Choosing the right assisted living community can be a daunting task. You want to choose the place with the best food, activities, and the most compassionate leadership team. There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right place for yourself or a loved one, including costs, staffing, levels of care, amenities, programs, activities, and more.
We have compiled a helpful checklist that you can use when interviewing communities, during in-person visits, or virtual tours.
Questions About Assisted Living
Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one, these questions will need to be answered by the person moving into the community. Getting all the information about their needs and desires early in the process can reduce stress and save valuable time later.
Some questions to ask:
- What do you want and need from an assisted living community?
- What is your budget? Are there ways to save money without sacrificing quality?
- What areas do you want to live in?
- What amenities are important to you? What activities would you enjoy?
- Do you have any concerns or other preferences?
The Question Checklist
While scheduling a tour of some communities of interest is a great first step, it’s important to go into these meetings prepared with a list of questions. That way, you don’t forget anything that’s important to yourself or your loved one.
Here are a few great questions to include in the list of questions you’ll want to ask. Just be sure to remember to ask specific questions based on the answers provided by your loved one above.
Questions About The Team
- What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
- Do team members have minimum training, education, and experience requirements?
- Is there a team on duty around the clock?
- Is there a registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, or certified nursing assistant available to residents 24/7?
- Is the team available around the clock for assistance with activities of daily living (dressing, eating, hygiene, bathing, toileting, etc.), as needed?
Questions About Living Areas
- Are there different types of apartments available? What is the cost for each type?
- Are the apartments private or shared?
- Are furnishings provided? Are residents allowed to bring their own furnishings and customize their apartment to their own tastes?
- Does each apartment have its own private bathroom, or are bathrooms shared?
- Are pets allowed? If so, is there a weight or breed restriction/limit?
- Does the apartment have a kitchen or kitchenette?
- Are the apartments equipped with an emergency response system in case of emergencies?
- Is housekeeping included in the price? If so, what services are provided (general cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc.). If not, what is the cost for this service?
Questions About Food
- How many meals are provided each day?
- Is there a sample weekly menu to look at?
- Are special options available for specific dietary needs of residents?
- Can residents take their meals to their apartments or do they always eat cafeteria style?
- Are there set meal times?
- Are there snacks available between meals?
- How are specific holidays, birthdays, or other special occasions handled? Can residents request special meals/food?
Helpful Tip: Try to schedule your tour around mealtime so you can ask to sample the food they are serving that day.
Questions About Common Areas
- Ask to see the common spaces available to residents.
- Are there any outdoor spaces? If so, are they safe?
- Does the community allow smoking? If so, where is the smoking area(s)?
- Does the community have any special amenities, such as a beauty parlor, fitness room, pharmacy, theater, pool, cafe, etc.?
- Are there common areas to pursue hobbies, such as gardening, art, music, or other personal interests?
- Is there a printed list of all available services and amenities?
Questions About Activities
- Can you provide a copy of this month’s activity calendar?
- How are residents encouraged to participate in activities and events?
- Are regular outings available to residents?
- What kind of events are scheduled at the community throughout the year?
- Do volunteers come into the community to host and participate in activities? If so, how often?
- How much notice is required for residents to arrange transportation?
Helpful Tip: Be sure to ask about activities that are specifically important to you or your loved one. For example, if church is a top priority, ask about community services and/or transportation to their home church.
Questions About Care
- What levels of care are offered by the community?
- Is there a physician employed by the community or easily accessible should the need arise?
- Is there an initial physical assessment at admission along with a written plan of care for each resident? If so, how often is it updated?
- What is the process for assessing each potential resident’s level of care needs?
- Are the resident’s family and personal physician included in the process of creating a care plan?
- How are home health care visits coordinated?
- What is the procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?
- Are residents able to get transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, as needed? If so, is there any additional fee?
- Are all team members allowed to administer medications?
Questions About Costs
- What are billing and payment policies?
- Do you offer special financing?
- What services and amenities are not included in the monthly fee?
- Are there any programs available to help cover the cost of services for the resident?
- What are your policies for refunds and/or transfers?
Questions About The Community
- What are the residents like (make a private note)?
- What is the atmosphere like?
- Are the team members friendly and helpful?
- What is the eviction or discharge policy?
- Which organization(s) audit the facility? How often do they visit and what things are they looking for?
While you don’t need to ask all of these questions, this detailed list will ensure you’re properly prepared and remember everything that’s important to you before you take a tour or conduct a phone interview with each community.
After interviewing a few different places with the same list of questions, it should be much easier to choose the right fit for you and your family.
Bring Your Questions To Us
Auburn Hill Senior Living warmly invites you to schedule a tour and allow us to show you what makes our community so special. We know you’ll be delighted with what you discover.