Senior Living November 23, 2021

How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility

I have been called more and more often by friends and clients about selling their parents homes. We all seem to be experiencing the same challenges that come with aging family members. I discuss with my clients the many options that are available, one being assisted living facilities as they transition out of their homes. I have found this article to be very helpful in preparing my clients for the interview process of exploring which assisted living facility may meet their needs. Please fee free to reach out to me anytime and I can use my experience as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist to help you.


When interviewing potential assisted living facilities, it’s a good idea to have a standard list of questions to ask each one so you can make relevant comparisons. This may include:

  1. What levels of care does this facility offer? What abilities and degrees of self-sufficiency are required of residents? What happens when these abilities change?
  1. Do you conduct an initial patient health assessment before admission? How often are assessments repeated? Are they written and available for the family’s review?
  1. What is your staff-to-resident ratio during the day? At night?
  1. Is a nurse on-site around-the-clock? Does a physician regularly visit the facility? How are medical emergencies handled?
  1. Who administers medications? How is this information recorded? Can family members review these records at any time?
  1. What experience and training does your staff possess? Is ongoing training required?
  1. What type of apartments or living units are available? Is there a waiting list? What is the estimated time before you can accept a new resident?
  1. What is the monthly cost for the assisted living facility? Do you have a written list of what’s included and which services cost extra? Could additional fees be assessed?
  1. What are your billing and payment policies? What is your discharge policy?
  1. How often is the facility assessed? By what organizations? Are the findings made available to families as a matter of course?

Other Considerations

  • Is the assisted living facility attractive, in excellent repair, and clean—inside and out?
  • Is the staff friendly? Were you welcomed when you arrived? Do the staff and the executive director address residents by name? Are interactions between the staff and management professional? Are employees warm toward the residents? Do they greet you as you tour?
  • May you visit residents any time you like?
  • Is the food attractive? Does it taste good? Are families permitted to review the menus?
  • Are the residents happy? Do they appear to have excellent care from staff? Do they interact and seem to enjoy each other’s company?
  • Are you comfortable here? Do the staff and residents seem comfortable? Does it seem like a good “fit”?

Visit each facility at different times—during activities and mealtimes, for example—and seek feedback from residents and their families.


This article originally appeared on the National Association of REALTORS® website. As a REALTOR® with the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Designation, I find their blog full of helpful information and you can see more here.  


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