Use this checklist when touring an Assisted Living, Memory Care, or Continuing Care Retirement Community to help find the best fit.
- Is the community attractive and homelike?
- Do the staff members 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, are furnishings provided?
- Do all units have a telephone and cable/satellite TV?
- Is a kitchen area/unit provided with a refrigerator, sink and cooking element?
- May residents smoke in their units or in public spaces?
Contracts, Costs & Finances
- Have you reviewed the contractual agreement that discloses services, fees, and admission and discharge provisions?
- Have you received a written copy of what is included in the monthly fee?
- Is there a procedure to pay for additional services when the services are needed on a temporary basis?
- Have you been informed of what happens when a resident’s needs change?
- Have you been informed of the costs for various levels or categories of services?
- Have you been informed of the circumstances under which fees might change?
- Have you been informed of the circumstances under which a contract may be terminated and the refund policy?
- Have you been informed of any government or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?
Medication & Health Care
- Have you been informed of the policy regarding medication storage and assistance with medication administration?
- Have you been informed of the number of hours of medication training staff receive?
- Are staff available to assist residents who experience memory, orientation, or judgment losses?
- Have you been informed of the procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?
- Have you been informed of any medical services available and how these services are provided?
- Have you been given a list of available services?
- Have you been informed of the community’s process for assessing a potential resident’s needs?
- Are additional services available if the resident’s needs change?
- Are there special programs for residents living with dementia or cognitive impairment?
- Are there fees to provide transportation to doctors’ offices, the hairdresser, shopping, and other activities desired by residents?
- Can residents arrange for transportation on fairly short notice?
- Have you been given information on staff training and qualifications?
- Are the interactions between staff and residents 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 staff awake and available at night?
Social & Recreational Activities
- Does the activities program have options that are of interest to you or your loved one?
- 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 residents’ pets allowed in the community?
- Does the community have its own pets?
- Are meals provided at a time that works for you or your loved one?
- 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
- Understand the admission agreement
- Understand resident rights and responsibilities
- Understand the services planning process
- Know about the criteria and policies associated with leaving the community
- Contact the state licensing entity (www.ccld.ca.gov) for information on the community’s license
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