Five questions to ask when touring an assisted living facility

August 22, 2016

California Home for Seniors - Sarah Sullins

Choosing the ideal assisted living facility for your loved one is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. There are many things to consider, from the cleanliness of the facility to the attitude of the staff and the size of the living spaces. Before you make any type of decision, you should visit the community and see if it meets the criteria you have for your loved one.

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few questions you should ask before, during or after your tour of the senior living community.


1. What's the ratio of staff to residents?elder

While your loved one needs to maintain his or her independence, they're entering an assisted living facility for a reason. Make sure there are plenty of personnel available to help on a daily basis, no matter what the task. In addition to determining the ratio of staff to residents, also consider asking other questions, like whether the facility employs CNAs, LVNs or RN, how much training the staff members have and if background checks are performed before any personnel are hired.

2. How often is housekeeping provided?

Housekeeping is a common amenity at assisted living facilities, but the frequency can vary. On your tour, be sure to ask how often housekeepers come in to clean, vacuum and do the dishes. Also be sure to ask if their tasks include laundry services.

3. What about security?

If your loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimers, they may not always remember what they are doing or where they are going. If they happen to wander, you'll want to be sure the facility offers the right type of security to keep them safe. Some communities feature security personnel or staff present at exits to help deter wandering. Others use key pads with codes that change often, while some facilities will use a wander guard departure alarm system or sensor bracelet. See what the facility offers and determine if it's the right type of security for your specific situation. Also be sure to ask what policies and procedures are in place if these security measures happen to fail.

4. Are religious services offered?

If faith is important to your loved one, be sure to ask about any religious services the facility might provide. These services are sometimes located on site and included in the long term care cost. If religious services are not provided, check to see if there are any nearby and if the community provides transportation, as well as staff presence, for these services.

5. When are visits allowed?

Your loved one is an important part of your life, and, if you live nearby, you may want to visit often. Check to see if the facility has set visiting hours or if you can come and go as you please. Ask about overnight guests as well, for family members or friends visiting from out of town.

The right assisted living facility can give your loved one a new lease of life, providing them with the care they need as well as continued independence. Be sure to ask the right questions when you tour each one to ensure you choose the best place for them to live.