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Senior Living Blog

Tips for Touring Senior Living Communities in Federal Way

Posted by Jason Kitchel on Apr 30, 2021 9:32:56 AM

Moving is a major transition for anyone, especially when moving into a retirement community after having lived in their current home for a long period of time. The hope is that this will be an environment where they, or you, can safely and comfortably enjoy your/their golden years while receiving the needed level of required care. And Village Green, we seek to ensure the transition and moving process is not just incredibly smooth, but even enjoyable.

We understand that with any significant life change, you don’t want to make the decision too quickly or carelessly. Just as you would tour college campuses before helping your child choose the right institution or scour the housing market for the perfect new home, so it should be with reviewing your senior housing options in Federal Way. You can learn a lot about a community by visiting in person, getting a sense of the atmosphere, talking to other residents, seeing how the staff interact with residents, keeping an eye out for all the small details, and asking questions to help you make an informed decision for yourself or your aging parent.

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Making the Most of Your Senior Living Tour

As the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control and the vaccine is widely distributed, it has thankfully, once again become safe to tour senior living facilities in the Seattle area. We would love to show you around and answer your questions! Plus, we have adopted new tools and protocols to promote the health and safety of both visitors and residents. Here are a few tips to help you ensure you are getting the most out of your visit:

1. Visiting Hours

The first thing to ask, especially due to COVID-19 restrictions is: “Are there visiting hours?” Whether a virtual tour done online, one directed via zoom or phone, or if you are allowed to come in person, it is important to know what the facility offers. We are happy to announce that due to our recent vaccine clinic and state regulation changes, we now are offering all these options at Village Green. So you can safely and conveniently choose whether you simply wish to check out our online virtual tour, ask to have a personalized tour done via zoom, FaceTime, google hangout, or the like, or simply schedule an in-person tour

2. Spend Time Walking Around

If you go in simply for an interview, you’ll only get perfunctory information. Instead, request to take an actual tour that will enable you to be on campus for a couple of hours. Your ability to peruse the grounds may still be a bit limited due to safety precautions, however, for us, we post a weekly activity schedule online, so you can check the schedule out ahead of time and ask if you can visit during an event that you are interested in whether a virtual or in-person outdoor activity. This gives you a chance to gather more information about a retirement community. What creative ways has the community come up with to keep activities going even amidst the pandemic? Does the staff seem engaged and enthusiastic? It’s important to see how the senior living care staff interacts not just with you and your parent(s) as visitors, but also with the residents. Does the staff make a point of talking with residents and visitors? Do staff members greet residents by name? At Village Green, you can even ask to meet members of the management team, as well as direct care providers.

3. Check Out the Facilities and Grounds

A top-notch senior living community will provide well-kept grounds, communal facilities and other amenities along with housing. During your tour, take a look around these areas as well. Do the exterior living spaces live up to how they are advertised or portrayed online? Are they well-maintained, accessible for individuals of varying abilities, and safe for residents to enjoy independently? Additionally, observe the level of cleanliness across the campus—particularly in the public areas. There is a difference between being tidy and being clean. If you smell an odor, ask about what might be causing it. Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions. We at Village Green welcome any questions as it helps us communicate not only what you can expect, but also demonstrates how we truly care for our residents and their experience living with us in the new home. We know it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate the care and safety of our community and the way we prioritize our residents' health and well-being down. Also be sure to even ask for information about housekeeping services in the personal spaces. What is cleaned and how often? How do laundry services work? etc.

4. Get Feedback from Other Residents and Families

One of the best sources for an insider opinion about an independent or assisted living community in Federal Way is the people who already live there and their loved ones. We encourage our visitors to take time to talk to current residents as COVID safety precautions allow, while taking your tour, eating a meal on campus or participating in an activity. Not everyone may feel comfortable sharing negative feedback with a stranger, but you can learn a lot about a particular community by listening to what they have to say—and just as importantly, what they don’t say. If they can’t give you specific examples about what they like about their senior living housing and the services they receive, that could be a red flag. Additionally, take stock of whether the residents look well-groomed and well-dressed.

5. Learn More About the Staff

A critical piece to you or your loved one’s stay at a senior living facility, is the staff. First and foremost, how do they treat residents? But also be sure to ask about the staffing structure and even how shifts work. How many staff will there be on the clock per the number of residents? How many years of experience does the staff have in working with Seniors? These are especially important if you or your loved one is moving into Assisted Living as this contributes significantly to the quality of life. Village Green staff on average have over 15+ years of experience working with Seniors and treat all residents as if they were a part of their own family. 

6. Experience the Dining Options

Along with housing, food is an essential. Depending on the level of care you’re seeking for your aging parent, meals may or may not be included in the monthly rate. For example, Village Green Retirement Campus’ standard amenities include seven dinner meals per week for independent living residents but three daily meals for those in assisted living. In any rate, the food that is provided can impact your loved one’s nutrition and thus overall health and well-being, so you want to make sure it meets your expectations. Call the senior living facility ahead of time and see if you can eat a meal during your visit. Ask about menu options, dining hours and other procedures. What is the atmosphere in the dining room? Do the residents seem to be enjoying each other’s company? Do residents socialize with one another?

7. Ask Questions—and More Questions

There are so many facets to senior living, from safety, security and comfort to the type of medical and personal care services provided at various levels along the continuum of care. Your senior living tour in Federal Way is the ideal opportunity to get more information about all these topics. A few questions for senior retirement staff include:

  • How do residents get help if they have an emergency in their room?
  • Are there call buttons in each room? Do residents receive a well-being check?
  • What care is provided for those who need it and at what cost?
  • What is the process for moving your parent(s) to a different level of care (such as assisted living or memory care) if they require it in the future?
  • What circumstances would necessitate a resident finding a new living situation? What if the move is the resident’s choice? Is there a 30-day notice requirement?
  • Can the facility take care of the current needs of you or your loved one?

There's no such thing as knowing too much about a retirement community before making a selection, so again with us at Village Green, don't hesitate to ask any and all questions that are on your mind. It is our goal that you get all you need figured out in advance to help you make your decision.

Touring Friendly Senior Care Facilities in Federal Way

Not all retirement communities foster the same positive culture or are run to the same standard of excellence. While many senior living campuses in Federal Way and Seattle are warm, welcoming environments that prioritize the safety and comfort of residents, there are a few outliers. Plus, your older parent(s) may be looking for a particular atmosphere or specific amenities and services. That’s why it’s vital to schedule a personal visit and take a tour of each senior living community that you’re seriously considering for yourself or your loved one. At Village Green, we’re more than happy to show you around and give you a taste of what sets us apart. From our beautiful homes and thoughtful staff to exciting events, eco-friendly practices and emphasis on healthy living, Village Green is the natural senior living choice for older adults in Federal Way. 


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Tags: Senior Living 101, Making the Move, Retirement Tips