The following list of questions can be used when touring Assisted Living or Memory Care facilities. Notes should be taken to eliminate confusion after visiting more than one community.
Your own observations
Listen to your own intuition. Not only may you see or hear things that are obvious, but you may just have a feeling about a community.
Are the employees smiling? Do they seem happy to be working there? Are they interacting with residents in a positive way? Feel free to ask them questions.
Does it seem clean? Does it smell pleasant? Does it smell like disinfectant?
Ask if the apartment will be painted and re-carpet between occupancy?
What kind of activity do you see? Do you see family members visiting?
Plan to eat a meal with residents or at least observe dining.
Observe the length of hallways for mobility issues
Do you see any pets? Are they allowed?
Is there an outdoor space to walk or sit?
Questions to dig deeper
What will my mom’s (or any loved one) day be like? Walk me through a typical day of a resident.
How will she make friends?
What kind of group activities are there? Do you have a bus to take residents out? Will you take her to the grocery store or Walmart?
Can she have privacy? Can she lock her door?
Will people come in unannounced?
Who will provide personal care?
What is the protocol when there is an emergency?
How do you handle a DNR? (If you don’t know about this and you are not sure of for your loved one, do some online research and ask questions to see if they have one.)
How are meals served? Can she eat in her apartment? Who cooks the food? May I see a menu? What if she is a fussy eater?
Are there structured mealtimes and table assignments she would have to follow?
Do you provide transportation to doctor appointments? Is there a charge?
Do you have an in-house physician she can see?
Can she have her own car?
What is the protocol for fire or tornados? Do residents practice with drills?
What do you require to know about my mom’s finances?
What are the costs monthly? What is covered?
Do you do an assessment to determine the cost? Who does that?
Is there an investment requirement in addition to monthly rent?
Is there an upfront community fee? How much?
May I have a sheet explaining costs? Are there extra charges?
What is the move-out policy? How long is the lease?
Do you have any specials now? Does she bring her own furniture? Do you pay for the move?
Do you have a buy-in program or is it month to month?
Do you take Medicaid as a payer source?