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What are prospective residents looking for in an assisted living community?

Posted by Dude Solutions Canada, Inc. | Monday, October 12, 2015

What are prospective residents looking for in an assisted living community? Many assisted living communities have friendly, social environments and are almost family-type settings in and of themselves. So when a new potential resident comes to tour your living accommodations, it can be an exciting time for you, your staff and your existing residents, who all stand to gain a new community member.

Of course, the health of your community depends on being able to provide amenities and services that your seniors and their family members are looking for. The trick to running an effective retirement community is balancing the needs of your residents with the capacities of your staff and infrastructure. That means that you'll need to know what sorts of things are drawing seniors to retirement communities these days so you can best ensure you and your staff are meeting these needs effectively. 


You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when it comes to winning over a potential new resident, you can rest assured that they're going to be following their nose. In terms of requirements and preferred amenities of a potential new home, consistent cleanliness is a bare minimum for almost anyone, regardless of what other services may be available. Imagine if you were shopping for an assisted living community and found one that offered the social setting, medical support and friendly staff you were looking for, but you didn't feel comfortable simply because it was dirty. It's a frustrating situation for your residents and for you, as you're losing out on a new client. It goes without saying, but keep your facilities clean. Period. 


Some people who migrate to retirement communities simply want to live somewhere where they're surrounded by their peers, but are otherwise capable of living more or less independently. Other residents have a much higher need in terms of level of care, requiring round-the-clock assistance from skilled nursing staff. And of course, your community is likely to house residents who fall everywhere in the middle along that spectrum.

Scalable support is one of the key features of a CCRC, especially for residents who expect to stay with you for a long time, or for families or married couples who move in together. Seniors are looking for a wide range of support - not just 24-hour medical staff, but also skilled nursing support and assistance with daily medication management. Some residents may even be most interested in a kind of "soft support" - a community that enables them to live independently, but provides tools, services and personnel to do so more effectively. This can be as simple as hand rails alongside walking paths or as involved as an emergency notification system in residents' apartments. 


For some, there's a stigma associated with moving to assisted living. But your job as the community administrator is to show them just how misplaced that stigma is. Retirement communities are first and foremost communities, and you can drive this point home by offering services that make your residents' lives simpler and more convenient. This can range from providing free WiFi throughout your residence to offering free transportation for outings such as shopping trips, movie viewings and other fun community-building activities.