Preparing for an Appointment at a Community

elderly couple in purple holding hands and walking together outside smiling

You’ve done your homework. You’ve narrowed down your senior housing options to a handful of choices, perhaps attended an on-site event or two. Now what? It’s time for an appointment. What can you expect when you get there? And how should you prepare? This list will help make your appointment productive and stress-free.

Snapshot of Your Finances

List of Your Priorities

Lifestyle Preferences

Questions About the Community

An appointment with a senior living community sales counselor is an important step in the process of deciding where you want to live. It’s a way for you to get to know the community, and for them to get to know you. The process is designed to help you decide whether a community is a good fit. You’ll be asked about your goals, preferences and budget – and you can ask all the questions you want. At a later date during the process, a health assessment may be required.

To help you make the most of your senior community visit, gather some information and write down questions before you go. Doing so will help you quickly decide if a community is right for you. Here’s what you should bring with you:

Snapshot of Your Finances

This information will help you know what you can afford.

  • Home value and home equity
  • Monthly income from all sources (include the amount from each source)
  • Outstanding obligations, loans and mortgages
  • Investments (IRAs, 401K, real estate, etc.)
  • Long-term care insurance

List of Your Priorities

What do you want in a senior housing setting? For example:

  • Type of community: rental, Life Plan Community (also known as a CCRC), campus or high-rise setting.
  • Preferred size of residence
  • Services important to you
  • Access to different levels of health care
  • Housekeeping
  • Dining options
  • Activities
  • Transportation

Lifestyle Wish List

What do you want to keep doing, and what do you want to try?

  • Fitness: swimming, water aerobics, strength training, yoga, Tai Chi, etc.
  • Social: book club, card games, current events discussions, financial investment club, etc.
  • Arts: painting, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking, knitting, etc.
  • Entertainment: theater, movies, music, dance, opera, etc.
  • Travel: local, national or international group trips

Questions About the Community

What else would you like to know?

  • Cost of living: monthly service fee, annual rate increase percentage
  • Future costs if more care is needed: assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing care
  • Move-in resources: help with planning, selling your home, moving in, etc.
  • Culture: meeting other residents and fitting in
  • Dining: sampling the food and understanding the dining plan
  • Family: opportunities for children and grandchildren to visit and participate
  • Pets: policies, outdoor areas, interaction with other pets
  • Transportation

Take your time thinking through these questions and bring them all with you. This kind of pre-visit preparation will go a long way toward helping you make the right decision for your future.

You can use our community locator tool to find a community near you.

CCRC Visit Checklist

Independent Living Community Visit Checklist

Assisted Living Community Visit Checklist