What should I look for when touring an Assisted Living Community?

These questions are designed to help you in choosing the best community for you or your loved one. For more information visit Assisted Living Federation of America.

  • 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?
  • Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the community and staff?
  • Are the staff members that you pass during your tour friendly to you?
  • Are visits with the resident welcome at any time?
  • Are doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodating to wheelchairs and walkers?
  • Are handrails available to aid in walking?
  • 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 process for assessing a resident’s need for services, and are those needs addressed periodically?
  • Are additional services available if the resident’s needs change?
  • Are there different costs for various levels or categories of personal 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • Are different sizes and types of apartments available?
  • Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the apartment?
  • Are residents able to bring their own furnishings for their apartment?
  • Is there evidence of organized activities, such as a posted daily schedule, events in progress, reading materials, visitors, etc.?
  • Is the community pet friendly?
  • Does the community create a sense of inclusion by encouraging residents to participate in activities?
  • May a resident request special foods, and can the community accommodate special dietary needs?
  • 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?
  • Does the community conduct criminal background checks on employees?
  • Does the community allow hospice to come in and care for residents?
  • Does the community accept long-term care insurance?
  • Does the community participate in the Veterans’ Administration Aide and Attendance Program?