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The Senior Living Search: Key Questions for Making an Informed Choice

If your family and parents have made the decision that moving into senior living would be the best choice, you are likely beginning to search for the right community.

You may be wondering how to know where your parents will enjoy the lifestyle and support needed for them to age and live well.

As you visit different communities, comparing your answers to the following questions may help guide your family in the right direction.

Questions to ask when conducting a senior living search for assisted living

1. What services are offered?

Consider the current and possible future needs of your parents and make sure any community you’re considering can provide that level of assistance.

You may want to discuss if there is a type of care they don’t provide or what behavior or circumstance may trigger a necessity to move.

2. What type of residences are available?

This will be your parents’ home and you’ll want to make sure they can choose the layout they prefer.

Ask about availability of views, specific locations in the building, whether a deck or patio is included and proximity to the dining room or fitness center. Tour a model or vacant apartment so your parents can see their new home.

3. What type of dining program is offered?

When beginning your senior living search, discuss whether the communities can accommodate any special dietary needs - and if there is flexibility in the hours that service is available.

Ask to see a copy of the menu, or better yet, arrange to have a meal there when you schedule your visit so your parents can taste for themselves.

4. What activities and amenities are available?

A great advantage of senior living is the monthly calendar of activities scheduled. Ask to see what the community offers and make sure there are at least a few that your parents would enjoy.

The best way to encourage your loved ones to remain active and engaged is to make it convenient and of interest.

5. Is there a fitness center on-site?

Your parents know the importance of exercise and movement but it can become more difficult to achieve if they struggle to get to the gym.

However, the added convenience of being only steps from their front door is a great motivator to remain in shape. It’s also a great way to socialize and meet their neighbors.

6. Is transportation offered?

Communities who provide transportation to medical appointments, shopping or entertainment events help the residents to feel more independent.

While beginning your senior living search, ask about whether this option is available and the typical locations usually serviced.

Questions to ask when conducting a senior living search for memory care

1. What type of residence is available?

Tour the available apartments or suites to ensure your loved one will feel at home and be comfortable. You may find the residence located in a smaller neighborhood in the community.

Look for well designed community spaces with clear direction indicators as well as the opportunity to go outside when desired.

2. What training does the staff receive? What is the staff-to-resident ratio?

Those who work in memory care communities should receive specialized training to better respond and care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

When conducting your senior living search, ask about the ratio of staff to residents to ensure that your loved one will be well attended to and receive assistance when needed.

3. What type of programs and activities are available to the residents?

Ask about the special programs and activities offered at the community that are specifically designed to encourage residents to engage and interact.

Also, inquire about how they will tailor their care plan and any therapy programs to meet the capabilities and preferences of your loved one.

4. What security features are implemented to increase a resident’s safety?

Safety can be an increased risk for those living with dementia. When you’re conducting a senior living search, ask about what features they have implemented.

You’ll want to find alarmed entry doors so no one can leave unnoticed, as well as color coded hallways or other aids to help residents orient themselves. Look for outdoor courtyards that allow the freedom to go outside but remain in a secured area.

Milestone Retirement Communities

If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will consider Milestone Retirement Communities. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Find out for yourself all that a Milestone community has to offer you or your loved one, contact a community near you today to schedule a tour.