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Know Before You Go: Questions to Ask When You Tour a Senior Living Community

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What to know before you tour a senior living community. Elder adult man with cane having a conversation with a nurse sitting down

Deciding to move to a senior living community is a big step, but there are a few more before you can relax and reap the benefits of your new home. Next is finding the right community; however, doing so can quickly get overwhelming with all the options available for senior living in Hillsborough Township. Touring a senior living community is the best way to get a true sense of the vibe and what the community can offer.

What to know when you tour a senior living community

Before touring

While many people book tours of every senior living communities that pique their interest, that’s not necessarily the most productive strategy. Instead, we recommend prioritizing your wants and needs for senior living first. In doing so, you’re saving yourself the trouble of visiting and comparing senior living communities that aren’t a fit. As such, consider the following before you tour a senior living community:

  • Realistically assess your current needs, like whether you need assistance with personal care and managing health conditions, help with housekeeping, meals provided, and/or if you would like a more social, active lifestyle.
  • The type of senior living that matches those needs. Your options include the following:
    • Independent Living – Designed for seniors who can still live independently; the lifestyle focuses on convenience and active living, and home upkeep, cooking, and cleaning are provided. Residents also enjoy a range of amenities as well as social and enrichment opportunities.
    • Assisted Living – Offers many of the same services, amenities, and activities as independent living. In addition, you’ll also have assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Onsite medical care is also available.
    • Memory Care – Exclusively for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, this type of senior living offers 24-hour support in a secure, nurturing environment with specially trained staff.
  • The senior living community features that are non-negotiable to you, like being pet friendly or having two-bedroom floor plans, and the nice-to-have options such as concierge services or a pool.
  • Narrow your list of communities online with specific searches like “assisted living in city, state.” Then narrow those results further by visiting each community’s website and checking to see if they offer what you’ve prioritized above.

Download our Choosing the Right Community Guide today!

On the tour

After prioritizing your wants and needs, ideally, you can identify two or three senior living communities to visit. Then, to make sure you have an easier time comparing as you tour each senior living community in Hillsborough Township on your shortlist, look for the same things and ask the same questions at each. We suggest the following when you tour a senior living community:

Accommodations and Campus

  • What accommodations are available? What are the differences in cost for each?
  • Is community occupancy high or low?
  • Is the location desirable?
  • Can residents personalize their space?
  • Is the campus well-maintained?
  • How do you feel about the accommodations’ appearance, comfort, cleanliness, and dining, common, and outdoor areas?

Lifestyle and Wellness

  • Does the menu have a variety of nutritious and appealing offerings? Can you sample the food when you tour?
  • Does the community accommodate special dietary restrictions or requests?
  • What activities (exercise, wellness, enrichment, social, etc.) are offered?
  • How often do residents leave the community for outside activities?
  • How often are housekeeping and laundry services provided?
  • How do you feel about the level of amenities available? Do they fit your needs and wants?
  • Can friends and family visit anytime? Are there common and private spaces to gather with them?
  • Is the community pet-friendly?

Staff and Care

  • What level of daily assistance can residents expect?
  • What qualifications are required for the staff?
  • Are staff members offered additional and/or continuous training opportunities?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio during the day and at night?
  • How do staff members interact with residents and you? Do they seem friendly and compassionate?
  • Does the community accommodate special needs, such as diabetic care?


  • How does the community handle medical emergencies?
  • How is the community secured?
  • What safety features are available?
  • Is transportation offered?


  • What are the monthly costs for housing and care?
  • What services are included in those costs? What services are add-ons?
  • What are the payment options?

For more about what to look for when you tour a senior living community, download our Choosing the Right Community Guide. Or contact us today for more information or to schedule a tour.

Click here to download our Choosing The Right Senior Living Community guide

Written by kaplan

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