As you begin your search for a senior living community, you can delve into websites and find out about the services, the day-to-day happenings, and the amenities they offer. But an in-person visit lets you experience the intangibles — that gut feeling about the place, the camaraderie among residents — that tell you if you could be happy living there. If you want to visit to get a taste of how lively and active the community can be, choose a time when you’re sure to see all that.
During an Event
To see for yourself how vibrant the community is, visit during a special event. If you attend one of these special events, you can talk to residents in a more relaxed setting and find out what they think about their home. Test the waters, meet people, and enjoy a great party in the process.
Signature Events: Many communities put on annual events, and their team members take a lot of pride in making them fun and festive. Some communities put on parties to celebrate their anniversaries or local culture, like food festivals or art shows. Signature events usually center around something important to them, giving you key insight into the community’s personality.
Educational Events: Communities want you to have the information you need to make a smart decision about where to live. To help, they frequently bring in speakers to present on various topics, or ask experts on their own staff to speak about specific areas of interest to help you in choosing a senior living community. They may highlight general senior living information, finances, downsizing, or other important factors.
Open Houses: If you really want to see what it could be like to live in a community, check out the living spaces. Communities typically offer tours of select residences, so you can see different floor plans and finishes, and get ideas for how to arrange furniture. Open Houses give you the chance to imagine yourself as part of the community.
Wellness Events: One of the perks of living in a senior living community is the holistic approach to wellness that many embrace and the inventive ways they infuse each facet of wellness into their everyday activities. Attending one of these events allows you to experience a taste of the lifestyle in person. Communities often bring in expert speakers, offer health checks, or let you try out the fitness equipment.
Resident Panels: Resident panels are great ways to hear the facts from people who know the community best, who have been through the whole process and can offer first-hand insight into the benefits of senior living. Bring your questions and hear about the journey from your peers.
Cultural Events: In addition to their off-campus trips, communities will often bring music groups, speakers, or theater troupes to their campuses. These events allow you to see the community, maybe meet like-minded residents, and learn something at the same time.
Holidays Throughout the Year
Holidays can busy times, but it’s inspiring to visit or tour the communities when they’re celebrating, and many bring out all the stops during their favorite times of year. If it’s important for the whole family to support you in choosing a senior living community, pick a time when the family is already together so everyone can see the campus and activities — and hopefully they’ll be inspired to visit often.
New Year’s: As everyone makes their resolutions to introduce healthy habits, communities outline the multifaceted ways they can help you reach your goals.
Valentine’s Day: Mix & mingle, eat delicious treats, maybe even dance. Communities create fun experiences for singles and couples alike in February.
Mardi Gras: Typically a purely social holiday at communities, Mardi Gras is a wonderful occasion to meet new friends.
St. Patrick’s Day: Themed events with green decorations — and sometimes beer — make learning about a new community more fun and relaxed.
Fourth of July: Communities often host fun barbecues and patriotic celebrations if you visit in early July. There’s often a tribute to the resident veterans as well.
Oktoberfest: Some places celebrate more traditionally than others, but with German-inspired food and maybe even some oompah music, you’re sure to have a good time.
Friendsgiving: Communities anticipate that you’ll want to spend Thanksgiving with family, so they’ve embraced a complimentary celebration that invites friends to come together for fun and usually a presentation about the community.
Christmas/Hanukkah: With the decorations out and family members joining in on the festivities, end-of-the-year holidays create the perfect backdrop to see a community at its finest.
But You Don’t Have to Wait
Communities send out invitations to upcoming events in the mail or online, so keep an eye out for them. If you haven’t received invitations from a senior living community, you can usually sign up for the mailing list on the community website. And while it’s fun to join in on events and holidays, you don’t have to wait for a specific occasion. You can sign up for a scheduled tour to see the whole campus and to ask specific questions about fees and care.
If you’d like to find communities hosting fun events near you, use our community locator tool.