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Aspects of Aging – A Personal Tour

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Once a decision is made to begin a search for the “right” place for Mom or Dad to live, the questions arise about what to look for within each residence.

There are many articles on-line and from various care agencies suggesting what questions to ask on each independent or assisted living tour. All of the private-pay residences will welcome you to a tour and will provide any information you desire.

This article notes some of the “unusual” highlights you might want to look at from your own personal point of view built on what you, individually, prefer to have in your living environment.

  • Is the view from your potential room to a garden, distant view, parking lot, busy street or pedestrian walk?
  • Can your family and friends visit you easily — good bus service, parking?
  • Is there natural or artificial light in your room, common areas ?
  • Ask to speak with the chef, check the use of local, fresh vegetables, fruit meat and fish. Describe your nutrition preferences and ensure they can be met.
  • Can meals to be delivered to your room: when and why, extra cost ? Are there flexible hours in the dining room? Is there a bar service available – details of hours, cost? Access to snacks throughout the day or night?
  • As you walk throughout the building, are residents in their rooms, out participating in activities, sitting and talking with other residents? What is the ambience? Are there computers for resident use, current news papers and magazines, a lending library?
  • Are the house activities of interest to you, opportunities for gardening,hobbies, learning, teaching, exercise? Is there a bus for outside activities?
  • Is there help available at night, is there a tuck-in routine to ensure safety at bedtime?
  • What are the communication arrangements between resident, family and management?

There are many things to consider and most are answered in a positive and encouraging manner. Feel free to take pictures and lots of notes on your tour. It is the small, personal preferences that make the difference.

Written by Anne Duggan, Invited Advisor to Bell Alliance on Aspects of Aging

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