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Key Questions for Making an Informed Choice About an Assisted Living Community

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May 24, 2022
Blog #2, SMART (FINAL, pt)

Once you’ve decided that assisted living is the best choice for yourself or a family member, you want to make sure you choose the perfect community.

There are nearly 30,000 assisted living communities in the United States! Selecting one that’s best for you takes time, knowledge, and effort. In addition, communities vary regarding services, amenities, and social opportunities.

Start by setting up in-person tours at several assisted living communities in your area. This is your opportunity to get information, meet the staff, observe residents, and compare services. You want to make sure you get all of the information needed to make an informed choice about the assisted living communities you visit. 

Asking the following questions will help you choose an assisted living community that fits the specific needs of your loved one:

Questions About the Staff

  • What training and certifications are required?
  • What are your Covid-19 protocols?
  • What is your staff to resident ratio?
  • Are background checks performed?
  • What is the staff turnover rate?

Questions Related to Resident Living Spaces

  • What types of apartments are currently available? What are the costs?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is house cleaning and laundry included in the monthly fee? If not, what are the costs?
  • Can residents decorate and personalize their apartments?
  • Do apartments have safety features and emergency response systems? Smoke detectors?
  • Can residents bring their furniture?

Questions Concerning Meals

  • How many meals are provided per day? Are snacks included?
  • Can you accommodate specific dietary needs, restrictions, or special requests?
  • Are there set times for meals?
  • Where are meals served?
  • Does the menu change daily?
  • Can meals be prepared for family events or special occasions?
  • Can residents have food delivered to their apartments?

Questions Concerning Costs and Finances

  • What are your billing and payment policies?
  • How are services billed?
  • Do you require a deposit? Is it refundable?
  • What services and amenities are included in the monthly fee?
  • Do you offer any financial assistance programs?

Questions Concerning Health Care

  • Do you require an initial physical or needs assessment before admission?
  • Are staff members available to help with activities of daily living (ADLs)? How often? Is there an additional charge?
  • Do you offer medication management?
  • Do you have an onsite pharmacy?
  • What are your Covid-19 protocols?
  • What are your procedures for medical emergencies?
  • How many physicians or registered nurses are on staff? Are they available 24/7?
  • Do you offer transportation to residents for doctor’s appointments?

Safety Questions & Observations

  • What security features are in place? Do you have 24/7 on-site security?
  • Are there safety features, like grab bars, and sufficient lighting throughout the community?
  • What accessibility features, like widened doors, elevators or ramps, are in the community?
  • What is the cleanliness level of common areas, apartments, courtyards, and bathrooms?

Questions Related to Activities and Amenities

  • What types of social events and activities are available for residents? Can we see an activities schedule?
  • Are there any off site activities? Do you offer transportation?
  • How do residents sign up for activities and social events?
  • How often are new activities added? Can residents request activities or social events?
  • What amenities do you offer? Are amenities extra or part of the monthly fee?

Finding an assisted living community is overwhelming! However, preparation and the right questions will help you make an informed decision.

Are you interested in finding out more about Notre Dame Health Care’s senior living options? Schedule a tour ( or call us at (508) 852-5800.