How To Choose an Assisted Living Facility

How To Choose an Assisted Living Facility

According to a 2013 survey of residents in assisted living communities, over 90% of those residents express satisfaction with their quality of life and the level of independence they enjoy. On a related note, the average overall star rating given by residents on is 4.2, which is actually higher than the site average! Yet, if you asked them if they planned for their transition to assisted living when they were younger, many will probably say “no.”

While it’s good to know that a satisfactory outcome is likely, the more careful research, planning and comparison shopping you can do, the more likely you are to find an assisted living community that is best for the needs of you or your loved ones.

This is a condensed overview of questions to ask and things to look for as you comparison shop for a possible assisted living community for yourself or a loved one. Yes, we said “comparison shop.” Every assisted living provider and community is different. It’s best to start exploring the options before the true need arises.

Important questions to ask on your visit:

• What sizes and styles of apartments are available?
• What does each type of apartment cost?
• Is there a waiting list, and, if so, how long is it?
• What is the ratio of residents to staff members?
• What training and experience do your staff members have?
• What is the overnight staffing level?
• Is there a nurse on-site 24/7/365?
• What are some of the activities available to residents?
• What is your discharge policy?
• Can a resident choose the level of services available? Can those services change as a resident’s needs change?
• What are your billing and payment policies? What is included in the monthly fee? Are rent and services billed separately?

Important things to watch for on your visit:

• Outdoor grounds are well maintained
• Building exteriors are attractive and well maintained
• Common and public areas are clean and odor-free
• Meals are nutritious and appetizing
• Residents seem active, engaged and comfortable
• Staff members are warm and friendly, even on unannounced visits
• Apartments are well designed and have adequate living space for your needs
• The facility’s design is easy to navigate, even for those with limited mobility
• Safety equipment, including grab rails, smoke detectors and sprinklers, is present and up-to-date
• The community’s state certification is in order and its inspection history reveals no major concerns

Written by Rich Malley

Looking for assisted living in Los Angeles or another city? Compare your options on

Senior Advisor's knowledgeable writers blog about senior care services, trends and more.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *