How to Evaluate Assisted Living Facilities

60 questions to ask when evaluating Senior Living Communities

Considering a move to a Senior Living community? By asking the right questions, you can be confident that you’re choosing one that’s ideal for you. This list of 60 questions can help you get started

Quality Medical Care

When selecting a Senior Living community, the quality of medical care and staffing is critical to your long-term well-being, whether you need assistance with a medical condition or with managing medication. Ask these 10 questions to help you evaluate medical care.

1. What medical services are included?
2. Do you have nurses on staff?
3. What other medical staff do you have available?
4. What are the qualifications of your support staff?
5. Do you have medical assistance available 24/7?
6. What services do you provide in the case of an emergency?
7. Do you provide transportation to my physician off-site?
8. What options are available to help me manage my medication?
9. How do you charge for medical assistance?

Flexible Financial Options

A Senior Living community may provide all the amenities and quality medical care you’re seeking, but if it’s too expensive, there’s no reason to include it on your list. Make sure you’re researching options that fit your budget by asking the following questions:

10. What are your costs for Independent Living apartments?
11. What is the difference in cost if I should move from an Independent Living to Assisted Living arrangement?
12. What are the cost differences for apartment sizes?
13. How do fees vary depending upon the level of assistance provided? (bathing, medication management, etc.)
14. What is included in the monthly fee?
15. Do you have short-term and long-term options?
16. Do you accept Medicare/Medicare waivers? If so, what are the limitations?
17. What type of payment options are available (social security, pension, etc.)?
18. Do you accept Veterans Administration benefits?
19. Do you have flexible financial arrangements?
20. Are there additional costs for home services like laundry, house cleaning, etc.?
21. Can you provide an estimate of what the charges will be for my situation?

Living Assistance

As they age, many people may find it increasingly difficult to clean, cook, drive, run errands or take care of their personal hygiene because of physical limitations. Whether you’re at this stage or not, it’s important to understand how a Senior Living community can address these issues as part of a long-term plan. Here are 9 questions to ask:

22. What is included in your dining services (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)?
23. What type of housekeeping services are available?
24. When can I receive transportation services?
25. Are personal laundry services available?
26. Do you have salon and barber services available?
27. What is available for personal care (dressing, bathing, grooming)?
28. Do you have programs for medication management?
29. Do you have options to help with incontinence?
30. Do you have assistance for those with mobility challenges?

Social Environment

Do you like to garden? Enjoy live music? Exercising? Theater? You shouldn’t have to give up any of those things when moving into a Senior Living community. When evaluating your options, ask the following questions:

31. Do you offer wellness and fitness programs?
32. What type of social events do you offer?
33. Can residents offer ideas for events?
34. Are residents able to go off-site for events?
35. How often can relatives and friends visit?
36. How often do residents participate in activities?
37. What opportunities do you have available for exercise?

Physical Environment

While it’s important to be part of an Senior Living environment with a great staff and a great sense of community, you also want to live in a residence that meets your personal standards. Ask the following questions when reviewing communities:

38. Are there numerous apartment layouts available (studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom)?
39. Is double occupancy an option?
40. Are there various community spaces?
41. Are there gardening areas?
42. Is the Senior Living community equipped to enhance mobility (handrails, etc.)?
43. Is the residence handicapped accessible?
44. Is the community clean?
45. Does the residence have sprinklers, smoke detectors, and clearly marked exits?
46. Can residents lock their own doors?
47. Is there a 24-hour emergency response system accessible?
48. Can residents bring their own furnishings?
49. Do you have internet access?
50. Do you have apartments with kitchen areas?
51. Do you have TVs?

Application & Review Process

Joining a Senior Living community requires an application process, including legal contracts. Here are just a few questions you should be asking as part of that review:

52. Do you have a disclosure form that details all the personal care and supportive services, fees, and move-in and move-out provisions?
53. What are your policies for refunds and transfers?
54. Do you provide a written plan of care for each resident? How often is it updated? Who provides the assessment?
55. Do you involve family members in each resident’s assessment?
56. What government programs are available to help cover costs?
57. Can you provide details on how you charge based on the level of care needed for each resident?
58. What payment options do you offer?
59. Do residents need to purchase renters’ insurance?
60. Do you offer a feedback/complaint process?

Evaluating Senior Living communities is an important process. By carefully considering the various aspects of moving into a community, you can be more confident about your decision.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Oakleaf Village for more information.

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