COVID has changed the world in many obvious ways, but also in more subtle ways. One of these subtle changes lies in the way tours are conducted, particularly in retirement communities. So as not to unknowingly spread the virus, many independent and assisted living facilities allow potential residents to take virtual tours rather than in-person. Regardless of which method you use, it is important to know what to look for when touring senior communities. Consider our tips for touring senior communities both virtually and in-person.
What to Look For When Touring Senior Communities
To find the independent living community that is right for you, it is essential to keep your eyes open for what matters. During your tour (virtual or in-person), look for the following characteristics of a great senior community.
1. A Safe, Organized Layout
Naturally, the community should be easy to navigate and, most importantly, safe for residents.
2. A Healthy Relationship Between Staff and Residents
As you tour the residence, watch the interactions between team members and residents. Are they friendly, helpful, and encouraging?
3. Nearby Medical Care and Other Assistance
Independent living residents don’t require assisted care. However, in the event of a health emergency, close access to medical care is extremely important.
4. Safe and Diligent COVID Policies
Visiting policies have changed in most senior communities. Check with the staff to see what theirs is.
5. Opportunities for Recreational Activities
The retirement age is all about pursuing new (and old) interests and hobbies. A good senior community should provide support and encouragement for those wanting to engage in fun activities such as painting, cooking, dancing, etc.
6. An Environment of Empowerment and Encouragement
Atmosphere matters, and it usually comes down to the people. As you tour, test the environment to see if it’s an encouraging one. No one wants to be stuck in a negative community.
7. A Flexible Daily Schedule
Everyone runs at a different pace, so a senior community’s daily schedule should be organized, but not rigid. In other words, residents can choose to participate in organized activities if they wish, but also have the freedom to do what they want to do.
Our Biggest Tip for Touring Senior Communities Virtually
Of course, touring virtually generally limits your scope a bit more than touring in-person would. To make up for this, we recommend that you ask plenty of questions. Come up with a list of questions before the tour, and write down any new ones that come up throughout the tour. At the end, ask all of them. We also recommend that you take a few days to consider new questions or concerns that might occur to you later. Ask the guide if you can call later with more questions.
If you aren’t sure what to ask, consider the following list.
- What do the daily roles of the staff look like?
- How are payments handled?
- What are the assistance options (cleaning, eating, personal hygiene, etc.)?
- What is the thinking behind the layout?
When it comes to choosing a new home, there is no such thing as too many questions…or silly questions! Ask them now so that you don’t have to later.
Looking for a Great Senior Community?
The Woodlands is an Independent Senior Housing community where quality, convenience, and the comfort of a caring and vibrant community free you to live your best life. Contact us today with any questions or for more information!