Questions to Ask about Assisted Living Communities
The decision to move to assisted living in Thousand Oaks might feel like choosing a college. You have to determine what you can afford, research your options, take tours and ask the right questions. But unlike college, you’re not spending a short chapter of your life here. You could be spending the next 10+ years in assisted living.
While reviewing marketing materials and touring communities is a great way to start your search, you need more than this. Assisted living communities are presented in the best light possible in their brochures so you might not catch problem areas. Having a list of questions and gathering responses from staff makes all the difference in finding the perfect fit.
Below are the questions we recommend asking when taking tours of senior retirement communities in Westlake Village.
What Accommodations Do You Offer?
This is one of the most important questions to ask. Most communities offer a wide range of living arrangements so it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the details. But there are specific things you’ll want to know to find the right fit.
Specifically, inquire about the following:
- What are the living quarters like?
- How much privacy can you expect?
- What personal belongings can you bring?
- When are you allowed to have visitors?
- How frequently will you be checked on?
- Can you choose between first and second floor rooms?
- Are there quieter rooms and ones near more activity?
Ask to see the apartment floor plans with measurements so that you can envision living there with your possessions. Also ask about the utilities that are included in your monthly fee – internet, cable, emergency call systems, etc. Most communities offer WiFi, but you’ll also want to know about its availability and speed.
What Activities are Available?
One of the main reasons why people choose senior living in Thousand Oaks is because they feel isolated and alone at home. It’s possible they can’t drive, or they may have a medical condition that keeps them at home. If you can relate, you surely don’t want to move to a community that has limited activities.
Ask about the activities that are offered on a regular basis and their eligibility requirements. The best communities have routine activities like fitness classes, art and spiritual workshops as well as planned activities like outings and movies at the theater.
How Do You Keep Residents Safe?
Safety is a prime concern for residents. You should always ask what the community does to keep their residents safe. Some of the options may include:
- Alert buttons for emergency assistance
- Pull cords in the apartments
- 24-hour staff availability
- Background checks run on staff
- Emergency response plan
- Safe bathrooms with rails or easy-entry bathtubs
What Training or Qualifications Do Staff Members Have?
At the heart of every senior living community is the staff. Ask about specific training and qualifications at every level. Some assisted living facilities hire their own staff, some outsource to an agency and others do both. They should be aware of the staff members in their building and the certifications they have.
What Types of Food Options are Available?
More older adults are aware of the importance of eating healthy, well-balanced meals. They also prefer to eat meals on their own time rather than at designated times throughout the day. If this is important to you, ask about the food and dining options available.
For instance, can you eat whenever you want or are there set meal times? Are there a variety of places to dine at or just one? Communities like Varenita of Westlake offer anytime dining services at various venues like bistros, cafés and formal restaurants. This gives residents the choice of when and where they want to eat.
Do You Offer Transportation?
Regardless of which senior living community you choose, there’s a whole world outside of it – and it’s important that you’re a part of it. Ask about the transportation options available, especially if you don’t drive. Many communities offer transportation within a certain radius and may even offer scheduled days when the shuttle runs to religious services, grocery stores and other essentials.
Do You Provide Medical or Nursing Care?
Over time, most older adults in assisted living in Thousand Oaks will need some type of medical care on a regular basis. Ask how the community supports the physical and emotional needs of their residents as they age in place.
Here are some specific questions to ask:
- What health conditions can the staff manage?
- Will you need to move to a nursing home if your needs change?
- Can the community help with medication management?
- Is memory care available for residents with dementia?
How Much Will It Cost and What’s Included in the Base Price?
Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions about the financials. Memory care in Westlake Village is costly so it’s best to have realistic expectations. Also find out what’s included in the base price. Some communities have a low base price but upcharge for everything else. Others are more inclusive and will only charge for additional services like medical or wellness needs.
Luxury Westlake Village Senior Living – Schedule Your Tour Today!
Varenita of Westlake offers holistic assisted living and memory care in Ventura County. With our approach to luxury living, residents are able to lead a vibrant, active lifestyle while engaging their mind, body and soul. We offer both in-person and virtual tours. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you have!