Touring Assisted Living: First Impressions and Other Tips

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 01 February 2012

The first time you meet someone new or visit a new place, you form an impression. But when making a judgment call, you often need more facts and context than the first encounter allows. Should you then choose to get to know the person or place better, you’ll eventually find out whether your initial assessment was accurate; most likely, there will be discrepancies.

This theory applies to seeking out assisted living care for yourself or a loved one. Make an informed decision with these tips:

  • First, families (and especially the individual who will be moving) should visit the prospective communities in person, preferably more than once. What you see online or read in brochures is not enough.
  • When you visit, try to get a feel for the social atmosphere, to gauge the warmth and professionalism of the staff, to determine if a place is as clean and neat and welcoming as it looks in photos.
  • As staffing changes by shift, visit the assisted living home at different times of the day. Things may look very different at night, for better or for worse.
  • Word-of-mouth referrals are also very telling, both within the assisted living residence (ask family members, staff and residents for their opinions) and in the surrounding community. What is the provider’s reputation in the region and in the senior living industry in general?


Your turn: What was your first impression of the assisted living communities you visited? Were you right?



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