’t happy about moving and you need to find communities that are obviously a good fit.

I hope this helps, Alison.




Schedule a Tour with Heritage Senior Communities

At Heritage Senior Communities, including our Linden Square location in Saline, we encourage seniors and their families to visit with several communities before making a decision. Contact us today to schedule a private tour.