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10 Senior Living Questions To Ask a Retirement Community

Gathering the Right Information from Your Visits

The best way to get acquainted with a senior living community is to schedule a visit. A lot of information can be gleaned from websites, but there is nothing quite like experiencing what they offer in person. 

But what do you ask? What is important to pay attention to?

Keep reading for key questions that you might consider asking the retirement community representatives you meet while you are there. 

What Kind of Senior Living Is Right for Me?

Before you begin your search for a senior living community, you should first determine what level of care you need. The standard that a community should live up to is one that you determine. Your needs are at the forefront.

First things first, you must determine the kind of community that is best for you:

  • Independent living is ideal for seniors who can complete activities of daily living on their own and who desire the community and convenience of senior living. However, they may require some minor assistance like medication reminders or transportation. 
  • Assisted living is for seniors who need more support when it comes to the everyday tasks of living. It is common for them to have daily check-ins with staff members, medication reminders, and help managing their medical care. Assisted living residents often have access to the same sorts of activities and events offered in independent living.
  • Memory support is specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Senior living communities implement therapeutic programs to help seniors live as independently as possible. 
  • Skilled nursing is the highest level of care in a residential senior care community. This is meant for seniors with intensive care needs that require medical personnel. 

Top 10 Retirement Questions To Ask a Senior Living Community

  1. How is a new resident welcomed into and orientated to the community? Two meaningful aspects of senior living are the relationships you make with other residents and the sense of belonging. Both are often fostered through social events and activities. The community you choose should be excited to share the ways they cultivate these connections.
  2. What is the ratio of staff members to residents? This is a question you can ask to ascertain an assisted living community’s capacity. Depending on their answer, you might have more specific follow-up questions about the care you need. Ratio and capacity can also affect the morale of staff members. This, in turn, can greatly influence the experience you have as a resident.
  3. How do the cost of assisted living, independent living and memory support differ? Perhaps you are considering a community with varying levels of care. You may enter independent living but find that you need the services of their memory care community as you age. Managing your retirement savings is one part of this equation that you will want to understand. This information will be vital when you meet with a financial advisor to discuss your retirement plan.
  4. What are the living arrangements like? It is important that you feel safe, comfortable, and at home in your new residence. Ask to see a floor plan or take a tour. Inquire about ways to modify a space to accommodate your particular needs. 
  5. What opportunities are there to give feedback about the residential care and the services the community offers? Moving to assisted living can be a difficult transition for some seniors. Knowing that your needs will be centered in the community can offer you the peace of mind you need. 
  6. Are there staff on site and available 24/7? Senior living communities typically have personnel available at any time of the day (or night) to provide medical care to their residents. However, it might be beneficial to hear some details about the type of assistance that is available to you in the middle of the night or the early morning hours. 
  7. What is your dining experience like? Dining options vary greatly in senior living communities. They range from communal dining in a cafeteria-like setting to the choice of multiple restaurants on one campus. Quality food can impact your quality of life. This makes dining at a prospective community an essential step when choosing a senior living community. 
  8. What does your partnership with family members look like? Your loved ones might have some questions to ask assisted living staff members too. For many family caretakers, it is crucial to be able to collaborate with the team at your new senior living community. It could be of interest to know how they facilitate ongoing discussion about your care.
  9. What happens in the event that my health declines? One of the more stressful parts of aging may be unpredictability. If you are entering senior living with minimal care needs, you might wonder how to find memory care if you develop Alzheimer's disease. You might wonder if you’ll need to move to a new space if your level of care increases. Asking questions like this one can help you understand the available care and accommodations. It can also give you insight into the process of increasing your level of care at a senior living community.
  10. How do you facilitate social interactions and intellectual stimulation? Many retirement communities have social event calendars and events that allow for you to continue to explore your interests and curiosities. Whether you are in independent living, assisted living or receiving memory support, these can enhance your life. 

Finding Your Place at Abe’s Garden Community

If you are looking for a community that offers various tiers of support, Abe’s Garden Community should be your first visit. We approach the care for older adults, whether they have dementia or not, in a comprehensive manner. We serve older adults and their caregivers with support as needed. 

To schedule a visit and hear more about our mission, reach out to Judy Given at 614.733.2682 or jgiven@abesgarden.org.

Bill Purcell, son of resident
"Abe’s Garden® really is a world class, cutting-edge, special, loving warm place. When my mother needed that very thing, it was there."
Industry Professional
“I was thoroughly impressed with the community [after taking a tour], yet I was even more impressed with your focus on continual learning and improvement.”
The Club Participant’s Wife
“The music instruction piece is very well done, and I commend Abe's [Garden] for creating it. I am also grateful for the incredible opportunities that [my husband] has every week day at Abe's.”