Checklist For Evaluating Assisted Living Facility

Facility Location

  • How important is proximity to friends and loved ones?
  • What transportation options do visitors have?
  • Is the facility located in an acceptable neighborhood? Is it safe to be outside at night?
  • Does your loved one have preferred a location (i.e. near a Church)?

Health & Safety

  • What level of medical care and support is provided and how is it integrated into the residents’ lives?
  • What level of training or accreditation does the medical staff have?
  • Is there a separate care area for various levels of support (i.e. speech therapy or memory care)?
  • Is there a schedule for daily checking-ins?
  • Are the hallways and stairs well lit, with obvious fire safety systems and security?
  • Does each room have housekeeping and laundry services?
  • Do rooms have their own bathrooms, and are they equipped with handrails and call buttons?

Resident Life

  • Do the residents themselves seem happy with their surroundings?
  • Could you see yourself living in this facility?
  • How do residents get around in the community? Are there transportation services?
  • Is it possible for residents to go somewhere on short notice?
  • Can residents visit family whenever they please?
  • Does the facility provide at least three meals each day?
  • Are the meals something you wouldn’t mind eating? (try one while you’re visiting)
  • Do the meals seem nutritious and well-balanced?
  • Does the facility offer on-site banking, a beauty salon or barber, convenient store, or a post office?
  • Can this facility accommodate any special dietary restrictions, preferences, or needs?
  • Is there obvious evidence of resident participation in the community?
  • Are there a daily / weekly social events? Off-campus activities?
  • Does the facility have onsite worship services – or do they provide transportation to offsite ones?
  • Are pets allowed?

Facility Staff

  • What is the interaction like between staff, visitors, and residents?
  • Do the residents and staff seem to have a pleasant relationship? Make sure to ask some residents!
  • Is the staff readily available 24 hours a day?
  • Do staff greet you when you arrive? Do they seem happy to see you?


  • Is there an initial entrance fee?
  • What is the monthly fee (or rent)?
  • Is there a security deposit? Is it refundable?
  • What additional services and amenities are there? And are they an added expense?
  • Are utilities included? What about phone or WiFi?
  • Are there any regular fee-increases?
  • What happens if your financial situation changes?
  • What happens if your level of need increases?
  • Are there any programs that might assist with costs?

Reading the Fine Print

  • Is the contract easy to read and understand?
  • Are all costs, services, and provisions clearly outlined in a residence contract?
  • Is living space held for a resident if they require an extended stay in the hospital?
  • If a resident’s financial situation changes, or if they decide to move out for other reasons, what are the financial penalties you might incur?