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6 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Senior Living Community in Indianapolis

Choosing a senior living community in Indianapolis can be both an exciting and overwhelming prospect. It represents a step towards a vibrant and promising stage in your life. You'll want to find a place that provides growth, connection, and a relaxing and comfortable community atmosphere. Taking the time to thoroughly research senior living communities in the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, and Noblesville areas is a great way to get an idea of what each has to offer. How you like the neighborhood, and what amenities and services are most important to you.

Simply going on tours is not enough to determine whether a senior living community is a good fit for you. Asking the right questions and taking the opportunity to meet and talk with existing residents and staff are critical to ensuring that the community you select fits the lifestyle you want. To help you make this decision, here are six topics you should consider when touring or researching senior living communities in your area.

What Accommodations are Currently Available?

One of the things to ask when touring a senior living community is whether they currently have any apartments available. This may seem like a silly question to ask. The fact is not all communities list the availability on their website. And many popular communities will have an extensive waitlist. If they do not currently have availability, ask how long the expected wait could be.

Depending on your priorities and current living situation, you may be willing to wait for your preferred community. Or you may need to find something that is open right away that still checks off all your boxes. Make sure to find out which floor plans are available, the amount of space, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and even where the available apartments are within the building.

What are the Monthly Costs?

Cost is often a primary concern for seniors looking for a senior living community. So you need to ask as many questions about pricing as possible. Pricing can vary widely from one community to the next. You'll want to find out the monthly costs and if there are any upfront deposits or "buy-in" fees. If you need a little extra help or assistance, you'll want to find out what services are available and the associated costs for assisted living, home healthcare, medication, and others. Some communities are transparent about all their costs and fees. While other senior living communities make you dig a little deeper to get an overall picture of how much it will cost to live there.

Good communities will address cost questions before you even ask. But make sure you find out what's included in your monthly or yearly rent, as this could have a substantial impact on your budget. Many senior living communities include things like meals, activities, housekeeping, and even transportation in the rent. But these things may incur extra costs in some communities. You'll also want to find out if there are any fees for amenities or additional services. You don't want to be caught off-guard by unexpected bills.

What Kind of Activities and Events Do You Offer?

Senior living doesn't have to mean all bingo all the time. And you'll want to find a new home that provides a variety of activities that you enjoy and that will keep you busy. Many residents find that the activities they enjoy the most are those spent socializing with others. Many communities have day trips, nightly musical jam sessions, book clubs, bible studies, daily card games, and board games.

Ask to see the current month's activity calendar. This can give you an idea of what daily life is like in the community. If there aren't activities you like to do, or there isn't much variety, you may get bored. In some cases, you can talk with the community activities director. And they may incorporate your favorite activities into the calendar for all residents to enjoy. Living in a senior community is supposed to help keep you active and connected with others. So you'll want to find one that offers fun and unique activities both on and off-site.

Is Transportation Available and Included?

The right senior living community will provide amenities that make you question if you'll ever want to leave. Eventually, you will have to venture out for doctor's appointments, family events, shopping, or for a night on the town. You want to find out what transportation options are available within the community. For instance, many seniors want to maintain their independence by keeping a car; is this an option in the community? For those who don't want to drive, many senior living communities provide residents with transportation to scheduled appointments and activities. You'll want to make sure you inquire about how these services work, how often they are available, whether there are any restrictions or additional costs to use them.

Can We Talk to Current Residents or References?

Asking plenty of questions when touring a senior community can give you a good idea of what life is like. But it can be even more helpful to talk with current residents or their family members. Any good senior living community will have a list of available references. A lot of times, you'll even be able to meet and talk with current residents and visiting family members as you tour the community. You'll find many existing residents are more than happy to take a minute and tell you about their life in the community. If you decide to move to the community, many times, these new acquaintances become new friends. You can't beat getting a first-hand perspective of the joys and challenges that can come with living in a senior living community.

Is the Staff Qualified and Friendly?

Staff at a senior living community should be like an extension of your own family. You'll want to find out if they are friendly, responsive to your questions and that they are there for you when you need them. Do they have an open-door policy, how do they respond to your requests, and do they address your concerns? It's particularly crucial in the initial days after you move in. As community team members will be instrumental in helping you to learn more about the community and help you meet your new neighbors.

You'll want to find out what kind of training the staff has. Do the chefs understand the nutritional needs of seniors who may have special dietary needs? Does the cleaning staff take proper precautions to prevent the spread of germs? If moving into an assisted living community or electing to use home health care services, you'll want to meet the staff and learn more about them. See what kind of training they've had, how they keep up to date, find out how many residents they are looking after. Ask the tough questions now to ensure you are taken care of when you're ready to move in.

In Conclusion

These six topics are just a fraction of those you'll want to learn about when deciding to move into a senior living community. How's the food? Can you have lunch/dinner during your tour? What safety measures do they have in place? How do staff members respond to an emergency? The most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your new home, with your new neighbors and that you enjoy a long healthy life.

We're always available to answer any questions you might have about senior living. Please contact us for additional advice on things you should know when touring senior living communities in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas.

Tags: Sycamore Reserve, senior living, independent senior living, nursing homes, retirement community