What are the questions to ask during a tour of a Senior Living Community?

December 5, 2022

What are the questions to ask during a tour of a Senior Living Community?

Are you starting to consider moving into a retirement community? There are so many good options with sunny locations, resort-style amenities, a host of services and amenities, and a variety of dining establishments. It will take more than just reading marketing materials and visiting websites to make your decision to move to a senior living community. When you take a tour or visit, the key lies in choosing a community that feels just right — one that suits your personality and meets your needs the best.

The choice to move to a senior living community is almost like selecting a college — it should be filled with possibility, new friends and opportunities for engagement. Ask yourself a few questions at the start:

  • What’s most important to you?
  • What do you want from the experience?
  • Are you interested in the clubs, activities and the community vibe itself?
  • Do the housing options fit your lifestyle?

Remember, this choice isn’t for a 4-year-degree, but it’s for your next full chapter. Finding a best-fit community can recharge your spirit for adventure. There’s so much to look forward to when planning this next stage of life. What are you waiting for? It’s time to schedule some tours, meet the locals, attend an event, or even try out the amenities if you can.

Here are some questions to get you thinking before your tour or visit. Be prepared with questions to ask about living spaces, amenities, activities, safety, the continuum of health care, nutrition and whatever else may come to mind. To make a confident decision about your future, knowledge really is power. The key lies in choosing the right community for you.

1.  What types of Independent Living accommodation are available? Do you recommend a specific floor plan? How many options do you have available?

From cozy and comfortable to modern and sleek, most communities offer a wide range of accommodation in various sizes, layouts, and locations. Some even feel more like five-star resorts than retirement communities. There are high rises, cottages, apartments, and houses with locations near the center of community action or at quieter locations further away from the community center.

Considerwhere you want to be and what type of floor plan suits you best. Ask to see afew different homes similar to the one you might live in. Then you can see howyour furniture, art and colors fit in the home. Often, staff is able to providea floor plan with measurements so you have an idea of what you’ll fit into thespace.

Ask whatutilities will be included with the home — like Wifi, cable and Internetservices. WiFi, are there emergency call systems, etc.—are included in therent. If having 5G is important, then ask about it.

Other questions to ask about accommodation and living spaces:

  • How many different floor plans are available?
  • Are the homes furnished or unfurnished? Carpet, tile or wood flooring?
  • Is it possible to paint, decorate and personalize the space?
  • Is Internet access provided, or will you be sharing Wi-Fi with the community?
  • If you have pets, you’ll need to ask about the pet policy.
  • Is housekeeping included?
  • Is it really maintenance-free living?
  • Are overnight guests allowed to stay in your home?
  • Are visitors allowed to stop in at any time, or are there specific hours to be aware of?

2. What kinds of activities do you offer Independent Living residents on campus? Are there regular fitness classes? What types of community clubs are popular with the residents here?

Most senior living communities take a comprehensive approach to wellness by offering an abundance of activities designed to keep residents social and active. There’s something for everyone. Activity directors plan a monthly schedule that promotes all components of wellness including: social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, physical and intellectual wellness. At Royal Oaks, there are musicians, dancing and performances, day trips, happy hours, luncheons, guest speakers, holiday parties and more. Residents enjoy a higher quality of life and increased wellbeing because of a fun and active social life at a senior living community. On your tour, make sure to ask what activities, clubs and groups are available and if there are any eligibility requirements.

Other questions to ask about social activities and wellness:

  • What are the most popular groups and activities available to residents, and how often do they occur?
  • Where can I find a schedule of events and activities?
  • Is there transportation to events and places like the grocery store or pharmacy?
  • Are there opportunities to volunteer or be part of the surrounding community?
  • Is live music, theater and entertainment part of the activities schedule? If so, can you give me a few examples?

3. What kind of safety and security measures are in place on campus? What is the procedure for a medical emergency on campus? Are there generators in case of power outages?

For many seniors and their family members, safety and security are top priorities. A senior living community can provide peace of mind. Many communities like Royal Oaks offer a full continuum of care and Life Care plans. Imagine being assured of being taken care of for life. No worrying about any future or unplanned medical costs — ever. Nothing replaces the peace of mind that comes with LifePlan living, or the elevated sense of freedom, confidence, and independence it brings.

Other questions to ask about safety precautions and security:

  • What is a Life Care community? What kind of health care is available on campus?
  • Are staff members, security or cameras onsite 24/7?
  • Do residents have access to alert buttons or is there a telephone number for emergency situations and assistance? How fast is the response?
  • How does the community handle medical emergencies? Is staff available 24/7?
  • What safety features do the homes have? Pull cords, rails on bathtubs or easy entry tubs?Grab bars, non-slip surfaces?
  • Is there a generator for backup power?
  • What background checks does the community perform on staff?
  • Can residents request nightly safety checks or other regular visits?

4. What kinds of amenities are available for residents? Is there a dog park? Is there a swimming pool on campus?

What makes senior living communities stand out are all the details. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Places like Royal Oaks pay attention to the smallest things and every detail is meticulous. Everything is carefully planned and provided and continually improved. Amenities play a big role in setting communities apart. Look for things like a fitness center, clubhouse, swimming pools, beauty spas and more. Ask questions about the popular amenities and see how active the community really is.

Other questions to ask about amenities:

  • What kinds of amenities do you offer? Are the residents active in things like swimming, walking, and fitness groups?
  • Are there any extra charges to use the amenities?
  • Are all activities, exercise groups, continuing education classes, and workshops included?
  • Are there different restaurants? How good is the food?

5. What does maintenance-free living mean here — what services do you provide? Services are important, what do most people love about the senior living lifestyle here?

Senior living communities provide services which give residents more free time and more freedom — freedom from homeownership, freedom from housekeeping, freedom from cooking, freedom from a to-do list. With all this freedom comes more time to take advantage of the many opportunities available. These communities are committed to helping seniors age well with a variety of helpful services. What exactly does that mean you might be wondering, so ask what services are included and which are extra. You might be surprised!

Other questions about the services:

  • Do you provide housekeeping services?
  • How many meals per day and how many restaurants to choose from?
  • Is there transportation for outings, excursions, shopping, dining, and medical appointments?
  • Is everyone able to use the common areas to gather?
  • Are the outdoor spaces and courtyards available for gatherings?
  • Is there around the clock staff and security if I have an emergency after hours
  • Are religious services provided onsite or available nearby?

6. What kinds of foods do you serve on campus? How does the staff handle special dietary requests? Are there different restaurants and choices for fresh foods on campus for residents?

Along with all the upscale amenities, services and accommodations comes a strong focus on dining options at many senior living communities. Many offer all-day dining services at multiple restaurants that include formal dining, pubs, and cafes. The more meal options that are available, the more likely it is you’ll find something delicious and healthy that you enjoy. If you have special dietary needs, such as allergies or low sodium, find out how the community accommodates these needs.

Other questions about the food and/or restaurant options:

  • How many meals are provided per day?
  • What if I eat at odd times, are there set times for meals?
  • Can meals be special ordered due to allergies or special nutritional needs?

7. What are all the costs associated with this Independent Living lifestyle? What are your entrance fees and monthly fees? And what home services are included in the monthly expenses?

Finances are a major factor in your decision to move to a senior living community. After you’ve taken a tour and decided that a community is on your list of top choices, you’ll want to get a clear idea on costs.  

Other questions about cost:

  • With my age and health, am I even eligible to enter the community?
  • Ask about the fees and expenses — is there a one-time entrance fee or a recurring monthly fee? Additional fees or out of pocket expenses?
  • Will costs change over time?
  • What is the cost for the amenities and living arrangements I saw on my tour?
  • Whatspecifically is included in the base price? Meals? Exercise classes?
  • What happens if my health deteriorates and I need a higher level of assistance or healthcare?
  • Are there any refund policies?

8. What type of qualifications do your employees have? Is there ongoing staff training? How does the community support temporary and longer-term health changes?

Professional staff and core values are the heart and soul of a great retirement community.It takes special people to nurture and steward these values facilitate healthy well-being, caring compassion and meaningful connections for residents. They tend to foster a culture of genuine care and support that inspires both staff and residents.

Other questions about staff training and qualifications at a retirement community:

  • Ask about the specific training and qualifications of staff at every level.
  • What medical providers are available? What experience and training do they have?

9. How do you choose the best senior living community?

There are many good choices, but the key living your best life in retirement lies in choosing the right senior living community for yourself. By preparing yourself, taking a proactive approach, and by asking questions about the things that matter most to you, you’re likely to find the right senior living community. The better the question the better the answers.Make sure to do all your research, prepare and think about what you want in your future years.

Look to online reviews or speak to people for recommendations. Community reviews are great way to find out how others think and feel about a place. We use things likePopular Mechanics and Google reviews to buy things like cars and appliances or to find out about the best restaurants, so why not look to these thoughtful comments about senior living communities. Look for information on quality and standards, friendliness and culture — all the different aspects of the community you learn when you live there. Customer ratings are usually easy to find online by searching the name of the community you are interested in.Another great way to find out more is just by talking to people before, during or after your tour of the retirement community.


Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. The more you learn the easier it will be to make the best choice for you. There’s no perfect senior living community for everyone, but there’s a best-fit community just for you.

To find out more about Inspirata Pointe, schedule a tour with us. This exquisite new neighborhood is debuting new luxury apartments in Spring 2023. CALL 623-208-6621 TO LEARN MORE.

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