Looking for Assisted Living?
- Visit www.CAassistedlivingsearch.org to search the Stateís list of licensed communities.
- Call the national Eldercare locator service at (800) 677-1116
- Contact your local area agency on aging. These agencies are generally listed in the blue pages of your telephone directory.
- Search CALAís Associate Directory for Referral Services.
The following is a consumer checklist of important services, amenities and accommodations in Assisted Living communities. Every community is unique. We recommend making several visits, at various times of day, to each community you are considering. As you start your search, it is important to assess your needs as they are now and ask each provider how they might accommodate any changes over time. It is also important to examine your finances and ask about costs. Monthly rates and fee structures vary.
Consider the following as you assess an Assisted Living community:
- Is the community attractive and homelike?
- Does the staff call residents by name and interact warmly with them?
- Do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and comfortable?
- Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the community and staff?
- Do the residents seem to be appropriate housemates for you or your loved one?
- Is the community clean, free of odors and appropriately heated/cooled?
- Does the community have fire sprinklers and clearly marked exits?
- If the community provides dementia care, does it have a means of security if a resident wanders?
- If desired, what furnishings are provided?
- Do all units have a telephone and cable/satellite TV and how is billing handled?
- Is a kitchen area/unit provided with a refrigerator, sink and cooking element?
- May residents smoke in their units? In public spaces?
Contracts, Costs & Finances
- Review the contractual agreement that discloses services, fees, as well as admission and discharge provisions.
- What is included in the monthly fee? (Ask for a written copy)
- Is there a procedure to pay for additional services when the services are needed on a temporary basis?
- What happens when a residentís needs change?
- Are there different costs for various levels or categories of services?
- Under what circumstances might the fees change?
- When may a contract be terminated and what is the refund policy?
- Are there any government or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
Medication & Health Care
- What is the policy regarding medication storage and assistance with medications administration? How many hours of medication training do staff receive?
- Are staff available to assist residents who experience memory, orientation, or judgment losses?
- What is the procedure for responding to a residentís medical emergency?
- To what extent are medical services available, and how are these services provided?
- Obtain a list of services available.
- What is the communityís process for assessing a potential residentís need?
- Are additional services available if the residentís needs change?
- Are there special programs for memory impaired residents and those with dementia?
- Are there fees to provide transportation to doctorsí offices, the hairdresser, shopping and other activities desired by residents?
- Can residents arrange for transportation on fairly short notice?
- What training and qualifications do the staff have?
- Observe staff and resident interactions. Are they positive?
- Did you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the community?
- Do the staff members treat each other in a professional manner?
- Is a licensed nurse available on-site? If so, during what hours?
- Is staff awake and available at night?
Social & Recreational Activities
- What is the activities program?
- Do residents participate in activities outside of the community?
- Do volunteers, including family members, come into the community to help with or conduct programs?
- Are residentsí pets allowed in the community? Who is responsible for their care?
- Does the community have its own pets?
- May meals be provided at a time a resident would like or are there set times for meals?
- Are menus reviewed by a nutritionist?
- May a resident request special foods?
- May residents eat meals in their units?
Make Sure You...
- Know what the service package includes
- Know all costs associated with your service package
- Know about additional services and their associated fees
- Know the circumstances under which fees might change
- Contact the state licensing entity (www.ccld.ca.gov) for information on the communityís license
- Understand the services planning process
- Understand the admission agreement
- Know about the criteria and policies associated with leaving the community
- Understand resident rights and responsibilities