Assisted Living Communities Checklist

Please use the following checklist to assist you in comparing assisted living communities. Ideally, both caregiver and care recipient will be involved in the selection process. It will make the adjustment to a new environment easier, and help your loved one continue to be part of the planning process. 

Evaluating the Assisted Living residence as you tour the facility.

  • Do you like the location and outward appearance of the facility? 

  • On entering, is your first impression that of an attractive, home-like atmosphere?

  • Does the residence appear clean, free of odors, and is there climate control for heat and cooling? 

  • How did Staff greet you? 

  • Do the residents appear to be happy and comfortable?

  • Were you given an opportunity to talk with some residents, and discuss how they liked the facility and the staff, and how they are treated? 

  • How are the residents dressed? Are they presentable, and do they socialize with each other? 

  • Does the staff appear friendly, outgoing? Do they answer questions appropriately? 

  • What sort of activities are available for the residents? Do they seem appropriate for the residents? 

  • What are visiting hours? Is there any restriction on when residents may receive visitors? 

  • Are there recreational and community rooms? And are they free of clutter? 

  • What do the residents’ rooms look like? Is there enough space to hold some favorite belongings? 

  • Is there sufficient closet and storage space for each resident? 

  • Are there accommodations for privacy for the residents? 

  • Are all areas easily accessible with wheelchairs or walkers including doorways and hallways?

  • Are there handrails or grab bars to aid in walking? Is there an elevator available for those who need it? 

  • Are the bathrooms easy to navigate in? 

  • Are cupboards easy to reach? 

  • What are the meals like? Is there an opportunity for input by the residents? 

  • How does the facility accommodate the special dietary needs of the residents? 

  • Is there a copy of the Residents Bill of Rights displayed prominently? 

  • Does the residence comply with local and/or state requirements? 

Evaluating needs assessments, contracts, cost and finances

  • How long after admission is the resident plan of care written?

  • Are resident and family involved in developing the care plan? 

  •  How are the resident’s need for services determined, and how often are they reassessed? 

  • What are the resident’s responsibilities regarding the plan of care? Can they be discharged for non-compliance? 

  • Is there a policy for disciplinary action for the residents? What of the staff, what is the facilities policy on disciplinary action for protocol infractions by staff? 

  • Is there a resident advocate available to discuss problems or concerns? 

  • What is the cost of the services? What are billing, payment and credit policies? 

  • Are there any government or other programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident? 

  • What services are included in the contract? Are there personal care, health care, accommodations and support services? 

  •  What are the arrangements for medical follow up with the resident’s doctor? 

  • May the resident maintain their current physician, or does the facility require the use of a staff physician? 

  •  Does the resident need to have an Advance Directive for Health Care in place? 

  • What is the facility’s policy on “Do Not Resuscitate” orders? 

  • What hidden costs are there? Are there different costs for various levels of care or categories of service? 

  • How do you pay for additional services? 

  • Are residents able to handle their own finances, with minimal assistance of staff, if they are capable, or does a family member or outside party need to be designated to do so? 

  • What is the policy on insurance and personal property? 

  • What is the resident staff ratio? How does this compare to state and local licensing requirements? 

As you can see, not all of these items can be checked off. They may require more thought or investigation, and certainly a long answer. We do hope, however, that this list will get you thinking about important considerations when choosing an assisted living facility.


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