Making lists of questions to ask and knowing what you want to look for in advance of touring independent living communities is a great snippet of advice. If it is early in your search for the community that is right for you, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all that you are seeing.
At St. Mark Village, we know the senior living search is very important, so we are offering suggestions below for what to look for in a community. Make your own list and be sure to take it with you on your tour, so you can be sure to cover what’s on your mind without being distracted.
6 things to look for when touring independent living communities
1. A warm and friendly welcome.
As you enter, note the atmosphere. Is it inviting? Happy? Are you greeted with a smile? Do you see residents milling about, interacting with each other and with staff in positive ways? First impressions can say a great deal about a community.
2. Maintenance of grounds.
You’ve always taken care of your home, and now as you begin touring independent living communities, you want to find a place that shares your attention to detail. Note the entrance, landscaping, and curb appeal. Does it reflect constant upkeep? If having restorative outdoor areas such as patios, walking paths, and a garden is important for you, be sure to visit all the outdoor spaces.
3. Exceptional dining.
Foodies will tell you: what you eat, where you eat, and the overall dining experience is a big factor in quality of life. So be sure to have a meal or two when touring independent living. Review the menu, note the level of service, and get an overall feel for the venue. Are residents enjoying themselves? Are special diets easily accommodated? Is there enough variety to suit your tastes?
At St. Mark Village, dining is truly a delight, from homemade soups and salads to multi-course dining, to an on-site bakery and locally made ice cream. Our Certified Dietary Manager ensures that each resident is receiving the nutrients they need—and our staff makes sure each dish comes with a friendly smile.
Download our free guide, Just The Facts: Your Guide to Independent Living.
4. Amenities that appeal to you.
Think about how you like to spend your day, and what new experiences you’d like to have—then see if the community’s amenities meet your expectations. If you like to exercise, check the fitness classes and equipment. Enjoy swimming? Be sure there’s a heated pool waiting for you. Would you appreciate an on-site chapel? Ask about that. Other common amenities include a library, arts & crafts studio, salon, and more.
5. An excellent reputation.
While touring independent living, always ask about reputation…how is the community regarded by families and friends? Ask to see reviews, and inquire about waiting lists. If possible, talk to some family members while on your tour about their impressions. Also, ask about staff turnover rate or whether there’s a high longevity of employees. Generally speaking, good communities have good staff, and good staff stay at good communities!
6. Engaging activities.
In addition to asking for a monthly activities calendar, ask to drop in on a few activities. Do they seem well attended? Are people having fun or engrossed in a topic? Find out if you can suggest a new activity. Ask about resident outings. Get a sense of how vibrant the overall atmosphere is. Is there a lot of interaction? Also get some information on the surrounding neighborhood and what leisure activities it offers.
Residents of St. Mark Village in Palm Harbor hit the jackpot when it comes to things to do! Close to the Gulf of Mexico, Palm Harbor offers a range of recreation, shopping, dining, cultural events, a wide variety of fitness opportunities, beautiful parks and natural areas to explore, festivals and markets all year long, museums and galleries, exceptional dining, and of course, gorgeous beaches a short distance away.
Touring independent living: seeing is believing!
Live the good life and retire without worry. A nonprofit life care community in Pinellas County, St. Mark Village offers you wellness of the body, mind, and spirit, as well as seamless access to future care options. We would love to take you on a tour today.