Tacoma Senior Living Tour is back

The Tacoma Senior Living Tour has been on pause since the pandemic but is being brought back on Sept. 14.

Are you thinking about moving into a retirement community but don’t know where to start looking or what questions to ask? Between 2014 and 2019, five communities that hosted the tour (Eliseo, Franke Tobey Jones, Merrill Gardens, Narrows Glen, and Weatherly Inn) toured over 1,000 seniors just like you who had questions about senior living. The next tour is being held on Sept. 14 from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. with these same communities, except Solstice Senior Living will replace Narrows Glen. All participants must show proof of COVID vaccination and wear a mask the entire tour, except  while eating.

“Most seniors attending the tour have never stepped inside a retirement community before,” says Christine Hall, senior director of marketing and public relations at Franke Tobey Jones. “When most people think about retirement communities, they conjure up all kinds of terrible images and smells from visiting their mom and grandma in a nursing home decades ago. Retirement living isn’t like that any more. Our communities are beautiful, vibrant, active, and offer wonderful chef-prepared meals, classes, trips, tours, and the opportunity to meet new friends and have fun.”

Each tour is very informative, and attendees walk away having learned a lot about living in a retirement community. You will receive an overview of each community, walk through common areas, and see actual apartments. You will also have the opportunity to taste the food at each community, compare prices, and ask questions in a friendly, relaxed environment.

“Seeing a community firsthand can make all the difference when picking the perfect fit,” says Monica Richardson, senior living advisor and social media director at the Weatherly Inn.  “The attendees walk away at the end of the day with a totally different perspective than what they started with at the beginning of the day.  To note, there is a lot of walking on the tour, so wear comfortable clothing and shoes.”

Your questions might include:

  • What is the monthly rent and what does it cover?
  • Is your community pet-friendly? Does it cost more to have a pet?
  • Can I move in now or is there a waiting list?
  • What is a “buy-in,” and is there one?
  • What’s the difference between assisted living and memory care? Or memory care and skilled nursing?
  • What is the highest level of care that you offer?
  • Do you offer therapy? If so, what kinds?
  • What happens if my spouse needs memory care and I don’t? Can we still live in your community?
  • What happens to my apartment if I need to go to skilled nursing or rehab for a period of time?

The vans fill up very fast and seats are limited, so you must RSVP by Sept. 9 by calling 253-320-4216  to reserve a seat on one of the community vans. Or, if you’d like to drive yourself, please still RSVP so the organizers have a good head count for food, brochures, and so on. Compare the possibilities at each community.

The program is as follows:

9:45 a.m. Start at one of the five communities. Hear a short presentation about the communities and about the day’s activities. Tour that community.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get aboard the community van or drive in your own car and go to the next community. Each van will have a representative from that community to answer questions. Each van will stop at all five locations, or drive yourself and visit the communities you choose. Tour ends. We’ll get you back to your starting community.

“At the end of each of the previous tours, the participants were hugging us, thanking us and so appreciative of all the information,” says Hall. “It’s really gratifying knowing that we are providing information and options that will help them make an informed decision about moving to a senior living community.”

Senior living communities have been very busy this year with a lot of pent-up demand. Even if you are a few years out from moving to a senior living community, it’s a good time to tour and get your name on a waiting list so when you are ready, your favorite community will have an apartment available for you.

For more information or to RSVP, call 253-320-4216 by Sept. 9. Transportation services are limited, so RSVP today.

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