Ask this essential question when touring an assisted living residence

Use this checklist of key things to ask about when you’re calling or visiting different retirement residences.

When you’re choosing between different senior living residences, there are so many things to ask about, from dining options to safety protocols to what’s included (or not) in the fees. (That’s why we wrote Top 25 questions: What to ask on a retirement residence tour.) But whether you or your loved one is looking for Assisted Living, Independent Living or Memory Care, perhaps the most important question to pose is: “What are the qualifications of the staff, and how does that impact care?”

“At Amica, we hire highly trained and certified professionals who are passionate about senior care,” says Lisaan Mohammed, Amica’s Manager of People Development. “What sets us apart is our genuine care for the safety, well being, and experience of each and every one of our residents.”
Read on to discover specific questions you can ask about the staff at any retirement home, long-term care facility or assisted living seniors’ residence that you call, visit or tour.

An Amica Team Member kneeling down to speak with a resident sitting in a patio char outdoors 

Questions to ask about retirement residence nursing and wellness staff

  • Will you or your loved one have access to a nurse available 24/7? (At Amica, you do.)
  • What are the qualifications of the residence’s Director of Care? Known as Directors of Wellness at Amica, our nurses are registered with their provincial college of nurses and selected for their education, experience, clinical background and experience working with seniors.
  • Are the Assisted Living personal support workers, or Resident Care Partners as they’re known at Amica, trained? (At Amica, they are.)
  • Do staff have certification to administer medicine? (Amica’s Medication Care Partners are trained.)
  • If the residence offers care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, does the staff have Memory Care training certification? (At Amica, they do.) 
  • Are the wellness team and other staff vaccinated? 

All of these questions will give you guidance and peace of mind when you’re looking for Assisted Living. Instead of a patchwork of help from family, neighbours and home care, for instance, Amica residents get to know the wellness team members helping every day. “We’re like a secondary family,” says Hazel Mamaril, a Director of Wellness at Amica White Rock who received the Nightingale Award, Amica’s highest honour given for exceptional resident care. “We’re not looking to take away from your life, we’re looking to add to it,” she says. 

Read Answers to top questions about retirement living for even more insights to help you or your loved one find the right level of care, along with the enriched lifestyle you deserve.

Questions to ask about retirement residence culinary and serving staff

  • What kind of credentials does the food team have? Every member of the Amica culinary team is a certified Red Seal Chef, for instance. They use the best local ingredients to prepare balanced, seasonal, dietitian-approved meals to suit every appetite. 
  • How are the serving staff trained? At Amica, servers and bartenders are trained to work with seniors and offer impeccable service. (Many come from the hotel industry.)
  • Can serving and culinary staff assist seniors if something goes wrong? All Amica staff are trained to anticipate seniors’ needs, plus understand Memory Care issues if the residence offers that.
    Bookmark How to research senior living residences for a handy checklist of questions about cuisine quality, amenities, suite sizes, rents and more.

General questions to ask about retirement residence staff

  • What type of training does every staff member receive? At Amica, staff get training upon arrival, annual updates, diversity training and more. We also offer tuition reimbursement programs to encourage staff to pursue additional education and skills training.
  • What training do social coordinators receive? For example, all of the Life Enrichment Coordinators at Amica who organize activities, workshops and exercise classes are trained as certified fitness professionals.
  • Is there staff available to help with housekeeping, laundry and other tasks?
  • What qualifications do the leadership team have? At Amica, retirement residence experience is a must, and hospitality experience is common given Amica’s premium amenities and lifestyle.
  • What values does the organization hire for? Amica is driven by compassion, teamwork and trust, and we strive to create an environment that encourages learning, innovation and excellence.

Still unclear about senior housing options? Get even more information and questions from the Ontario Retirement Communities Association in our article, Choosing the right retirement residence.
Doing your research means that you’ll find the right fit for your Assisted Living care needs, along with the lifestyle that you’re looking for. At Amica, our variety of care levels means you’ll always have support to enjoy your life to the fullest, along with the independence to choose how you want to spend each day. (Follow us on social media to see what we mean.) There’s no question: it’s a pretty wonderful way to live.

Book a virtual or in-person tour to find out what it’s like to enjoy living on your own terms in an elegant Amica residence with outstanding dining, amenities, activities, senior care and safety measures.