elderly man being consoled by nursing home staff woman

8 Questions to Ask Independent Living Facilities Before Moving In

elderly man being consoled by nursing home staff woman

As you’re touring an independent living facility, you’ll want to be able to ask the right questions to find out whether or not it’s the best fit. 

In today’s post, Ivy Knoll, an independent living community near Florence Kentucky, gives you eight important questions to ask

1. What type of medical care is available and how accessible is it?

It’s important to know what nursing services are available. To what extent are medical services made available to those with worsening, age-related health conditions? 

Many independent living facilities will no longer house patients who are ill enough to need assisted living care or residence at a skilled nursing facility. 

Yet again, Ivy knoll is the exception. Our retirement home offers personal care services that extend into intensive hospice care. We do this to make sure our residents don’t have to leave their homes and community should their health turn for the worse. 

You’ll want to know whether or not there is 24/7 medical staff located at the property.

Here are some additional questions to consider asking about medical care: 

  • For natural disasters, what protocols are there to keep residents safe? 
  • How do you communicate health complications or emergencies with families?
  • What types of healthcare professionals visit the facility each month or week? 
  • Do residents get individualized service plans for their medical needs? 
  • Can I keep over-the-counter medications in my apartment? 
  • What daily needs can I get help with and what’s the limit before needing to transfer to an SNF or assisted living facility? 

2. What kind of meal service do you offer? 

The meals are the most important part of a retirement home. You are what you eat. And having access to high-quality, nutritious meals from a diverse flavor profile is exactly what you want to make sure you’re getting from your independent living home. 

Here are some additional questions you can ask about meal services: 

  • Can residents get meals delivered to their rooms?
  • Can the chef accommodate dietary restrictions? 
  • Do you offer snacks throughout the day to residents?  
  • How often does the menu change? 
  • Do you use locally-sourced, natural ingredients? 

3. What activities do you offer?

Most independent living retirement homes have a laundry list of activities posted on a community calendar board. Every week something is going on. 

But it’s important to make sure the activities are things you or your loved one enjoys doing. These reflect the culture, vibe, and atmosphere of the retirement home. 

To get a better sense of what activities are included, ask the following questions: 

  • What weekly clubs or events do you host? 
  • Is off-site transportation included as part of the rent? 
  • Are there any wellness activities, like a walking club or yoga class? 
  • Do you have outdoor spaces that residents can enjoy? 

4. Do residents get a voice or say in how things are done? 

It’s important to know whether or not the place where mom and dad are staying is going to be one where they can have some say in what their day-to-day life entails, from the meals to activities. At Ivy knoll, residents get to vote on their favorite meals and make creative suggestions for our in-house chef, Megan, to whip up for them. 

5. Are religious services provided?

Most retirement homes will offer some type of religious service for their residents. Ivy Knoll has a church service each Sunday for those interested in attending. Not only that, guests from local churches, preachers, and musicians alike, occasionally stop by Ivy Knoll. 

6. What conveniences are nearby?

You’ll want to know if you’re near a pharmacy, grocery store, service outlet, or anything else you might need. Reflect on your needs and see what’s important to you. Many retirement homes are near parks, golf courses, grocery stores, and local restaurants. 

Ivy Knoll is located just outside of Cincinnati, near Florence Kentucky in the neighboring town of Covington. There’s plenty to see and do in the tri-state area. Our residents get the option of going on weekly trips into town and eating out at restaurants, visiting cafes, and seeing sites at various venues in the area: museums, movies, and parks included. 

7. What are the apartments like? 

Get a sense of what’s included in your apartment and whether or not different floor plans come with different amenities. And there’s the issue of cost. Make sure to ask what the monthly rate is, how it should be paid, and what, if any, costs change over time. 

All senior apartments should have safety features. But be sure to ask. You’ll want non-slip bathroom surfaces, safety guard rails, and low-level steps (or none at all) to avoid the potential for trips or falls. 

Here are a few more questions you can ask to get a deeper sense of what your new apartment will be like:

  • Can I control my thermostat? 
  • What equipment do the apartments come with?
  • How frequent are cleaning services? 
  • How much does each floor plan cost and what comes with it?
  • Are there price incentives for certain floor plans, or special financing options? 
  • Are there additional on-site storage options available in case some things don’t fit in my apartment? 

8. Are overnight stays from family or friends allowed?

This is a big factor to consider when choosing the right independent living facility. Ivy Knoll allows for families to stay overnight, although this is not for long-term stays. 

Whether or not a retirement home is a family-friendly place will be easy to identify. Just read online reviews and ask your tour guide about family-centered activities, and how often these occur. 

Final Tips on Asking the Right Questions During a Tour

Remember, all of your questions should revolve around three primary themes: 

  • Health and medical care (how many nurses, types of aid, care options, etc.) 
  • Nutrition (types of meals, nutritional supplements, etc.) 
  • Livability and community (security, cleanliness, location, amenities, etc.)

Don’t just ask, look around.

 As you take your tour, keep a keen eye on how the residents are doing. Are they clean, well-dressed, engaged, and content? That’s a good sign that you’re in a well-to-do retirement community. 

Reflect on how you feel.

Does the retirement home feel welcoming? Get some feedback from friends and family. It’s important to have a balanced perspective. 

Ask for references.

Look at online reviews. Any growing retirement community will have reviews from family members. 

Schedule Your In-Personal Tour of an Independent Living Facility Today

Ready to become a part of a vibrant, sociable, and engaged retirement community in Northern Kentucky? Contact us today to schedule your in-person tour of the premises.