Throughout your life, you’ve made a lot of big decisions: where to attend college, which job offer to take, which house to buy. With each choice, you carefully researched the options so that you could make an informed decision.

Choosing where to spend your retirement should be no different.

Before you decide to move into an assisted living community, thoroughly research your top choices. In addition to looking up background information online, take advantage of personalized tours.

During a tour, you will meet with staff members (possibly residents too) and check out what all the community offers.

To get the most out of visiting an assisted living community, bring a list of questions (either on paper or entered in your phone) when you tour a community. If you’re not sure what questions to ask, here are a few to get you started

1)   What is the staff like?

Staff members have a huge influence on a community’s culture, so you want to make sure they are highly qualified. Ask about

  • credentials
  • ongoing training
  • whether background checks are required
  • if nursing staff is available 24/7 or just during certain hours

Pay attention to how staff members act around residents and each other. Do they smile and speak warmly? Do they know residents by name?

2) What safety measures does the assisted living community have in place?

You cannot enjoy your new home unless you feel safe and secure. Ask the community’s staff what steps have been taken to keep residents safe. These include

  • handicap accessibility in common areas and apartments
  • nonslip floors
  • walk-in showers with a stool or built-in seating
  • alarms on all exterior doors
  • an emergency call system

Make sure the community is in a safe, well-lit area. Also, pay attention to your gut. Do you feel safe while there?

3) What food services do they offer?

Assisted living typically provides three meals a day, so you want to make sure the food is good. You may be able to sample a meal during your tour, but there are other food-related issues you should consider. Ask

  • Do you offer more than one choice for each meal?
  • Will your menu accommodate dietary restrictions?
  • If I do not like a meal you serve, can I request something else?

4)   Does the community offer opportunities for residents to socialize?

One advantage assisted living holds over aging in place is the presence of built-in friends and neighbors. An ideal assisted living community will make it easy to get to know everyone by offering a regular schedule of activities and events, such as

  • games
  • movie nights
  • crafts
  • lectures and classes
  • off-site day trips

If possible, ask to speak with the community’s activity director. Find out what events are planned, and see if residents can suggest new activities.

5)   What are the community’s rules for visitors?

You don’t have to give up your social calendar when you move into an assisted living apartment. If you plan to have a steady stream of visitors, make sure they will be welcome and accommodated. Ask about

  • visiting hours
  • parking availability
  • whether guests can dine with you

6)   What is living in this community really like? 

Although you can learn a lot about a community by speaking with staff members, the best way to get a feel for what it’s like is by speaking with those who live there. If possible, introduce yourself to a few residents during the tour and ask them about the community:

  • What do you like about living here?
  • What could be improved?
  • Would you recommend moving here?

In addition to getting honest feedback, you will get a sense of whether or not you will fit in with the other residents.

7)   Can I see myself living here?

This is a question only you can answer on a personal level. Evaluate your needs, along with your preferences. Do you see yourself enjoying life?

At The Villas of Jackson, we ensure seniors throughout the region enjoy retirement in comfort and luxury. With a spacious, state-of-the-art community located in Jackson, Missouri, we offer a vast array of amenities and services for the modern senior. Bring your list of questions for a personal tour. Schedule your visit today.