As you assess assisted living residences, you will likely visit a number of communities. To help you determine the one that’s right for you or your loved one, consider the following questions to evaluate each residence based on your needs.
- Do you like its location and outward appearance?
- Is the decor attractive and homelike?
- Do you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the residence?
- Does the staff call residents by name and interact warmly with them?
- Do residents appear happy and comfortable?
- Are staff members appropriately dressed, personable, and outgoing?
- Are the staff members that you pass during your tour friendly to you?
- Are visits with the resident welcome at any time?
- Are floors of a non-skid material and carpets firm to ease walking?
- Does the residence have good natural and artificial lighting?
- Is the residence clean, free of odors, and appropriately heated/cooled?
- Does the residence have sprinklers and clearly marked exits?
- Does the residence have a means of security if a resident wanders?
Needs Assessments, Contracts, Costs & Finances
- Is a contractual agreement available that discloses health-care and supportive services, all fees, as well as admission and discharge provisions? What are the policies for refunds and transfers?
- Is there a written plan for the care of each resident?
- Does the residence have a process for assessing a potential resident’s need for services and are those needs addressed periodically?
- Are additional services available if the resident’s needs change?
- Are there different costs for various levels or categories of services?
- Are residents required to purchase renters’ insurance for personal property in their units?
Medication & Health Care
- Does the residence have specific policies regarding storage of medication, assistance with
- medications, training and supervision of staff, and record keeping?
- Is there a staff person to coordinate home health care visits from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc. if needed?
- Is staff available to assist residents who experience memory, orientation, or judgment losses?
- Does the residence have a clearly stated procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?
- Does a physician or nurse visit residents regularly to provide medical checkups?
- To what extent are medical services available, and how are these services provided?
- Is staff available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
- Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) if needed?
- Does the residence provide housekeeping services?
- Can residents arrange for transportation on fairly short notice?
- Are pharmacy, barber/beautician, and/or physical therapy services offered?
Social & Recreational Activities
- Is there evidence of organized activities, such as a posted daily schedule, events in progress, reading materials, visitors, etc.?
- Do volunteers, including family members, come into the residence to help with or to conduct programs?
- Does the residence create a sense of community by encouraging residents to participate in activities
- Do menus vary from day to day and meal to meal?
- Does the residence provide three nutritionally balanced meals a day, seven days a week?
- Are snacks available?
- May a resident request special foods, and can the residence accommodate special dietary needs?
- May residents eat meals in their units?
- May meals be provided at a time a resident would like, or are there set times for meals?