10 Senior Living Questions to Ask on Your Next Community Tour

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10 Senior Living Questions to Ask on Your Next Community Tour
Senior living community residents engaging in a happy conversation

As with any significant life decision, you might be unsure where to begin in your senior living journey. There are numerous factors you’ll want to take into account when it comes to senior living considerations. Whether you’re helping a loved one with their choice or making the decision for yourself, knowing what senior living questions to ask when you go on a community tour is a great place to start.

Essential Questions to Ask on Your Senior Living Community Tour 

The following 10 questions can help narrow down your options and determine whether or not the community you’re touring is a good fit for specific lifestyle needs. 

1. What are the costs?

Before you or your loved one falls in love with a community, it’s important to understand whether it’s in the budget. Cost is about more than the first number the community gives you, though—value is just as important. A more expensive community, for example, could be a much better value if it offers services that reduce monthly expenditures. 

When inquiring about costs: 

  • Ask if you can see an apartment available for the quoted price
  • Check if there are additional costs for certain amenities
  • Clarify if certain features aren’t included in the price of senior living
  • Ask for assisted living and memory care and the way these additional services affect cost structure
  • Find out if prices go up annually 

Sometimes, you get excited about something new, invest time and money, and then realize it’s not right. Senior living is no different. No community is one size fits all, so it’s important to choose a community that’s the best fit for your needs. If you realize you’ve made the wrong choice, you’ve likely invested a ton of money upfront, locking you into an arrangement. Our Cedarhurst Promise™ offers a 60-day money-back guarantee,* so you can feel confident in your choice of community. 


2. Do you have any programs to help new residents smoothly transition into the community? 

Like any transition, moving to senior living is easier when you have a reliable support system. No matter the circumstance, new residents often require some time to adjust and feel comfortable in an unfamiliar place surrounded by new people.

The best senior living communities roll out the welcome mat with programs to help you and your senior loved one feel at home. Ask for specific details about these programs and what to expect during the first few weeks. For instance, Cedarhurst’s Pair to Prepare™ program makes settling in a bit easier by welcoming a loved one to stay with new residents for a few days at no additional cost.

Ultimately, nothing matters more than whether you feel safe and comfortable. When you move into a senior living community, it should feel like home—like a place that makes you hopeful about the future and secure in the present moment. If you can picture yourself or your loved one as a happy member of the community you tour, it’s a great sign. 

3. Are meals included? What’s the food like? 

Food is a cornerstone of life, and it’s a big part of the senior living experience as well. For many people, a meal is a great time to relax and connect with others while nourishing the mind and body. 

The food you eat should both taste good and contribute to good health. Make sure the community offers meals tailored not just to your dietary needs but also to your palate. Check out the weekly or monthly menu, and spend some time savoring the fare by staying for a meal during your tour.

4. Can I bring my pets? 

Your pet is part of your family! Not only that, but pets are great for your health, too. They relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and make it easier to meet and connect with new people. 

The best senior living communities encourage you to bring your pets along, offering activities and areas specifically for pets and their parents. Cedarhurst welcomes pets, and many of our residents have formed their closest friendships with other pet lovers. 

5. How do you foster a sense of community? 

An inviting community is immediately apparent as such. When you walk in, you feel like you matter, not like you have to strive to fit in. 

The best senior living communities welcome people from all walks of life, bringing them together with a diverse range of activities and amenities. Inquire about what the community does to create camaraderie among residents, and ask community members what you or your senior loved one can do to feel like a part of the group. 


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6. Are leadership and staff members capable, committed, and compassionate? 

Exceptional communities ensure their staff is fully trained for daily life and emergencies alike. Inquire about staff background, as well as continuing education, CPR, and first aid certifications. Great communities invest in their people, who then invest in the residents. Make sure you’re choosing a community that truly cares by learning as much as you can about the on-site staff. 

One of the most important things to look for in a senior living community is an invested, happy staff. If you ever need help, the community’s staff should be widely available to help you. An engaged and compassionate staff will consist of team members who:

  • Have meaningful relationships with the residents
  • Are eager to answer your questions
  • Promptly address your or your loved one’s concerns 
  • Are receptive and enjoyable to talk to
  • Are respectful and kind to one another
  • Appear to enjoy their jobs

No community can do everything perfectly all of the time. The best communities know this and have a clear accountability structure in place. If a problem arises, you’ll be met with a compassionate ear and a swift solution. Ask about the community’s leadership structure, and if possible, meet the people overseeing it. 

7. What specific amenities and activities does your community offer? 

Most communities give a long list of the amenities and activities they have offered in the past. Although a great starting point for discussion, it’s important to pin down the details. Did they offer yoga one time a year ago, or is it available on an ongoing basis? Do certain amenities cost more? 

Some other things to ask about in regards to amenities include:

  • Which amenities are offered currently and regularly
  • What a typical event and activity calendar looks like and how it changes
  • How often new programs are added 
  • Whether the community caters to a certain lifestyle or interest

8. Do you offer transportation? 

Regardless of whether or not you drive, access to transportation can relieve stress. Residents who currently drive may find that community transportation is easier, and it gives them the chance to enjoy the scenery and daydream. If you don’t drive, you’ll need access to the outside world—preferably without having to rely on friends or family. A robust transportation service is a big plus at any senior living community, so inquire about availability.

9. Is family always welcome? What family-friendly activities do you offer? 

You are a part of your family, which means they’re a part of your senior living community, too. Good communities take an inclusive approach to families, encouraging frequent visits and offering family-friendly activities. Arbitrary rules about visitors and overnight guests are for summer camps, not thriving senior living communities. Be sure to ask about visitor policies so you can include your loved ones in your daily life and activities. 

Ask which activities family members can participate in. Check whether the community offers activities tailored to younger family members so you can enjoy some time with the children in your life. 

10. Do you offer a continuum of care and services that will evolve with my needs? What if I have memory care or assisted living questions? 

Many of our residents tell us that their biggest regret about senior living is not moving in sooner. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a community only to have to leave when care needs change. 

Ask about a continuum of care and how the community will support you if you require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) or other basic needs. Cedarhurst caters to seniors with a wide range of needs, and we’re happy to answer any questions you ask for assisted living and memory care, too. 

Additional Considerations

Whether you’re touring and asking questions about assisted living, independent living, or memory care—and whether your visit is for yourself or for someone you love—it’s important to take in as much information as possible. You’re investing a lot in the senior living community you eventually choose, so do your due diligence.

Beyond the 10 senior living questions already discussed, you should look for the following qualities when you take your tour:

  • A safe and inviting environment that’s well-maintained
  • A neighborhood you can imagine yourself living in or spending time in
  • Positive reviews that are consistent with your experience
  • Apartments that appear clean and well-kept

Your Senior Living Questions, Answered

At Cedarhurst, we’re proud of what we’ve built and eager to share it with prospective residents. It’s a privilege to live up to The Cedarhurst Promise™ and to answer your questions. Naturally, the right senior living lifestyle will vary widely from person to person, so we want to be sure any unique needs are addressed.

Deciding on a senior living community isn’t something to take lightly, so the Cedarhurst team aims to provide you with all the knowledge and resources necessary to make the most informed decision. For expert advice on how to make the best choice for you or your loved one, check out our A-Z Curriculum for Understanding Senior Living.

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*Cedarhurst Promise™ program is only available at select communities. Not applicable for respite or other short-term stays. Refund is available only if move-out is a result of dissatisfaction with Cedarhurst community as documented throughout stay. Complete rent refund includes base rent only. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please see Resident Agreement for additional details. Void where prohibited.

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