How to Tour a 55+ Community
Last Updated: November 5, 2018
Age-restricted communities, whether they’re described as active adult or 55+ communities, are increasingly popular with older adults. Empty nesters who are done spending weekends on home chores and updates flock to 55+ communities for the amenities they offer and for the prospect of health care as they age.
Are you considering it? Learn more about how to tour a 55+ community and get the information you need to plan your next move.
1. Ask lots of questions.
Your 55+ community tour guide expects questions, so ask away and take notes. Some topics to cover are:
- Are deposits refundable, and if so, under what conditions?
- Are pets welcome?
- Are there age limits on who can visit you and for how long?
- Are there high-quality healthcare resources nearby such as a regional medical center?
- Are there onsite health and wellness services such as a massage therapist, nurse or pharmacy?
- Can the kitchen accommodate special diets?
- Is there space you can reserve for special occasions?
- What are residents’ transportation options?
- What’s included in the monthly rate and what’s available for an extra fee?
- When might you need to move to a different unit or building? When might you need to move out of the community?
2. Keep an eye out during the tour.
During your tour, look for:
- Accessible and safe building entrances, public areas and walkways
- Restricted access or security to ensure residents’ safety
- Well-maintained buildings and grounds
Check out all the amenities, which may include a fitness center, library, pool and more.
3. Plan your visits.
When you schedule your tours, ask about meal times and prices. Ideally, you’ll visit each community on your list more than once and eat a meal or two at each place to check out the dining service and the social vibe.
Take family members or friends with you if you can. They may notice details or ask questions you might overlook and you can talk over your impressions with them later.
4. Talk to residents.
If you have a chance to talk with residents, try to get a read on the social scene.
For extroverts, are there enough group activity options to keep you feeling content and socially connected?
For introverts, does the community provide time and space for solitary pursuits and quiet activities?
For everyone, is the staff pleasant and responsive to residents’ needs?
What to Do After Your 55+ Community Tour
Review your brochures and notes from each community visit. Compare notes with friends or relatives who went with you.
Follow up with your tour guide if you have more questions and check out online reviews by current and former residents.
Make follow-up visits to the places that are most appealing and take the time to understand each community’s policies before you make your choice.