Go ahead. Ask Questions.
If finding the right senior living community seems like a daunting task – that’s because it is. Senior living is confusing at best. With terms like assisted living, nursing home, independent living, memory care, skilled nursing - it’s clear those senior living websites were designed to make you feel perplexed.
That’s not right. You shouldn’t be made to feel confused when finding a new home - whether that’s for yourself or for a loved one. You are in control of your senior living search. But to be in control, you need to know how to ask the right kinds of questions.
That’s what we’re here for.
Go ahead. Ask. Ask the hard questions. Not just questions about what the food is like (although, that’s important, too), but the hard questions like, “How do you reinvest your profits.” Why? Because the answers can tell you a lot about a community. Because whether a community’s profits go into the pockets of shareholders, or into making resident life better...that, says a whole lot about a community.
Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. The answers will help you make the right decision. Here’s our top five to get you thinking and asking:
- What percentage of your income beyond expenses gets reinvested into activity/community improvements? Here’s that reinvestment question again. The answer will help you get to the bottom of the real customer of the community - its shareholders or its residents. Not-for-profit senior communities invest profits into residents - enhanced activities, renovations, better food, you name it. The for-profit guys, well...profits go into pockets.
- What happens we outlives our resources? The money questions. Something nobody loves to talk about, but it’s important when considering senior independent or assisted living. In some communities, you’re shown the door when the resources run out. Yup, shown the door. Not something you want to worry about in retirement, right? Or worry about for Mom or Dad. Other senior communities, like Immanuel, have programs to assist if those resources are exhausted - helping keep residents in their homes.
- What is your mission? Companies, organizations—they’re all driven by missions, values that guide all the decisions they make. Ask the senior communities you’re touring about their mission, their key values. Do they align with yours? If not, it may be time to keep looking.
- What is your resident satisfaction level? We all want to be happy in retirement and where we live has a huge part in that. Are the existing residents happy is an important question that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask. The senior communities should have surveys, numbers, data. And if they don’t ask to speak to some of the residents. Ask them their honest opinion of their home.
- How will you address care if it changes? The perfect home right now, may not work if chronic conditions, mobility issues or memory loss become problems. Not all communities are equipped to support these conditions. Don’t forget to look toward the future when picking a home.
To ask the right kinds of questions, you need some intention. We know, we’ve been there. We’ve been in this business a long time, helping thousands of families figure out their journey. It’s not easy - this isn’t a decision you’re going to make often in your life. You want it to be right, to have every box checked. And we want it to be right, too - whether it’s with us or with someone else.
We know that to make that decision, you’re going to have to take a tour and knowing what to ask, and how to break down the marketing sales speak, is difficult. We’re here to take confusion out of the question and help you get the answers you need. So when you’re ready, when Mom’s ready...you’ll have a plan. No crisis, no panic, just a plan.
Need more hard-hitting questions? Discover more need-to-ask questions and how a not-for-profit senior living community puts residents first by downloading Immanuel’s Non-Profit vs. For-Profit Comparison Guide at ImmanuelDifference.org.