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What to Look for and Questions to Ask When Touring Senior Living Communities

If your family has decided that senior living could best help a loved one live a more engaged and quality life, you may be beginning the search to find the right community.

Feelings of uncertainty or apprehension are common – but they needn’t be. We can help.

Knowing what to look for and what questions to ask before you tour specific senior living communities can be beneficial in comparing and choosing the best one.

Touring Senior Living: Features to Look For

1. Does the community feel welcoming?

Were you and your loved one greeted with warmth and hospitality? Would family members and friends feel welcome here?

2. Is the staff friendly and ready to help the residents?

Take note of how the staff interacts with the other residents and each other. Do they appear to enjoy their work?

3. Are the residents contented and happy?

Do residents appear engaged or do they seem bored? As you tour a senior living community, pay attention to how the residents interact in their daily lives.

4. Are the amenities well-cared for and of interest to your loved one?

Does the community keep the amenities up to date? Are there opportunities of interest?

5. Would your loved one feel at home in the community?

Take a moment when touring each senior living community to consider whether your loved one might enjoy home life there.

Touring Senior Living: Questions to Ask

1. What is the ratio of staff-to-residents?

You’ll want to understand how many residents each member of the care team is responsible for to ensure your loved one will have a timely response when help or assistance is needed.

2. What type of training does the staff receive?

When touring senior living, ask about the staff training and if there is continuing education, including any specialty skills if your loved one will be moving into a memory care community.

3. Is there an in-house physician or registered nurse on staff?

Who is on the medical team and what duties or oversight do they provide? How often are they present in the community?

4. How is a care plan created and who is involved?

Will your loved one be assessed when arriving and will a care plan be created specifically to address individual needs and preferences? When touring senior living, ask who contributes to this plan and how often it will be reviewed.

5. What type of residence is available?

You’ll want to walk through a variety of residences available for your loved one. Discuss different locations in the community and whether it enjoys a view, includes a patio or deck and if the residence can be personalized.

6. What level of assistance is included – or not provided?

Will your loved one have access to assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing or grooming? When touring senior living, ask if there are certain medical or cognitive conditions that cannot be accommodated.

7. What activities are included in the community?

Ask to take a look at a monthly calendar of activities and ensure there are several options that your loved one would enjoy. If possible, plan to have your loved one participate in a program with the other residents during a visit.

8. What dining options are available?

Review a menu when touring a senior living community to get a better idea of the meal choices available. It’s a great idea to arrange to have your loved one share a meal during the tour which can help begin the process of familiarity.

9. What security features are included in the community and residence?

Discuss available safety features. If your loved one will be moving into memory care, are there secured areas that still allow residents to go outside unaccompanied? Does the community use design features, colors or other ways to help orient the residents?

10. Is transportation provided?

When touring a senior living community, discuss whether scheduled transportation is provided to the residents. For those who no longer drive, it’s important to have transportation to attend medical appointments, go shopping or enjoy entertainment events off-site.

Life at a Milestone Community

If you’re looking at options for retirement living, we invite your family to visit one of our Milestone communities – designed to support your loved ones to live their highest quality of life.

We offer studio and one-bedroom private apartments for our assisted living residents as well as private or shared memory care suites for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Our memory care residents are cared for by our compassionate and specially trained team – who meet them wherever they are in their journey with patience and kindness. The residents also have access to customized activities, programs and an elevated secured courtyard.

Our amenities and services encourage our residents in assisted living to engage with others, remain as independent as possible and be reassured that help is available whenever needed.

In addition to our personalized services, we offer:

If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will visit one of our communities. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Please contact us

with any questions you may have or to arrange a personal tour.


We also invite you to download our complimentary Family Decision Toolkit