Senior Living in Edmond OK
Return To Blog

Tips for Touring Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities - Part 2

There are so many diverse types of communities from Independent Living, Assisted Living, Long Term Care, and Memory Care. The first step is of course evaluating your loved one’s care needs with your family and a physician and then from there you can start the looking process. The looking process can feel overwhelming, especially if you do not know what to look for or questions to ask. Here we continued to put together some things to remember and questions to ask when you start this journey.

  1. Tour at different times of the day and even on a weekend

It is no secret that most Assisted Living or Memory Care communities will want your business, and when they know they have a tour coming most communities do their very best to put their best foot forward. This is great to see, but if you’re moving a loved one in, you also want to know what it looks like when it isn’t the morning, weekday crew present.

We recommend touring in the evening or during the weekend to see if the quality of care remains the same even on different shifts. This not only will give you a realistic idea of what your loved one’s care will look like, but if everything goes well, you’ll also be extra reassured your loved one is getting their needs met.


  1. Common things to check on

Security & Safety – Can your loved one go to an Independent or Assisted Living where they can leave whenever they would like, or do they need a facility with locked doors because of safety concerns? If your loved one is wandering off and a potential elopement risk, it may be a good idea to check on what their procedures are when a resident does get outside and what steps a facility has in place to keep that from happening.

Cleanliness – On a quick look, most places appear to be clean, but take an extra second to check around. Are the floors & tables clean or sticky? Is there a clean smell around the home? If you are touring around after a mealtime, is the dining area cleaned up? Are the common areas clean and free of trash and fall hazards? You may also want to check on things such as how often laundry is done or how often rooms get cleaned by housekeeping staff.

Grooming & Hygiene - While everywhere you tour will have the same basics, such as showers a few times a week and meals three times a day, things like the grooming of current residents is a great indicator of the care level given. If the care staff is taking the time to wipe faces, brush teeth, help apply makeup or help do hair, then you can assume that same care will be given to your family as well. Do the residents smell well? Are they fully dressed and wearing clean clothes? Is their hair combed and teeth brushed?

Food & Dining – It is no secret that everybody has different tastes and preferences when it comes to food and that is certainly true when it comes to different communities. Each community has to follow certain state guidelines set about nutrition values and storage regulations, but every community has different foods and different styled kitchens. This is a good time to think about how your loved one eats, what their favorite foods are, and if they usually eat on a good routine. For instance, if your loved one always eats three meals a day at whatever time they have food made, you can bet they’ll be a great fit at a community where mealtimes are set. If you have a pretty independent family member, they may enjoy a place where mealtimes are open, and they can go whenever they’d like.

  1. Costs

While the level of care is the most important to pay attention to it is also important to ask all the right cost questions. You really need to make sure you understand pricing for everything, not just the monthly rent. For instance, are there monthly fees for cable or phone usage? Are there additional care charges for declining residents later down the road? Will your monthly rent lock in or will there be rate changes and on what basis?

It also may be important at this time to ask questions about pharmacy usage and current medications, doctors’ appointments and transportation, and even necessary assessments before the move in process. It also can be helpful to ask about the process later for your loved one as well, as most communities have different care levels. It may be helpful if you have a loved one who is in the first stage of Dementia, to know that later all you have to do is move to the memory care wing the community already has versus moving to a whole different community.

  1. Trust Your Instincts

In the end, there are so many different communities each with unique staff and amenities it can be hard to feel confused and overwhelmed. Try not to get too caught up in the small details and focus on your big needs and wants. The best advice we can give is this is a hard decision, but it is not a decision that you have to rush into. Take your time, tour as many places as you need and ask as many questions as you need. If you get too overwhelmed, you can always reach out to our Iris Senior Living team directly. We would be happy to help and point you in the right direction!