This is not an all-inclusive list of questions; but rather a great place to start when touring a new continuing or assisted living facility. Keep in mind that different municipalities have different laws and requirements for senior facilities, so some questions may not be applicable.
For more in-depth information, visit the Washington State human services website to learn about requirements and laws regulating senior facilities and about the differences between retirement communities, assisted living facilities, adult family homes, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities.
Note: It is highly recommended to call the facility beforehand to schedule a tour of the facility.
- Is the residence licensed? What credentials do staff members hold?
- Is there an ombudsman or an organization of residence that can help raise issues with the staff and management?
- Are there ample conveniences in and around the residence? (ex. grocery store, cleaners, shops, restaurants, library, theaters).
- Is there a hospital nearby?
- Is there a waiting list? If so, how long may it take to be accepted and admitted?
- Is the staff professional and happy to help? Do residents seem happy and well cared for?
- Are there special programs for residents with disabilities? For residents that have dementia or memory impairments?
- What makes this residence unique from other communities?
- Is there an on-site clinic or 24 hour nurse?
- Can residents hire outside caregivers or assistance?
Services & Activities:
- Is transportation provided for medical appointments and recreational purposes? Is there a fee?
- Are there any types of housekeeping, laundry, or linen service offered? Are these services included in the entry or monthly fees or at an additional cost?
- What healthcare services are available for each level of care?
- Is there a gym on campus? Are there organized exercise classes?
- What kinds of social events are planned? Is there a monthly schedule of events?
- Does the residence accommodate special diets?
- What meal options does the residence offer? Does the residence offer group meals or in-room programs?
- What sizes and types of living options are offered? Are residences furnished?
- Is a resident required to move into independent living before moving to assisted living apartments?
- What amenities does the residence have?
- Are layouts in all types of housing wheelchair and walker friendly?
- Is parking available to residents? Is there guest parking?
- Are their guest accommodations?
- Are the residence’s grounds well maintained, manicured, and easy to navigate?
- Is this a smoke-free facility? Are there designated spots for smokers?
- How is security addressed in each type of residence?
- Are pets allowed?
Cost & Fees:
- What are the contract options?
- Are residences owned or rented?
- What is the breakdown of fees for basic housing and additional services? Monthly fees? Are fees raised on a yearly basis?
- Does Medicaid, Medicare, or other long-term care insurance cover any on the costs?
- What are the income requirements for a particular unit?