5 Areas to Check When Evaluating a Senior Living Facility
Before you make a decision on what senior living facility is right for you or your family member, you’ll want to spend some time checking out potential locations.
For more information, read our 6 Senior Living Services Options.
Here are 5 areas to consider:
- Is the atmosphere warm, pleasant, cheerful?
- Does the home seem friendly, safe and comfortable?
- Does it smell clean and is the temperature comfortable?
- Are hallways free of clutter?
- Are there call buttons in common areas where residents gather to visit?
- Are there toilets within easy reach of all the areas where residents get together for social activities and meals?
- Are the rooms, stairs and hallways lighted well enough to see?
- Are there special areas for activities?
- Are there outside areas for walking, sitting, or outdoor activities?
- Are there private/quiet areas as well as communal areas?
- Are there areas where smoking is allowed?
- Is there a pay phone or private phone for residents to use?
- How does the facility prevent residents from wandering out of the facility?
- Are there smoke alarms and fire extinguishers easily accessible?
- Is there a building security system (electronic and personal) to protect the residents? Are the exits/entrances secured or can anyone walk in at any time?
- Are all parts of the home accessible to people who use wheelchairs?
- Is the ombudsman poster displayed in a prominent place?
- Is the state survey posted in a place accessible to patients and visitors?
- Are patient rooms roomy, bright and attractive? Is there sufficient overhead and task lighting?
- How much control does the resident have regarding the in-room heating and cooling system?
- Are the mattress and pillow comfortable? Are the sheets and towels clean and in good condition?
- Are there call buttons or bells near the bed and in the bathroom?
- Are the in-room bathrooms clean and well kept?
- Is there plenty of closet and other storage space? Do residents have their own closet space?
- What level of privacy does a resident have? Are there ways to prevent access to the room by other residents or unwanted visitors?
- Does the facility offer both private and semi-private room options?
- Do the bedrooms have their own bathrooms? Do they give the residents privacy?
- Are the toilet and shower easy to use? Are there grab bars in the bath or shower and by the toilet?
The Dining Area
- How many residents eat in the dining room?
- Are residents encouraged to eat in the dining room?
- Is there adequate staff to assist residents who need help feeding themselves?
- Do residents with special needs have adaptive devices to assist them? (special spoons for example)
- Does food look and smell appetizing? Is there a good variety with alternate food choices?
Residents and Staff
- Are residents dressed, clean and well groomed? Hair combed? Fingernails clean?
- Are residents engaged in activities, or just “parked” in the halls?
- Do residents have visible bruises or injuries?
- How many residents are restrained?
- Do staff members treat residents with courtesy, respect, and kindness?
- Are staff members neatly dressed and groomed?
Rehab / Therapy Area
- Is there a separate room for therapies?
- Is it clean? Is the equipment cleaned between uses?
- What type of therapy equipment is available?
The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical or legal advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared real-life advice; always check with a doctor, lawyer or appropriate professional you trust before making any legal or healthcare- related decisions.
Thank You …
A special thank you to the industry professionals, lawyers, insurance agents, doctors, nurses, seniors and families who gave us their time, insight and real-life advice.