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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 05/26/2022

Choosing Assisted Living/Personal Care: checklist to review options

Choosing Assisted Living/Personal Care: checklist to review options

Physical Environment

  •     Is the community clean and well maintained?
  •     Are there multiple floor plans available?
  •     Can residents decorate their 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?

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?
  •     How much notice do residents receive prior to a rate increase?

Dining Services

  •     Does the dining room look and smell inviting?
  •     Are the dining room tables, chairs and linens in good condition?
  •     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?

Resident and Staff Interaction

  •     What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
  •     Is the community well staffed overnight?
  •     How does the community handle residents who need additional care and support?
  •     Do residents have access to in-home care if needed?
  •     Do staff members undergo screenings and background checks prior to employment?
  •     Is the staff screened and evaluated for their ability to work with older adults in the assisted living setting?
  •     Does the community have its most recent survey results posted or displayed for families to review?
  •     Are staff trained and retrained at regular intervals?
  •     Are housekeeping and laundry provided?
  •     Are transportation services available?
  •     Do caregivers interact with residents in positive ways?
  •     Do residents appear tidy and well cared for?

Activities and Programs

  •     Are activities scheduled throughout the day?
  •     Are fitness classes offered?
  •     Are there dedicated spaces for resident clubs and informal gatherings?
  •     Does the community offer regular outings to local restaurants, theaters, museums and other destinations?
  •     Are there outdoor spaces available for walking, gardening and recreation? 
  •     Are volunteer programs available?
  •     Do the residents appear engaged?


  •     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.

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

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