What to Look For In Senior Communities
Make a list of questions for your appointment and go have lunch at several places with your loved ones. Walk around and talk to staff and residents, check for:
1. Cleanliness and smell of apartments, dining rooms bathrooms, stairways, community living areas, computer area, game and craft room?
2. What activities do they offer: different groups seniors can join (needlepoint, painting, gardening)?
3. Medical teams on staff, safety measures – how often do the check on your loved ones, in house Dr’s etc.?
4. How many pull cords do they have, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors in each room or apartment?
5. Do they have emergency generators for elevators, back up emergency plans?
6. How many levels of care do they provide? Is there an extra charge (in house EMT’s or do they call the fire department) how far it is to the nearest hospital of your choice?
7. Some not all places provide low income rates, or Aid and Attendance for Veterans and their spouses.
8. Extra cost for amenities (hair, nails, massages).
9. Meals (can you join them for meals and how much extra is it for family members and friends).
10. Do they have special holiday gatherings that you can join in with them, church services, (antique car shows, BBQ’s, outside speakers, happy hour, dancing, trips to casinos and shopping?
11. Do they have private dining rooms for family parties, can they provide food (at an extra charge) or do you have to bring your own in. (These are wonderful and so helpful, some even provide luncheons (extra charge and please tip staff) for funerals so their friends at the complex can join in and say their goodbye’s. Usually this is inexpensive and the residents are more at peace and grateful you thought of them so they can share their grief with you as they become and extension of your loved ones families when you are not there.
12. Theaters in house, walking groups, do they bring in outside speakers and entertainment. Exercise rooms, swimming pools, outdoor activities?
13. Transportation: How far can they go for Dr. and hospital appointments? Can you go with them?
14. Who pays monthly expenses are electricity, gas, phone, cable, TV, internet included.
15. Make sure their facility is close to your home as you will be the ones to visit them and take them to dr. appointments if it is out of range of the complex to take them when they stop diving.
16. Do they have underground parking, carport extra charges.
“Have you started living your dream in retirement”