You can spend hours searching the web for available continuing care retirement communities nearby for your loved one. And odds are, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed by the options. All of the amenities, services, floor plans, and medical care options can be confusing and sometimes complex.
So, what’s a better solution? An in-person tour. You may be able to find all the statistical facts online and even take a virtual tour, but nothing can beat experiencing senior housing in a hands-on way.
Scheduling a tour of a life plan community allows you to more easily envision yourself or your loved one living there. You can get a better sense of the employees, the other residents, and just the general feel of the community. Remember, you’re looking for a place that will feel like home now and as your needs change overtime.
Keep these tips in mind when going on in-person tours:
1. Narrow down your top contenders – Do not visit every single senior community in your area. Sift through your options and narrow it down to a top five (max). Anything more and you could get confused.
2. Talk to staff about the levels of care – You are looking for your loved one’s forever home. Needs will change overtime and it’s essential to find a life plan community that provides independence now and support when your loved one needs it in the future.
3. Think about the importance of floor plans – Does your loved one value privacy? Do they need space for family and friends to visit? You know what will make your loved one feel at home, don’t be afraid to be picky when it comes to floor plans.
4. Services and amenities – Before visiting any retirement communities, make a list with your loved one of the top services and amenities they find most valuable. Don’t get distracted by all the new and shiny options available. Keep your goal of finding the right fit for your loved one’s interests and needs.
5. Observe – Don’t rush through the tour and move on to the next. Take time to observe how residents interact, how employees interact, and how the general atmosphere feels. This is a big decision and you can’t speed through it.
6. Participate in an event – If you can, stick around to participate in one of the day’s planned events. This will give you a good feel for how enjoyable these activities are for residents and will be for your loved one.
7. Participate in a meal service – Again, stick around to participate in one of the daily meal services. Visit the on-site restaurant and see how people are interacting, the types of food available and the overall atmosphere.
8. Visit all common areas – The apartments are one thing, but the common areas that residents all share should be clean, maintained, inviting and spacious. Be sure to explore all on-site areas including outdoor spaces, hair salons, dining areas, fitness centers, and shared activity spaces.
9. Keep in mind the budget – Before visiting any life plan communities, evaluate what is a comfortable monthly budget and what you expect to be included. Your loved one may be willing to sacrifice certain amenities they will never use to ensure a community fits within their means.
10. Listen to your loved one – Sometimes, you can get so focused on finding what you believe is the best fit for your loved one that they can lose their voice. Keep in mind their wants and needs and be sure they heavily factor into the decision-making process.
It might sound complicated, but odds are when you start to tour local continuing care retirement communities, you’ll know when you’ve found the right fit for your loved one. You’ll feel it and they will feel it. It will feel just like home.
When you begin the search for a life plan community, consider the beautiful North Carolina campuses of St. Joseph of the Pines. With a variety of living options and floor plans, you can find something that is perfectly tailored to your needs or the needs of your loved one. We strongly encourage you to schedule a tour of Belle Meade and Pine Knoll to see if our community feels like home. Contact us today.