Senior Living Options: What to Ask About Costs and Coverages

Checking out senior living facilities?

Here’s a quick list of questions to ask about the costs and coverages. For more information, read our 6 Senior Living Services Options.

Entrance Fees

  • Is there an entrance fee?
  • How much is it?
  • Is it refundable, and if so, under what circumstances?

Room Costs

  • What is the cost of a private room?
  • Semi-private room?
  • What is the facility’s bed-hold policy if the resident is temporarily hospitalized? What is the price-per-day and how long can the bed be held?
  • Is there a choice of furnished and unfurnished rooms? Do unfurnished rooms cost less?
  • Can residents have their own phone line and Internet connection? Is this included in the fee or an extra fee?

Services and Activities

  • What services are included in the base rate?
  • What services are at an additional cost?
  • What activities are free and what activities involve a cost?
  • Can family members eat in the dining room with the residents? Are reservations needed? What is the cost per meal?

Financing Options

  • Do you have financial assistance available?
  • How is the facility paid—monthly, longer term?
  • If the arrangement needs to be terminated, will any money be refunded? Under what circumstances?

WHN TIP – VA Help: If the senior is a veteran, the Veteran’s Administration may have some resources you can use.

WHN TIP – Medicare/Medicaid: Learn about Medicare coverage here and Medicaid coverage here. For more information, read What are my other long-term care choices? and download Medicare’s Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home.)


Remember …

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.