When considering a tour of an assisted living community, its ambiance should be more than a feeling. It should encompass the staff interaction, apartment choices, and accessibility of home-like amenities. As you enter the community, the vibe should be warm and welcoming. The entire place should look, feel, sound, and smell inviting.
Take note of staff members’ interaction with you and with each other. If staff members are calling residents by name and interacting in a friendly manner with them, then you’ll have a critical clue about the quality of care.
Ask to see all the apartment styles available. Be sure to view both furnished and unfurnished apartments. Note the amenities within the apartment – does it have a full kitchen or a kitchenette? Is the bathroom handicap accessible? Is there storage? What type of view is there from the windows? Is it well lighted? Are the carpeting and window treatments clean? Most importantly, picture you or your loved one and his/her belongings in this space – would it suit them?
Finally, a part of the ambiance of a community is the resident’s accessibility to common areas. Ask about the use of common living rooms, libraries, computer rooms, dining rooms, patios, and porches. Do you see any residents using these amenities during your tour? Observing residents actually using amenities can tell you about how comfortable and functional these rooms can be to residents.