What to Look for If You or a Loved One Needs Assisted Living or Nursing Home Placement

We recommend you tour any facility before you decide that you or your loved one would like to reside there. Some of the questions to look for and ask are listed below:

As you arrive at the community, do you like its location and outward appearance? Is it easy to get to and does it have available parking for visitors?

Did you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the community? Are the staff members friendly and appropriately dressed?

Does the community conduct criminal background checks on employees?

Look to see if residents are socializing with each other and appear happy and comfortable.

Are you able to speak with residents about how they like the community and staff?

Are there set visiting hours and must visitors sign-in and sign-out?

Are doorways, hallways and rooms accommodating to wheelchairs and walkers? Are elevators available for those unable to use stairways? Are floors of a non-skid material and carpets firm to ease walking?

Is the community clean, free of odors, appropriately heated/cooled, updated, and pleasant to be in? Does the community have sprinklers, smoke detectors, and clearly marked exits?

Are different apartments/room sizes and types available? Are apartments/rooms single or double occupancy? Do residents have their own lockable doors for their apartments? Are bathrooms private and designed to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?

Are residents able to bring their own furnishings for their apartment? What may they bring? What is provided?

Do all apartments have a telephone, cable or satellite TV, and internet access? How is billing for these services handled?

Is kitchen area in apartment provided with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking element?

Does the community provide housekeeping services, laundry services, transportation to doctor appointments, shopping, hairdresser, and other activities desired by residents?

Is there evidence of organized activities, such as a posted daily schedule, events in progress, reading materials, visitors, etc.?

Are residents' pets allowed in the community? Who is responsible for their care?

Does the community allow a loved one, such as a grandchild, to spend the night? Is there a charge?

Does the community have a special wing or floor for residents with cognitive impairments such as Dementia?

Is self-administration of medication allowed?

To what extent are ancillary services available such as beauty and barber shop services, transportation to medical appointment or to the grocery store and how are these services provided? As if there is an additional charge for any of these services?

Is there a residency agreement available that discloses personal care and supportive services, all fees, as well as move-in and move-out provisions? What are the policies for refunds and transfers?

Is there a written plan of care for each resident? How frequently is it reviewed and updated?

Are there any government, private, or corporate programs available to help cover the cost of services to the resident?

Are there different costs for various levels or categories of personal care?

Are residents required to purchase renters' insurance for personal property in their units?

Were you provided with written billing, payment, and credit policies of the facility?

What documents (i.e. health care power of attorney, living will, etc.) do they require residents have in place and on file?

This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It does not create or continue an attorney client relationship.

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The Peninsula Center for Estate and Lifelong Planning
461 McLaws Circle
Suite 2
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Phone: 757-969-1900
Fax: 757-969-1903
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