If you are researching options for a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, then you know that the many choices may feel overwhelming and confusing. The internet gives us the opportunity to “visit” the communities in the digital sense, but pictures online only give us a small taste of what the community is really like. But when you visit a community and actually step foot on the campus, the clouds of confusion begin to disappear. Your choice becomes clearer when you immerse yourself in the atmosphere and meet the staff and residents face-to-face. No matter how many online pictures you study or reviews you read, an in-person visit will be the most revealing tool in your research.
Even if you are not ready to move to a senior living community in the immediate future, it is wise to begin looking at your options in case an unexpected event changes your plans. One of the best times to tour a senior living community is during the holiday season. Along with the obvious benefits of meeting staff and viewing the buildings and campus layout, below are a few additional reasons why you should make the effort to schedule a tour this winter season:
1. Experience the Atmosphere
There’s a certain “feeling” you get when you visit a place, and senior living communities are no exception. Most communities strive to have a welcoming atmosphere and the holidays are often the perfect opportunity to put their best foot forward. When you visit, you’ll be able to witness the effort the community puts into making events special for their residents and whether or not a warm, inviting atmosphere is an integral part of the community. If the campus is lacking extra decorations and holiday cheer, it may signal a warning flag as to what that community is like during the other less-festive times of the year.
2. The Numerous Activities
Most senior living communities keep their calendars full of activities for their residents – especially during the holiday season. Residents may have their pick of activity or entertainment options, such as tree decorating, holiday carols by local musicians, or holiday-themed crafts.
When visiting a campus, you may be able to witness an activity or even take part in one. By doing so, you could meet other residents and begin to discover if the community would align well with your interests and social life. Some activities during the holidays are open to the public, which would provide you with the perfect opportunity to drop in and experience the campus for yourself.
Jerra Withers, Activities Manager for Snyder Village’s Retirement Community, works with her team to create a calendar full of fun activities for the residents – many of which offer the opportunity for the public to visit the campus and also attend. “We love having events that are open to the community,” says Jerra. “Everyone is invited to come hear the Peoria Pops in Snyder Village’s SV Center on Monday, December 9 at 7 p.m. We will also have the Metamora Township High School Madrigal Singers perform in the SV Center on Monday, December 16 at 6 p.m. There will be even more events that are open to the community as well,” she explains, “so watch our Facebook page for more information!”
3. Family is Together
The holiday season brings families together, and for some families, it’s the only time of the year when adult children are with their elderly parents for longer than just a quick visit. Because of this, it can be the perfect time for families to check out senior living communities together. Having more of your loved ones along to experience the community along with you can help bring clarity and comfort to the decision-making process.
4. End-of-Year Specials
Many senior living communities are keen on the idea that everyone loves a good holiday sale. If your research has led you to the perfect senior living community for you, you may want to take advantage of the end-of-year financial incentives that many communities offer to new residents. You may be able to snag a month of free rent, a discounted move-in special, or a rent freeze.
There really is no replacement for visiting a campus and experiencing the sights and sounds of it for yourself. The holiday season presents the perfect time to explore your options, so be sure to add ‘senior living communities’ to this year’s holiday shopping list!