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Moving on: Tips for Selecting a Senior Living Community

By Patricia OíDea-Evans, MS, RN, LCPC, CCM

(Page 2 of 3)

Looking Around

Although a lot of research can be done over the phone and online, nothing can replace a first-hand visit to a potential new home. On-site visits are great opportunities to not only look around, but to also chat with residents about what they like (and donít like) about living there.  Seniors and their loved ones should ask current residents and staff as many questions as possible, so there are no surprises if the older adult, in fact, decides to move in.

When visiting a potential new home, here are some specific things to observe:

  • Is it clean and well maintained?   
  • Is the atmosphere warm and friendly? 
  • Are the units attractive?
  • Does the food in the dining room look and taste good, and are meals well balanced?   
  • Are activities scheduled that will interest the senior?

An on-site visit is also a good chance to meet the staff.  Because they are responsible for residentsí daily care, everyone should be completely comfortable with them, and the services they provide. When evaluating the staff, consider this:

  • Is everyone friendly, caring, and attentive?   
  • Do they assist with medication taking, storage, and reminders?
  • Do they provide an initial assessment of a potential residentís needs?
  • Once someone moves in, are the residentís needs periodically reassessed?
  • Are medical care providers available to residents?   
  • How does the community keep families informed about care?


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