Touring Independent Living Facilities Near You

Touring Independent Living Facilities Near You

When you’re ready to begin researching independent living facilities near you, it’s important to make the most of your online and in-person time for each community. The more efficiently you can get your questions answered, the more quickly you can narrow down your choices to a final two or three. Then, you’ll be able to research further into each of those final communities to confidently decide where you’ll call home for the years to come.

A community tour is a crucial part of the decision-making process, and you might end up touring a community more than once! During your time touring the independent living facility near you, you’ll have the chance to meet key staff members, observe life in the community, and even see how residents are interacting with one another and with team members. Your tour is a wonderful way to take a glimpse of what life is like in the community, and if it feels like home.

Before Your Tour

A quality tour begins long before you walk through the doors of the community. First, you must determine which independent living facilities near you meet your needs. Here are a few questions to ask yourself so that you can determine what is important to you as you begin to search for a senior living community:

  • What is your budget?
    Make sure you speak with your financial advisor about your goal of living in an independent living community and determine what you can afford monthly. It’s also important to know how much you can afford for a “buy-in” fee, or an initial payment that typically is in line with real estate costs in the area.
  • What is your desired location?
    Do you have a favorite suburb, area, or neighborhood that you would like to live in? If so, make sure you are narrowing down your search to independent living communities in this area.
  • What amenities and services are important to you?

Independent living communities are more like five-star hotels than clinical hospitals. They often feature amenities like swimming pools and multiple dining options and onsite restaurants as well as services like complimentary transportation, housekeeping, and laundry. Jot down a list of what amenities and services are most important to you before you begin your search.

  • What is my future prognosis and plan?

Independent living communities do not offer around-the-clock caregiver support, so if you are looking for that service now or in the future, ensure you find a community that will be able to provide that so you don’t have to move again. A Life Plan Community, sometimes called a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC, provides multiple senior living solutions all on one campus: independent living, assisted living, skilled care, and memory support.

You can narrow down your search for independent living communities near you by taking your budget, preferences, location, and future plans into account. These should be your starting points. Then, begin calling communities that meet your criteria to schedule a tour.

While you wait for your independent living tour, you can begin looking at potential communities online. Some communities even have a virtual tour that will give you a more in-depth look into their community spaces, including apartments, outdoor areas, and dining venues.

During Your Tour

Your in-person tours can tell you a lot about a community. Make sure you bring a list of questions to ask but it’s also wise to observe what is going on during your the initial or subsequent tour. You’ll want to see how the staff interact with residents, how the residents interact with one another, as well as if the events look fun and if the dining experience looks enjoyable.

Here are a few questions you can ask during your tour that can help you in the decision-making process:

  • What apartment floor plans are available? 

You can certainly see any of the model apartments, but you want to be sure you understand which types are available so that you can plan accordingly.

  • What amenities and services are covered by the monthly fee? Are there any expenses that are not covered that I should plan for?

It’s important to be on the same page when it comes to monthly costs, so be sure to ask about it. For example, you might need to pay more each month if you plan to eat all three meals in the dining room or if you want to participate in certain travel excursions.

  • Can I see a copy of the event calendar?

Independent living communities often feature vibrant life enrichment calendars, full of activities, events, and trips for residents to enjoy. Take a look at the calendar for the communities you tour to see if it looks interesting.

  • Can I see a sample copy of your weekly or monthly menus?

Dining is another highlight of independent living. Take a look at the entrees for the week or month to see if there is a variety, and if it looks appetizing tp you.

  • How can a new resident connect with neighbors and start making friends?

Socialization in independent living can sometimes feel overwhelming for new residents. Asking this question will help you get a sense of what the first few days, weeks, and months are like at the community, as well as if the community has a plan in place to welcome new residents.

After Your Tour

Now that your independent living tour is complete, your search doesn’t end. In fact, you might have a few top contenders for your next home. In this case, you want to return to each community, this time visiting to enjoy the resident experience:

  • Visit to participate in a community event.

Ask if you can set up a time to visit when you can attend a community event, such as a happy hour, entertainment performance, health lecture, group exercise session, or anything else that sounds interesting to you. You’ll be able to see how you get along with the other residents, as well as enjoy a fun event.

  • Schedule a meal at the community.

Dining at a potential community is an excellent way to meet new friends and experience life there. You can also learn a lot about the community based on the service of the dining team and the quality of the food.

Remember to take your time when choosing an independent living community. Team members will not mind answering your questions or sitting down with you a few different times if that helps you make a more informed and confident decision. 

We’d love to host you and/or your loved one for a tour of our Redbrook independent living facility at The Glen in Shreveport. Contact us online or give us a call today at 318-798-3500 to schedule a personal tour. 

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