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Questions to Ask When Looking at Assisted Living

questions to ask when looking at assisted living

Questions to ask on your community tour

The process of finding the right care community for your loved one can be overwhelming.

After all, you want a place that goes beyond the basic care needs in an effort to support your loved one and make them feel happy and at home.

While touring communities, you want to absorb as much information as possible so you’re prepared when it comes time to make your choice.

Here are some key questions to get you started:

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  1. What is the ratio of staff to residents?

  2. What is the staff turnover rate?

  3. What training do the staff members have?

  4. Is there a Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, or Certified Nursing Assistant on staff? If so, how often?

  5. Are staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, eating, bathing and toileting?

Resident living spaces

  1. Do residents have the option of a private or shared room?  

  2. Can residents personalize and decorate their own apartments?

  3. What furnishings are provided?

  4. Does each room have a private bathroom, or are bathrooms shared? Are they designed to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?  

  5. Do rooms come equipped with 24-hour emergency response systems?   

  6. Is cable, Internet/wifi included in the rooms? If there is a fee, how is the billing handled?

  7. Is a kitchen provided with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking element? Are residents permitted to keep food in their apartments?

  8. Are pets allowed? If so, what kind?

  9. Is housecleaning for personal living spaces included in the price? If not, what is the fee?


  1. How many meals are provided per day?

  2. Does the menu vary from day to day?

  3. Is the food prepared daily?  

  4. A there set times for meals?

  5. Can visiting family members and guests dine with residents? If so, is there a charge?  

  6. Can meals be tailored to a resident’s specific needs or special requests?  

  7. Are there any dishes that are especially popular with residents? Can you sample them on the tour?

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Common spaces

  1. What common spaces are available to residents? Are there any outdoor spaces as well?

  2. Is smoking allowed? If so, where?  

  3. Are there any shared community animals, such as dogs, cats, birds, and fish?  

  4. Does the community have any special amenities or services, such as a beauty parlor, fitness room, therapy pool, etc.?  

  5. Is there a place where residents can do their own gardening, arts and crafts, or other hobbies?

  6. Is there a media/TV room?


  1. What types of activities are available to residents, and how often do they occur?

  2. Is there a posted schedule of events and activities? (Do they match the interests of your loved one?) Are residents actively encouraged to participate?

  3. Do residents interact with the surrounding community?  

  4. Do residents go on regular outings or do volunteers come into the community?  

  5. Is there any live entertainment provided? If so, what kind, and how often?  

Medication & health care

  1. What is your medication management policy? Is self-administration of medication allowed?

  2. Is there someone on staff who coordinates home healthcare visits from a nurse, physical therapist, etc., if needed?

  3. Are services such as hospice and physical therapy available? If so, is there an additional charge? If so, how much?

  4. Is there a clearly-stated procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?

  5. Is transportation offered to residents for doctor’s appointments? Is the transportation wheelchair/disabled-friendly? Is there a fee? If so, how much?

  6. Are incontinence supplies included in the price? If not, what is the cost?

  7. Is there a written plan of care for each resident? How often is it updated?

  8. Does the community have a process for assessing a resident’s need for services? Does this process include the resident, his or her family, and the resident’s physician?

Guest contributor: Finding the right home for your loved one is so important, and Seniorly wants to make sure you have all the information possible to make an informed decision. By signing up for free at, you can get access to community inspection reports, pricing, availability, and more! Get more information on topics that matter to you at Seniorly.

By Image: About Assisted Living

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