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What Questions to Ask on Your Assisted Living Tour

Deciding on the assisted living community that’s right for you – or your loved one – starts with asking the right questions. Of course, you’ll want to take some time to read the brochure and website, and you’ll naturally come up with some questions of your own when you do that.

But there may be some things you don’t immediately think to ask. That’s why we’ve created a list of questions that you can talk through with the team members and residents at prospective communities – so you can make sure you’re picking the community that’s the right fit.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Your health is priority one.

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • What happens if I need more care than assisted living provides?
  • Is there a registered nurse or other medical professional available at all times?
  • Do you provide transportation to doctors’ appointments and medical centers?
  • If I have a long-term stay in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, what happens to my apartment?
  • How does your staff respond to medical emergencies?
  • Are all staff trained in HIPAA policies?
DINING AND NUTRITION

From high-end gourmet to delicious, home-style favorites, everyone has their preference. While visiting the community, team members or residents may invite you to join them for a meal – take advantage of it!

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • Do I have a choice in meal selection?
  • How often are the menus changed?
  • How do you deal with allergies and dietary restrictions?
  • How much of your food is freshly prepared here? Is it fresh or seasonal?
  • How long has your executive chef worked in food service?
  • Are all meals included in my monthly rent?
  • Is there restaurant-style service, or is it buffet?
  • Do you offer room service?
  • Are snacks provided?
COSTS AND FEES

Make sure to get a copy of your prospective lease and any associated community fees, so you know exactly what’s included.

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • May I have a copy of your lease contract that details all fees, rules and regulations?
  • What services are considered extra? How are they billed?
  • Tell me about your community fee. What does it cover?
  • Do you participate in Medicare, Medicaid, VA Aid and Assistance, long-term care insurance or any other payment program?
  • How do you handle instances when a resident is either late or unable to pay?
  • What circumstances would force a resident to move out?
  • Can I bring my pet(s)? Is there an extra charge associated with that?
TEAM MEMBERS

It’s not exactly a question, but take note of the staff and team members you pass as you visit – their attitudes and energy levels can make a real difference. At Bright Oaks, we’re here to support you – so feel free to ask questions of any of the team members you meet on your tour.

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • How much experience does your executive director, program director or chef have in senior living?
  • How long has he or she been with Bright Oaks?
  • What background checks do you do before hiring staff?
  • How is your staff trained? How often do they receive additional or refresher training?
  • What do you do if a staff person takes the day off? What’s the coverage plan?
GROUNDS AND AMENITIES

Pay attention as you walk through the building. Does it look well maintained and clean? How about the outside grounds? Does the furniture and décor make you feel at home? Does the building smell pleasant throughout? Do you see residents socializing in the common areas, game rooms and studios?

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • Am I able to bring my own furniture, or do apartments come furnished?
  • What’s the housekeeping and laundry process?
  • How often do you upgrade or renovate the building?
  • Is maintenance staff available on-site at all times?
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

You’ll want to see the monthly calendar and a newsletter, if they have one. It’s a plus if you can sit in and observe or even participate in an activity taking place. If one isn’t taking place just then, ask about arranging a future visit for one you think you’d enjoy.

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • How are residents informed about weekly or daily activities?
  • Do residents have input into what clubs, programs and entertainment is offered?
  • What activities do you offer that fit my interests and hobbies?
  • If I’d like to go out on my own, do you offer transportation? How is it scheduled?
  • Are there on-site worship services? What do those look like?
SAFETY AND SECURITY

Here’s where you need to take time to look around the rooms. Do you see call buttons? Safety locks on the windows and doors? Emergency exits clearly marked? Overhead sprinklers? Smoke detectors? Do you see broken equipment?

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • Is the front desk manned at all times? Who is at the desk after hours?
  • How are visitors able to enter after hours?
  • Are the outdoor courtyards secure and locked?
  • May I have a copy of your documented emergency procedures?
RESIDENTS

Take some time to get to know current residents – how long they’ve lived in the community and what they like best and least about it.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

One of the joys of being a resident of Bright Oaks is becoming part of the community and having a voice in what’s going on. Find out how you can become involved.

QUESTIONS TO ASK
  • How do you onboard new residents?
  • Is there a resident council?
  • How are any disputes resolved?
  • How much input do residents have about programs, activities and menus?
  • Does the executive director have an open-door communication policy for residents and family?

It’s a great idea to bring a family member or friend along with you on the trip as well. They may think to ask additional questions about things they know you’ll care about – and it’s good to see how their impressions match yours. And don’t limit yourself to just one visit! A second or even third tour will help you make a good decision. Plus, you’ll be more at ease and comfortable with the building, staff and residents when you move in if you’ve met them several times.

If you have any questions about Bright Oaks, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d love to arrange a personal consultation and answer all your questions. We even offer short-term stays, so you can really experience the Bright Oaks lifestyle for yourself.