Walk-Ins NOT Welcome!

By Steve Moran

It has been more than a year since I wrote my last “Senior Housing Forum on Tour” piece, but it remains a reader favorite suggesting that I need to get back to it. Since that time I have done an occasional article about community visits I have made all of which have been planned.   

I recently received this tour story from Tonya Wilson . . .


I have worked in the Senior Living Industry for 8 years as it is my passion. I follow Senior Housing Forum on a regular basis. I work in Michigan, my grandmother is in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I decided to pop in to a few places over my weekend visit as we are beginning to look at communities for her.  

Is Anyone Home?

It was a Saturday afternoon, the first place we stopped was AL and MC only and had a sign outside that said “Walk Ins Welcome.” It was around 12:00 in the afternoon. We walked up to a beautiful front porch, flowers, outdoor seating, I looked with a discerning eye for anything out of the ordinary. We rang the bell to be let in.  


We rang the bell again.


After about the 4th attempt, someone pushed a code and let us in and walked away. The indoors was beautiful, my mother was impressed.  

No one approached us.  

A Self-Guided Tour

We could see folks having lunch in the dining room off to the left of a very open floor plan. We looked around for a front desk and found one . . . it was empty.  

We walked over to the dining room and stood looking at the menu board for an extensive period of time.  

Still Nothing

We decided to take a stroll and see if anyone would help us. We walked into an activity room where the lights automatically turned on, but no one paid any attention to us.

We walked down a hall, nothing.  

We walked down another hall, still no one.

Back to the front, I started pacing back and forth.

It was baffling . . . Was there no manager on duty?  

Was there no one at the front desk for REAL?

Finally I saw a framed sign on the wall with the phone number for a regional director and decided to call.  

She was speechless.  

The Results

At this point I knew I didn’t want my grandmother at this property, I just wanted an exit. The Regional then offered me a tour on Monday and I explained I was leaving town on Sunday.  

She said she didn’t know how to make this right. I told her she needed to get off the phone with me and find out what is going on.  

We decided to exit the building knowing it would set off a door alarm just to see if anyone would pay attention.

Back to searching.  

Senior Living Communities cannot operate on a ghost staff on the weekends!

The Rest of The Story

I called the regional at 8 a.m. this morning (Monday) and she assured me it went right to the top of the ladder and someone would be contacting me today about this from the Home Office.

It is 4:48 p.m. and I have heard nothing.  

She went on to make an excuse that all the employees were busy with lunch. I guess maybe that makes a tiny bit of sense but we stood at the menu board for an extended period of time and no one approached us.

My puzzle is why was there a sign out front that said “WALK INS WELCOME.”  

Looks can be deceiving.