Questions to Ask When Considering Assisted Living Communities.
If you are starting to look into Assisted Living for you or a loved one, the first thing you should do is make an appointment to tour several communities in your desired location. This will help you decide what you want and don’t want in a retirement setting. Be sure to take a pen and notepad – or your phone if you prefer – to take notes.
Here is a List of Essential Questions you’ll want to ask before, during, or after your tours.
There are many considerations when choosing the right assisted living community. These questions are organized by topic to help keep you focused.
Services and Care
- What is Assisted Living, and what does it provide?
- What type of care is included in Assisted Living?
- Are there additional costs?
- What are Levels of Care? How many do you offer?
- Who provides care in Assisted Living communities?
- Are pets allowed?
- Can a spouse live in assisted living?
- If a resident is admitted to the hospital or is away temporarily, what fees continue to apply?
- Can I bring my car? Will you allow me to drive?
- What activities are offered in Assisted Living?
- Are off-site trips and activities offered?
- Do you provide complimentary local transportation?
Costs and Payment
- What is the monthly fee? How often are there increases?
- How far in advance will I be notified of a price increase?
- Is there a Deposit or Community Fee? Is this a one-time fee?
- What kind of payment does the community accept?
- Does the community accept Medicaid?
- How does the community bill its residents?
- Does the community generate a paper bill, or are electronic payments allowed?
- Are snacks readily available if I’m hungry between meals?
- Will I have a kitchenette, refrigerator, or a minifridge in my residence?
- I have dietary limitations. Can they accommodate my needs?
- How many dining options do you offer?
- Do you have private dining rooms for family events?
- If I’m hungry, are seconds available?
- Does the community serve or allow alcohol?
Management, Oversight and Regulations
- How is the community addressing COVID-19 protocols?
- How are Assisted Living Communities regulated and licensed?
- To whom do I voice my concerns should I ever have any?
- How many residents do you have?
- What is the current occupancy?
- Do you have staff on-site 24/7?
Resident Satisfaction and Expectations
- How does the community maintain security?
- What role does family play?
- How often and when can family visit?
- How do you track resident satisfaction?
- Are there rules (like behavioral conditions) that residents need to observe? Can the community terminate services if these conditions are not met?
Decision-Making and Moving
- How do you know if Assisted Living is right for you?
- When will I know the time is right to move to Assisted Living?
- Is there availability, or is there a waiting list?
- How does one move to Assisted Living?
- Are senior-focused moving companies a good idea?
- How does your community welcome a new resident?
- Can you leave Assisted Living? What is the process?
Insurance and Taxes
- What costs of assisted living are tax-deductible?
- Does long-term care insurance pay for assisted living?
- I am a Veteran. How can Veterans Benefits help me?
- Does Medicare pay for anything in Assisted Living?
What Does Assisted Living Cost?
One of the top considerations in choosing an Assisted Living Community is cost. You want to avoid falling in love with a community you or your family cannot afford.
Like buying a home, the general cost of living in a state, region, or city will drive retirement living costs. Retiring in Omaha will certainly cost less than retiring in Miami.
Work with a financial planner to get a clear picture of current assets in order to create a budget. Believe it or not, most people don’t realize there are many ways to pay for retirement living. Take a moment to read our blog post: How Can I Cover the Cost of Senior Living?
Heritage Communities offers Assisted Living Communities in Nebraska, Iowa, Arizona, and Texas.
According to Genworth’s most recent Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly rates for assisted living in these states are:
- Texas: $3,948
- Nebraska: $3,819
- Iowa: $4,078
- Arizona: $3,750
When you take tours of Assisted Living communities you are interested in, be sure to ask the Marketing Counselor how people pay for Assisted Living. They are on the front lines, so their answers are going to be current and accurate.