Last Updated: April 4, 2013
Seniors today are not the seniors of yesteryear-most live full,
active, and balanced lives. So deciding to move into assisted living, senior
community, or another type of senior
housing can be a confusing process for seniors and their
families alike. The process of choosing assisted living communities
can be daunting, but fortunately, there are resources that can help
The following checklist on choosing assisted living is an
excerpt from the Assisted Living Federation of America'sGuide to
Choosing an Assisted Living Residence.Take this checklist with you
when you tour the different professionally-managed assisted living
communities and use it to help you evaluate the services, features,
and policies offered by those communities.
- As you arrive at the residence, do you like its location and
- As you enter the lobby and tour the residence, is the decor
attractive and homelike?
- Do you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the
- Does the administrator/staff call residents by name and
interact warmly with them as you tour the residence?
- Do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and
- Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the
residence and staff?
- Do the residents seem to be appropriate housemates for you or
your loved one?
- Are staff members appropriately dressed, personable, and
- Do the staff members treat each other in a professional
- Are the staff members that you pass during your tour friendly
- Are visits with the resident welcome at any time?
- Is the community well-designed for your needs?
- Is the floor plan easy to follow?
- Are doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodating to wheelchairs
- Are elevators available for those unable to use stairways?
- Does a physician or nurse visit residents regularly to provide
- To what extent are medical services available, and how are
these services provided?
- Are handrails available to aid in walking?
- Are cupboards and shelves easy to reach?
- Are floors made of a non-skid material and carpets firm to ease
- Does the residence have good natural and artificial
- Is the residence clean, free of odors, and appropriately
- Does the residence have sprinklers and clearly marked
- Does the residence have a means of security if a resident
Needs Assessments, Contracts,Costs and Finances
- Is a contractual agreement available that discloses healthcare
and supportive services, all fees, as well as admission and
discharge provisions? What are the policies for refunds and
- 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
- Does this process include the resident, and his or her family
and facility staff, along with the potential resident's
- Are there any government, private, or corporate programs
available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
- Is staff available to meet scheduled and unscheduled
- Can the residence provide a list of 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, toileting, using
the telephone, shopping, and laundry.
- Does the residence provide housekeeping services in residents'
- Can residents arrange for transportation on fairly short
- Are pharmacy, barber/beautician, and/or physical therapy
services offered on-site?