Asking the Right Questions When Comparing Senior Communities - Part I

As you prepare for retirement living and assess different communities, understanding the essential qualities of a senior living community is crucial to discovering a residence you will consider your home.

Are you or your loved one ready to explore senior living options? Navigating the landscape of senior living communities can be overwhelming, as each will offer a unique set of services and pricing structures. To ensure you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of essential questions to ask during your tours. Understanding the levels of care, services provided, and potential additional costs will help you compare apples to apples and find the perfect fit for your needs.

What to Consider

1. Levels of Care

During your assisted living tour, inquire about the various levels of care they offer. Ask the differences between independent living, personal care, memory care, and skilled nursing care. Also ask if the community provides a continuum of care, allowing residents to transition seamlessly between different levels as their needs change.

Why it Matters: While you might be in good health at the moment, relocating to a community focused solely on independent living could pose challenges if either you or your partner requires skilled nursing, personal care or memory care in the future. In such a scenario, it might entail moving away from your current residence and the potential necessity of living apart from your partner to access the required care.

2. Services Provided

Ask for a detailed list of services included in the basic pricing structure. Common services may include housekeeping, meal preparation, furnished apartments and utilities. Additionally, inquire about amenities such as fitness programs, social activities, and wellness services. Understanding the breadth of services offered will help you assess the overall value of the community.

Why it Matters: Everyone’s needs are different. By understanding the services included, individuals can determine if that community can cater to their specific requirements. For example, if medication management or specific health services are crucial, knowing whether they are part of the basic price structure is vital.

3. Additional Costs

Be clear about what is covered in the base rate and what may incur extra charges. Some communities operate on an all-inclusive pricing model, while others have tiered services with additional fees. Ask about potential add-ons, such as specialized care or meal plans. This transparency will prevent any surprises down the road and help you budget accordingly.

Why it Matters: Knowing exactly what services are covered in the basic package allows seniors and their families to assess the overall cost of residing in the senior home. This transparency helps in budgeting and understanding the financial commitment required.

4. Tiers in Services/Pricing

Many personal care communities have tiered services to accommodate varying needs. Inquire about these tiers and how they align with the levels of care provided.

Why it Matters: Understanding the pricing structure will enable you to choose a community that meets your requirements without hidden expenses.

5. Inclusive Rates

Some senior living communities offer all-inclusive rates, covering a wide range of services. Clarify what is included in these rates and ensure it aligns with your desired level of care. Inclusive rates can simplify budgeting and provide peace of mind, knowing that essential services are covered without additional fees.

Why it Matters: Choosing the right senior living community is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. By asking the right questions about levels of care, services provided, and potential additional costs, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and preferences.

These are only a few of the many questions to ask when comparing senior living communities. After determining the type of community that aligns with your preferences and requirements, explore ways to personally experience and gain a deeper understanding of it.

As you embark on this journey, let Barclay Friends assist you in your decision-making process. Barclay Friends offers residential living, personal care, memory care, and skilled nursing care.

Contact us at 610.696.5211 to learn more today! Let us guide you towards a vibrant and fulfilling senior living experience.