20 Questions to Ask an Assisted Living Facility Before Moving an Aging Parent

Making the decision to move a parent to an assisted living facility is not an easy one and can often be filled with anxiety and doubt. Even if everyone has determined it’s the best situation, ensuring you find the right fit for a loved one, while simultaneously making all the changes that go along with that, can be understandably stressful.

Because the transition can be emotional for all involved, it’s important you go into the process armed with questions, ready to research facilities side-by-side. Below are 20 questions to help determine what facility is best for you and your family member.

  1. What is the surrounding community like?

Is the community accessible to important places, like the doctor’s office, pharmacy, and shops? Is it convenient for family and friends to visit? Is the neighborhood generally considered safe?

  1. What payments are accepted?

Ask about not just the types of payment are accepted, but also whether there are programs to help residents afford care, if needed.

  1. Is the facility Medicaid certified?

Medicaid can be used to pay for long-term nursing home care in all states, and many states allow residents to use Medicaid to pay for assisted living or in-home care as well. Each state has individual rules, regulations and eligibility requirements, and this can vary based on facility as well.

  1. Is the facility Medicare certified?

Any assisted living facility should be Medicare Certified and in good standing with local, state and national boards.

  1. Is there a rehabilitation department onsite?

Having an onsite rehabilitation department will allow your loved one to avoid unnecessary transportation, if that’s a concern. When needed, the rehab staff can also attend to any changes in the resident’s condition.

  1. What do the reviews say?

Before you tour a facility, check out online reviews. If there are any negative reviews, be prepared to address them, and note their response or explanation.

  1. Are apartments available now?

While it may seem like a silly question, but assisted living communities often have a waiting list for openings. If that’s the case, ask about their projected timeline, and determine whether that will work with your family’s needs.

  1. What is the ratio of staff hours per patient daily?

The national average is 3.2 hours per patient a day. Take this into consideration when evaluating facilities.


  1. What is included in the monthly fee?

Don’t assume that every community bundles services the same way. Ask what’s included in the monthly rent. Utilities, cable and wifi may seem obvious, but don’t forget to ask about housekeeping services, daily meals, and other on-site amenities.

  1. Are the common spaces enjoyable?

Pay special attention to the common areas in the facility to see if they’re clean, well-maintained and appealing. Where can visitors spend time with loved ones, and can you imagine your parent using the spaces?

  1. Are all areas accessible?

Take note of whether hallways are well lit and easily navigable, and if there are handrails and plenty of room for wheelchairs.

  1. What type of apartment will your loved one live in?

Ask whether most residents have a private room or share a room, and request to see all types of available rooms.

  1. What are the individual room facilities?

Does each room have a private, handicapped-equipped bathroom, or is there one shared bathroom? Can residents personalize the room with photos, mementos, or other possessions? Is there adequate storage space? How is the lighting and the views within the room?

  1. What meal options are offered to residents?

Ask whether there are multiple entrée options in the dining room, and request to see a weekly or monthly menu. You may consider scheduling a time to eat a meal in the facility to evaluate the quality of the food, cooking and service.

  1. Are alternate dining options available?

For evenings when community dining isn’t desirable, ask about room service options. You should also carefully consider whether you insist on a kitchen or kitchenette in your parent’s apartment, particularly if it’s safe, and then if it’s a desirable option.


  1. When is visiting permitted?

Generally speaking, no facility should ever object to you spending time with your loved one.

  1. What activities does the facility make available to residents?

Look to see if there is a varied schedule of activities, and consider whether your loved one would enjoy or participate.

  1. What interaction will they have with others from outside the facility?

Does the facility off scheduled interaction with the local community? For example, do volunteers come in, or will residents make regular outings?

  1. What is your emergency hospital?

Each facility, particularly in larger cities, will have a specified emergency hospital. It’s wise to be aware of this, not only in case of an emergency, but also to see if your family member’s preferred doctor has access, in such a case.


  1. What happens if or when we need additional services?

It is important to have a long-term plan for care, in case you find yourself with memory issues or increasing physical problems in the future. Find out if your assisted living facility is connected to a skilled nursing facility and whether that is a future option, if needed.



1776 Senior Care is your partner is your loved one’s care and can provide additional services if and when your family member is ready to transition to an assisted living community. Call 1776 Senior Care to discuss your options at 630.469.4515.

For more information on senior care contact 1776 Senior Care in Glen Ellyn.

By |2018-07-17T12:09:31+00:00July 17th, 2018|Categories: Care Transitions|