Assisted Living Environment
· As you arrive at the community, do you like its location and outward appearance?
· As you enter the lobby and tour the community, is the décor attractive and homelike?
· Do you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the community?
· Does the executive director call residents by name and interact warmly with them as you tour the community?
· Do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and comfortable?
· Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the community and staff?
· Do the residents seem to be appropriate housemates for you or your loved one?
· Are staff members appropriately dressed, personable, and outgoing?
· Do the staff members treat each other in a professional manner?
· Are the staff members that you pass during your tour friendly to you?
· Are visits with the resident welcome at any time?
Physical Features of the Assisted Living Community
· Is the community well-designed for your needs?
· Is the floor plan easy to follow?
· Are doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodating to wheelchairs and walkers?
· Are elevators available for those unable to use stairways?
· Are handrails available to aid in walking?
· Are cupboards and shelves easy to reach?
· Are floors of a non-skid material and carpets firm to ease walking?
· Does the community have good natural and artificial lighting?
· Is the community clean, free of odors, and appropriately heated/cooled?
· Does the community have sprinklers, smoke detectors, and clearly marked exits?
· Does the community have a means of security if a resident wanders?
Needs Assessments, Residency Agreements, Assisted Living Costs & Finances
· Is a residency agreement available that discloses personal care and supportive services, all fees, as well as move-in and move-out provisions? What are the policies for refunds and transfers?
· Is there a written plan of care for each resident? How frequently is it reviewed and updated?
· Does the community have a process for assessing a resident’s need for services, and are those needs addressed periodically?
· Does this periodic assessment process include the resident, his or her family, and community staff, along with the resident’s physician?
· Are there any government, private, or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
· Are additional services available if the resident’s needs change?
· Are there different costs for various levels or categories of personal care?
· Do billing, payment, and credit policies seem fair and reasonable?
· Are residents required to purchase renters’ insurance for personal property in their units?
· Is there an appeals process for dissatisfied residents?
Medication & Health Care
· Does the community have specific policies regarding storage of medication, assistance with medications, training and supervision of staff, and record keeping?
· Is self-administration of medication allowed?
· Is there a staff person to coordinate home healthcare visits from a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc., if needed?
· Does the community have a clearly stated procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?
· To what extent are ancillary services available, and how are these services provided? Ask if there is an additional charge for any of these services.
Assisted Living Community Services & Amenities
· Can the community provide a list of personal care services available?
· Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) if needed? ADLs include dressing, eating, mobility, hygiene and grooming, bathing, and toileting.
· Does the community provide housekeeping services in personal living spaces?
· Can residents arrange for transportation on fairly short notice?
· Are barber/beautician services offered on-site?
· Does the community provide scheduled transportation to doctors’ offices, the hairdresser, shopping, and other activities desired by residents?
Individual Assisted Living Apartment Features
· Are different sizes and types of apartments available?
· Are apartments for single and double occupancy available?
· Do residents have their own lockable doors?
· Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the apartment?
· Are bathrooms private and designed to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
· Are residents able to bring their own furnishings for their apartment? What may they bring? What is provided?
· Do all apartments have a telephone, cable or satellite TV, and internet access? How is billing handled?
· Is a kitchen area provided with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking element?
· May residents keep food in their apartments?
· May residents smoke in their apartments? In public spaces?
· May residents decorate their own apartments?
Social & Recreational Activities
· Is there evidence of organized activities, such as a posted daily schedule, events in progress, reading materials, visitors, etc.?
· Do residents participate in activities outside of the community in the neighboring community?
· Does the community have its own pets?
· Are residents’ pets allowed in the community? Who is responsible for their care?
· Do volunteers, including family members, come into the community to help with or to conduct programs?
· Does the community create a sense of inclusion by encouraging residents to participate in activities?
Assisted Living Food Service
· Do dining room menus vary from day to day and meal to meal?
· Does the community provide three nutritionally balanced meals a day, seven days a week?
· Are snacks available?
· May a resident request special foods, and can the community accommodate special dietary needs?
· Are common dining areas available?
· May residents eat meals in their apartment or suite?
· May meals be provided at a time a resident would like, or are there set times for meals?
Additional Questions on Assisted Living
· Does the community conduct criminal background checks on employees?
· Does the community train staff on elder abuse and neglect? Is there a policy for reporting suspected abuse?
· Does the community have a special wing or floor for residents with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease? If so, is it secured?
· Does the community allow hospice to come in and care for residents?
· Does the community accept long-term care insurance?
· Does the community allow a loved one, such as a grandchild, to spend the night? Is there a charge?
· Does the community participate in the Veterans’ Administration Aide and Attendance Program? Will the community help complete the paperwork?
· Does the community accept Medicaid?
· What are the most common reasons why a resident may be asked to move out of the community?
A Simple Transition
Reprinted from ALFA Assisted Living Federation of America