Assisted Living Environment

  • As you arrive at the community, do you like its location and outward appearance?
  • As you enter the lobby and tour the community, is the décor attractive and homelike?
  • Do you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the community?
  • Does the executive director call residents by name and interact warmly with them as you tour the community?
  • Do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and comfortable?
  • Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the community and staff?
  • Do the residents seem to be appropriate housemates for you or your loved one?
  • Are staff members appropriately dressed, personable, and outgoing?
  • Do the staff members treat each other in a professional manner?
  • Are the staff members that you pass during your tour friendly to you?
  • Are visits with the resident welcome at any time?

Physical Features of the Assisted Living Community

  • Is the community well-designed for your needs?
  • Is the floor plan easy to follow?
  • Are doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodating to wheelchairs and walkers?
  • Are elevators available for those unable to use stairways?
  • Are handrails available to aid in walking?
  • Are cupboards and shelves easy to reach?
  • Are floors of a non-skid material and carpets firm to ease walking?
  • Does the community have good natural and artificial lighting?
  • Is the community clean, free of odors, and appropriately heated/cooled?
  • Does the community have sprinklers, smoke detectors, and clearly marked exits?
  • Does the community have a means of security if a resident wanders?

Needs Assessments, Residency Agreements, Assisted Living Costs & Finances

  • Is a residency agreement available that discloses personal care and supportive services, all fees, as well as move-in and move-out provisions? What are the policies for refunds and transfers?
  • Is there a written plan of care for each resident? How frequently is it reviewed and updated?
  • Does the community have a process for assessing a resident’s need for services, and are those needs addressed periodically?
  • Does this periodic assessment process include the resident, his or her family, and community staff, along with the resident’s physician?
  • Are there any government, private, or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
  • Are additional services available if the resident’s needs change?
  • Are there different costs for various levels or categories of personal care?
  • Do billing, payment, and credit policies seem fair and reasonable?
  • Are residents required to purchase renters’ insurance for personal property in their units?
  • Is there an appeals process for dissatisfied residents?

Medication & Health Care

  • Does the community have specific policies regarding storage of medication, assistance with medications, training and supervision of staff, and record keeping?
  • Is self-administration of medication allowed?
  • Is there a staff person to coordinate home healthcare visits from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc., if needed?
  • Does the community have a clearly stated procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?
  • To what extent are ancillary services available, and how are these services provided? Ask if there is an additional charge for any of these services.

Assisted Living Community Services & Amenities

  • Can the community provide a list of personal care services available?
  • Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) if needed? ADLs include dressing, eating, mobility, hygiene and grooming, bathing, and toileting.
  • Does the community provide housekeeping services in personal living spaces?
  • Can residents arrange for transportation on fairly short notice?
  • Are barber/beautician services offered on-site?
  • Does the community provide scheduled transportation to doctors’ offices, the hairdresser, shopping, and other activities desired by residents?

Individual Assisted Living Apartment Features

  • Are different sizes and types of apartments available?
  • Are apartments for single and double occupancy available?
  • Do residents have their own lockable doors?
  • Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the apartment?
  • Are bathrooms private and designed to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
  • Are residents able to bring their own furnishings for their apartment? What may they bring? What is provided?
  • Do all apartments have a telephone, cable or satellite TV, and internet access? How is billing handled?
  • Is a kitchen area provided with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking element
  • May residents keep food in their apartments?
  • May residents smoke in their apartments? In public spaces?
  • May residents decorate their own apartments?

Social & Recreational Activities

  • Is there evidence of organized activities, such as a posted daily schedule, events in progress, reading materials, visitors, etc.?
  • Do residents participate in activities outside of the community in the neighboring community?
  • Does the community have its own pets?
  • Are residents’ pets allowed in the community? Who is responsible for their care?
  • Do volunteers, including family members, come into the community to help with or to conduct programs?
  • Does the community create a sense of inclusion by encouraging residents to participate in activities?

Assisted Living Food Service

  • Do dining room menus vary from day to day and meal to meal?
  • Does the community provide three nutritionally balanced meals a day, seven days a week?
  • Are snacks available?
  • May a resident request special foods, and can the community accommodate special dietary needs? Are common dining areas available?
  • May residents eat meals in their apartment or suite?
  • May meals be provided at a time a resident would like, or are there set times for meals?

Additional Questions on Assisted Living

  • Does the community conduct criminal background checks on employees?
  • Does the community train staff on elder abuse and neglect? Is there a policy for reporting suspected abuse?
  • Does the community have a special wing or floor for residents with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease? If so, is it secured?
  • Does the community allow hospice to come in and care for residents?
  • Does the community accept long-term care insurance?
  • Does the community allow a loved one, such as a grandchild, to spend the night? Is there a charge?
  • Does the community participate in the Veterans’ Administration Aide and Attendance Program? Will the community help complete the paperwork?
  • Does the community accept Medicaid?
  • What are the most common reasons why a resident may be asked to move out of the community?