Questions to Ask About Senior Care Routines

Last Updated: June 10, 2019

When I recently asked a group of people what they wish they’d known when they started looking for senior care for their parents or senior loved ones, I heard a lot about the importance of daily communication and routines.3 Questions to Ask About Senior Care Routines

Finding an assisted or senior living community with a schedule your parents like — and one that will keep you updated about your parents’ wellbeing — is easier if you ask these questions at each community you visit:

1. How are family members kept informed?

Will an assisted living community’s staff give you regular updates? If so, how often and what information will they share? If you have new information about your parents’ care to share with the staff, who should you contact?

Other questions you may want to ask include:

  • Are there holiday celebrations?
  • Are there special events for residents’ birthdays?
  • Does a beautician regularly visit the community and if so, how can your parents book appointments?
  • How often are excursions planned to local attractions and shops?
  • What’s the housekeeping and laundry schedule?

2. What does a typical day look like?

When you’re seriously considering a community for your parents or senior loved ones, you’ll want to get answers to very specific questions about senior care routines to make sure they’ll be a good fit.

Things to ask include:

  • Are there daily fitness and social activities?
  • Are there snacks available outside regular meal times?
  • Can residents start their day at a time of their choice?
  • Is lights-out a fixed time or do residents have a choice?
  • What’s the meal service schedule?

If the staff will administer meds or remind your parents of their medication schedule, who oversees that schedule and ensures it’s followed?

3. When can family and friends visit?

Are there set visiting hours and if so, what are they? Do visiting hours change on holidays, residents’ birthdays or weekends?

Other questions to ask include:

  • Are there private areas outside resident rooms where family members and friends can gather for social visits like birthday parties?
  • Are visitors allowed to take residents out for the day or for overnight visits, and if so, what’s the process for notifying the community staff?
  • Can your parents’ visitors join them in the dining room for meals?

This is a long list of questions, but the answers can help you find the best possible match for your family’s needs and wants.

You can also download detailed checklists to help you select an assisted living community at

Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.


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