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What to Look for in an Assisted Living + Questions to Ask

Senior couple sitting on bench.

The search to find the perfect assisted living can be a difficult one for many reasons. While exploring the various options in your desired location near friends or family, it is also important to recognize the inner workings of the community and identify what is most important to you or your loved one. Is budget most important to you, or is it the location? Are the amenities and opportunities to socialize important on your list? Access to hospitals or assistance with activities of daily living? Everyone is different and what is important to you is what to keep in mind when researching your options. If you are just beginning your journey in finding the perfect senior living, read on to discover what may be most important to you or your loved one in an assisted living. Plus, some questions you may want to ask!

A house keeper with folded towels.

Amenities & Services

Communities offer a vast array of services and amenities that may differentiate them from nearby communities. This could include housekeeping, linen services, a dining room with wait staff, spa, movie theater, salon and much more. Research communities that have specific amenities that you or your loved one can enjoy at their leisure and services that help create a resort-like atmosphere and make life a little easier.

What services and amenities are offered?

What furnishings are provided in their room/apartment?

Are the meals high-quality and nutritionally balanced?

Several art and crafts items like pencils, rulers, scissors, crayons, and paint brushes.

Engaging Activities

Assisted living communities have organized monthly event programs that provide various interactive activities for the residents to participate in at their leisure. This could be physical activities, arts and crafts, holiday events, professional entertainers or arranged outings.

Is there a dedicated activities coordinator?

Do residents go on regular outings?

Is live entertainment provided? What kind and how often?

A senior lady holding a small ball in hand with nurse.

Levels of Care

Assisted living communities have many levels of varying care and depending on the specific needs of each resident, these levels of care will differ. Make sure to locate a community that offers specialized care necessary for you or your loved one’s health.

Is there a written plan of care for each resident?

How are medications managed for each resident?

Does the community have a dedicated program for residents with memory loss?

A smiling nurse.

Staff Friendliness

Everyone wants to feel welcomed by their community and that should include the friendliness of the staff that is there to assist the residents. It is important for the staff to create trusting relationships with the residents as they are their primary caregivers. Gauging the staff's friendliness can be tricky but the best way is to simply interact with them during your in-person tour.

What type of training does the staff have?

Is there a registered or licensed practical nurse on-site 24 hours a day?

Are drug tests and background screenings performed on employees?

A black piggy bank with coins surrounding it.


Affordability is essential and finding a community that fits your budget can be tough but it is not impossible. Pricing may include different services and amenities so it is important to ask each community what is and is not included in the price before making your final decision.

What does the price include?

Is transportation included?

Does it cost extra for an out-of-town family member or friend to stay overnight or for a meal?

A smiling elder at a table of other older men.

Community Culture

Culture is an important factor to consider when choosing the perfect assisted living. Having a community with older adults who enjoy activities that you like or have a menu of food that fits your dietary needs is better than living in a community that has differing values than you do. When touring an assisted living community, take a look around and decide if the community culture is something you can see yourself living in.

These are just a few of the things you should be considering when choosing the perfect assisted living. It is not so simple when deciding if the community is a perfect fit and that is why we wrote this article, to help guide you in the right direction by asking the right questions. If you have any questions about finding the perfect senior living, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our knowledgeable advisors. We can help you locate your dream community in the Ventura county area!


Explore more senior lifestyle articles: here! Or, find an easy-to-make recipe: here!


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