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8 Questions to Ask During Your Assisted Living Search

So you’ve made the decision to move to assisted living? Kristine Tilton, Executive Director of Waterstone at Wellesley, says that, for many, it’s the best decision they’ve ever made.

“Assisted living is really the best of both worlds for seniors wanting independence but needing some level of assistance,” she says. “You receive the benefit of living in your own place, along with all the services and amenities of the community, plus peace of mind knowing that caring assistance is never far away.”

However, not all assisted living communities are alike, which is why it’s essential to do your research and ask the right questions so you can choose the best community for you. 

“You want to find a community that you absolutely love, because this will be your home for many years to come,” says Kristine. “Before you visit any communities, be sure you have a list of questions so you can ask about everything that’s necessary for you to have a high quality of life. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to make the right decision.”

Obviously, the number of questions and the types of questions you ask will vary based on your needs, preferences and the like. Still, you should make sure that these 8 questions are somewhere on the list. Having answers to these questions will paint a clearer picture of life at the community and your place in it, and will also prevent fewer surprises down the road. 

1. What availability do you currently have? 

This question is so obvious that it’s easy to forget about it. It can seem silly to ask this, but keep in mind that many assisted living communities have a wait list because they’re at full capacity. If there isn’t a wait list, this could potentially speed up your decision to move. If there is a wait list, you’ll want to find out how long the wait is and see if that timeframe matches up with what you need. If you need to move now, but your top choice doesn’t have availability, can you wait for something to open up or do you need to go with Plan B? 

2. If you have availability, what type of apartments are currently available? 

Just because a community has availability doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily an availability that you want. How much space are you looking for? Would a one-bedroom suit your needs or do you need a two-bedroom? Do you want a full kitchen available to you, or will a kitchenette suffice? Consider what you need in your living space and weigh it against the other amenities and services that the community provides. 

3. What services are included in my monthly fee?

Are all utilities included, or are there things like cable or Wi-Fi that you’ll need to pay for yourself? What about housekeeping or linen services? Are meals included or is that a separate charge? Some communities charge a la carte for different levels of service (and have a lower base monthly fee) while others are truly all-inclusive (with a higher monthly fee that may or may not be more expensive when other factors are included). Knowing what your true cost will be will help you better compare apples to apples (or prices to prices) when the time comes. 

4. What events and activities are available? 

Ask to look at a monthly events calendar to find out what types of offerings you can expect. The best communities will have a wide variety of activities from fitness classes to learning opportunities to arts and outings and so much more. If there’s something that interests you that’s not offered, ask about how new activities are chosen, if there are opportunities for residents to form their own clubs or if the staff will work to help residents find avenues to explore their passions. 

5. What transportation options do you offer? 

Many communities have transportation offerings for residents, either for free or for a low rate. Find out what options are available to you, whether it’s a shuttle from the community to where you need to go, taxi vouchers or any partnerships with local transportation services. Also, if you still have a car and would like to drive, ask about parking options. You want to be sure you can safely get around no matter what the situation or weather. 

6. What health services are available on-site?

Does the community have a wellness center that offers check-ups and visiting clinicians to help residents stay healthy? It’s common for senior living communities to have specialists who visit on a regular basis so residents can get checkups in the comfort of their home. Otherwise, what is the health service situation? What happens if there’s an emergency or if you need to go to a doctor’s appointment? 

7. What are meals like at the community?

Many assisted living communities offer a certain number of meals per day, whether included in the monthly fee or as an add-on package. Are there flexible hours for the dining room, or is food only served at specific times? Is there an option to have a tray sent up to your room if you’re not feeling 100%? What’s the snack situation like between mealtimes? Is there more than one dining area (like a formal dining room and a more casual option)? Is the menu varied and changed daily? How does the chef handle special dietary needs or preferences? 

8. What happens if I end up needing additional care services? 

It’s important to think about the future and what further care services you may need down the road. If you end up requiring more and more assistance to live safely, can your care flex to meet your needs? What partnerships does the community have with area healthcare providers?

“At Waterstone at Wellesley, we strive to deliver an exceptional and elevated experience to our assisted living residents,” says Kristine. “Our personal care services allow us to help our assisted living residents active, as-independent-as-possible lives so they can enjoy this time of their life to the fullest. Simply put, assisted living at Waterstone offers everything you need to live an engaged, healthy and fulfilled lifestyle.”

For more information about how to choose an assisted living community, please contact us at 781.235.1614.

Beautiful Riverfront Community

Located on the banks of the Charles River, Waterstone is Wellesley’s only senior living community, offering premier independent and assisted living. But that’s only the first of many differences that sets Waterstone above and beyond other communities. 

Celebrating Dynamic Living

Here our residents live independently in their own private, spacious apartments – but without any of the worries or concerns of homeownership or living alone. All meals are expertly prepared. There aren’t any chores to be concerned with. No home maintenance or repairs to worry about. Just opportunities around every corner and time to spend as they choose – in the company of new friends.

Our vibrant community encourages residents to engage in a variety of recreational, cultural and social programs and activities. Enjoy a fitness class. Swim in the sunny indoor pool. Take a stroll on a walking path. Partake in a favorite hobby or pastime. Discover a new interest. With Waterstone at Wellesley, there’s a world of opportunity waiting right outside our residents’ doors. 

Confidence of Care

The hallmark of Waterstone assisted living is the peace of mind we provide both our residents and their families. Knowing that care and support is available right on site instills a sense of confidence and calm one can’t find living alone. 

For prospective residents or their families interested in residing at Waterstone at Wellesley, please contact us at 781.235.1614.