Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

5 Do's and Don'ts for Selecting the Right Assisted-Living Facility for Your Elderly Loved One

by Joe Dixon

An assisted-living residence can provide help with your elderly loved one's everyday needs, including light housekeeping and meal preparation, while allowing him or her to remain independent in a home environment. If you are planning to help your loved one choose such a facility, there are a few aspects to keep in mind to ensure you make the right choice. Location, housing restrictions, lease contracts, and services offered are a few things to consider. To guide you in the right direction, consider the following "do's and don'ts" for a smooth transition and to choose the perfect new home for your elderly loved one.

1. Do Consider a Residence Within Close Proximity and Easy Access to Areas of Interests

Ask yourself a few key questions before making your decision: Is the assisted-living community close enough to family members who will visit frequently? What about shopping malls, religious institutions, social activities, and so forth? It's a good idea to select an assisted-living residence that is fairly close to such areas so your loved one will not feel isolated in his or her new home.

2. Don't Shut Your Loved One Out of the Decision-Making Process

When you are choosing an assisted-living home for your loved one, he or she should be heavily involved in the decision-making process. Taking on the entire responsibility yourself or not allowing your loved one to make choices may result in resentment down the road. If you come upon what you consider to be the ideal choice, ask your loved one how he or she feels about the community, services, and location. Don't make a final decision without your loved one's complete approval and consent.

3. Do Read the Lease and Contract Carefully

In the excitement to make the final plans, it is easy to overlook the small print included in the lease. Read all the details thoroughly before your loved one signs the papers. Are tenants allowed to bring pets with them? Are there pet restrictions involved? Equally important, are there additional fees involved for pets or for services?

Are meals and personal care considered all-inclusive, or are there add-in costs involved? Also, will your loved one have the option to eat meals in the apartment or in the dining room with other residents as desired? Are the rates "locked-in" or subject to change? How about discharge policies and payment policies? These are a few of the aspects that need to be considered.

4. Don't Neglect to Make an Assessment of the Apartment and the Neighbors

Even if the amenities and services are ideal, you should not sign a lease sight unseen. Check out the apartment in person to be certain it suits your loved one's needs. If the individual is disabled, is the unit handicap or wheelchair accessible? If your loved one enjoys tinkering outside, is there a garden patio for them to enjoy? Is there a clubhouse for social gatherings? Also, have your loved one attempt to meet and chat with some of the neighbors. This may help to get acquainted with immediate neighbors before moving day.

5. Do Meet with the Staff

While you're touring the facility, take time to meet with the staff and assess their manner. Do they make the time to speak with you and answer all your questions, and do they seem friendly and warm? This is a good sign of caring staff members who will make your loved one feel welcome and comfortable in his or her new home.

Once your elderly loved one finds the perfect assisted-living home, the transition will be much easier. Keep the above tips in mind for a positive experience.

Visit sites such as to find an assisted-living community near you. 


About Me

Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

There are many different types of assisted living facilities, and choosing one can be confusing. You want your loved one to be safe, happy and cared for, but how do you know which facility will best meet your needs? My name is Meghan, and I have helped my family place our loved ones in various assisted living homes. I'd like to give you a checklist and questions to ask yourself when you choose an assisted living facility for someone you love; you don't have to be overwhelmed. I can help you find the best place for your elderly loved one.