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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 05/26/2022

Choosing a Life Plan Community: checklist to review options

Choosing a Life Plan Community: checklist to review options

Physical Environment

  •     Is the community clean and well maintained?
  •     Is ample parking available for residents and visitors?
  •     Are exterior maintenance, snow removal and landscaping included in the monthly fees?
  •     Are there multiple floor plans available?
  •     Can residents decorate their cottages, condos or apartments according to their personal tastes?
  •     Is the community pet friendly?
  •     Does the community have safety features, such as handrails and grab bars?
  •     Do individual residences include safety features, such as emergency alert and fire suppression systems?

Levels of Care

    What levels of care does the community offer?

  •         Independent living?
  •         Assisted living?
  •         Skilled nursing care?
  •         Short-term rehabilitation?
  •         Memory care?

    Do residents have access to in-home care should it be needed?

Resident and Staff Interaction

  •     Is the community well staffed overnight?
  •     How does the community handle residents who need additional care and support?
  •     Do staff members undergo screenings and background checks prior to employment?
  •     Are housekeeping and laundry provided?
  •     Are transportation services available?
  •     Do caregivers interact with residents in positive ways?
  •     What is the staff-to-resident ratio for each level of care?

Fees and Costs

  •     What services are included in the monthly fee?
  •     What services are available for an additional fee? What are the fees?
  •     How often do resident rate increases occur?
  •     Are there multiple contract options? 
  •     Do some contract options offer entrance fee refunds?

Dining Services

  •     Does the dining room look and smell inviting?
  •     Are the dining room tables, chairs and linens in good condition?
  •     Are residents allowed to invite guests for meals?
  •     Can residents select their own meal times, or are there designated meal times?
  •     Are three daily meals, snacks and beverages included in the monthly rate?
  •     Does the resident committee work with the dining staff to develop menus?
  •     Can the community accommodate special dietary needs?
  •     Is there a dietician or nutritionist involved in meal planning?


  •     Is the community conveniently located for friends and family to visit?
  •     Is the community in a safe neighborhood?
  •     Are there shopping, dining and entertainment options near the community?
  •     Is the community near preferred medical providers?

Overall Impression

    Does the community look and feel like a place you could call home?

    Talk with residents and their family members.

  •         What do they like about the community?
  •         Can they recommend it?
  •         Did they consider other options when searching for a community?
  •         Why did they choose this community?

Source: www.whereyoulivematters.org, a senior living resource powered by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA)

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