Touring an assisted living community is an ideal way to get an up close, personal look into what life is like there, so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you or for an older loved one. One way to make your tour as productive as possible is to decide ahead of time what things to look for, as well as which questions to ask.
At The Herrick House, we understand that a major life transition can oftentimes be challenging. That’s why we’ve put together some suggestions to help you.
What to know when touring an assisted living community
Here are some questions to keep in mind:
How does it feel when you first walk in?
This question is more for you than the community. As you enter the community, pay attention to your first impressions. Does it feel welcoming? Warm? Are you greeted right away? Do you see residents milling about and interacting with staff? There’s a lot to be side about how the ambiance seems right from the start.
That’s something we take pride in at The Herrick House in Beverly, Massachusetts. When you step inside our community, you will immediately feel a lively energy of activity and companionship. Right from the start, it feels like home.
What advantages does your community offer that make it stand apart?
You have lots of choices when it comes to senior living, so be sure to discover what a particular community offers that is unique or especially noteworthy. Size is one consideration. In some cases, assisted living is part of a very large community that is spread out of a big area. While they might have more square feet, it can feel a bit intimidating and residents can get lost in the shuffle.
Families who visit The Herrick House quickly comment on the intimate, smaller size of our community, and how home-like and familiar it feels. It’s a major advantage for residents, as staff members are able to spend more time and attention with each person.
What is the dining like?
Be sure to have a meal or two while touring an assisted living community. Pay attention to the menu selections, the overall dining experience, staff providing the service and how residents seem to be enjoying it. Find out if dietary requirements are easily met.
Download your free copy of our Family Decision Toolkit guide.
Is there anything about your location that offers an advantage?
When you tour an assisted living community, pay attention to its setting and location. If nearby conveniences such as a coffee house or shopping district are important to you, ask about their proximity. Ask about ease of accessibility for visiting family members traveling by car. Also, how close are emergency medical services?
The Herrick House is nestled in a beautiful and private wooded setting on the upper campus of Beverly Hospital. Its unique location offers easy access to physician, outpatient, and 24/7 hospital services. As a member of Beth Israel Lahey Health, The Herrick House staff can connect residents and families to a comprehensive range of healthcare services.
What is the turnover rate for staff?
When a community is a pleasant, wellness-oriented place dedicated to enhancing lives, people want to work there. Inquire about the longevity of the management team and if possible, stop a few staff members while touring an assisted living community and ask them why they like working there. Pay attention to how they interact with residents and families. Does everyone seem to respect each other?
Is the staff onsite 24/7?
You want to know that your older loved one can receive assistance if needed around the clock. The Herrick House sets itself apart from other assisted living communities by offering 24-hour on-site licensed nursing.
What opportunities for socialization are available?
Isolation and loneliness are very dangerous to senior health, both physical and mental. Ask specifically about opportunities for residents to engage with one another, as well as connect with guests, staff, and family.
The Herrick House offers areas in which residents and their families can informally socialize. Among the common areas are a gracious parlor with a Steinway Essex baby grand piano and fireplace, formal dining rooms with dining services, library with fireplace, private dining room, activities and arts center, comfortable lounges, covered porch, courtyard, terraces, Country Kitchen, and the Heel Tapper Pub. To enjoy fresh air, The Herrick House offers a courtyard, private garden, and a patio furnished with wooden benches for relaxing and taking in the natural view.
Does your community have a good reputation?
Find out how the community is regarded by others in the area. Have they received any special recognition? Ask about the ownership and the management. Is there an overall goal or set of values for the community? Also, find out if the community is non-profit, which can offer the advantage of resources continuously being invested for the good of residents.
Don’t be shy when touring an assisted living community
Ask whatever comes to mind. Go back as many times as you need to before making up your mind. At The Herrick House, we welcome your questions, and we want you to have the information you need. We hope you will contact us soon.
You’ll feel the warmth and friendliness of our caring community. Download your free copy of our Family Decision Toolkit guide. Contact us to learn more about The Herrick House or to schedule your visit.