Anyone who’s ever been on a job interview understands the importance of preparing questions in advance. The same holds true when you are touring an assisted living community. Your final choice is a major decision that you and your family will be living with so it’s vital to get as much information as possible.
Assisted living interview questions allow families to understand the range of services offered, ensuring a tailored fit for the unique needs of their loved ones. Having thorough inquiries sheds light on the protocols in place, promoting peace of mind and emphasizing the commitment to a protected living environment.
Posing questions also encourages open communication, for you and your loved ones to voice preferences for a more personalized experience.
Here are a few basic questions to ask an assisted living community with detailed explanations that’s followed by 43 more specific questions you may not have considered. Keep in mind that more questions will likely come up during the tour; take plenty of notes so you won’t forget the answers, and don’t be afraid to follow up with more inquiries if needed.
Licensing and Accreditation
The first question should be about the community’s licensing and certification. Phone the community first to get this information.
Assisted living communities will be licensed by the state and accredited by a nationally recognized organization. Two of the latter include:
- The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
- The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA)
Certificates vary by location – in Kentucky, personal care is offered as a standard service in some communities. It’s similar to assisted living, but these licenses provide a higher level of senior care, including on-site medical directors.
Available Levels of Care
Assisted living communities offer different levels of care, depending on each resident’s needs. Most provide basic assistance with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and grooming.
Make sure they offer a move-in assessment. Once that’s completed, the community might provide individualized services in a personal care plan, or they may offer a tiered list of care levels.
Clarify how often care plans can change or be updated: One of the most essential questions to ask assisted living communities pertains to continuing care. When a resident needs to transition from independent living to assisted living or memory care, can they accommodate that? See if they offer memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, too.
Find Out About the Amenities
When touring assisted living communities, be sure to ask about available amenities. Most communities offer common areas such as:
- Formal dining rooms, cafés
- Exercise areas
- Activity rooms
- Outdoor spaces
Many also offer on-site amenities like salons and on-site shopping; some even have swimming pools. These features provide residents with opportunities to socialize and stay active.
Most communities would be happy to offer you a meal, so see if the food is nutritious and tastes delicious. That is the perfect time to ask if they accommodate special diets and offer special meals for holidays and other occasions.
See What is Included in the Monthly Fee
Monthly fees for assisted living communities vary widely depending on the location, apartment size, level of care required, and amenities offered. Questions to ask assisted living about fees revolve around what’s included in the monthly cost, so there are no surprises down the road.
Typical fees cover room and board, utilities, housekeeping, and laundry services. Additional costs may include cable TV, internet access, and transportation services.
Inquire About Activities and Programs
Most senior living communities offer a variety of activities to encourage socialization and promote physical and mental well-being. Those include exercise classes, arts and crafts projects, cooking classes, outings to local attractions, or religious services.
Ask if the community has an activities calendar and if they are open to new programs if your loved one has a special interest or hobby.
Additional Assisted Living Interview Questions
A tour of an assisted living community is your chance to conduct a thorough interview, so take advantage of the opportunity. These 43 in-depth questions to ask an assisted living community team member will help you narrow down your choices.
- What is your philosophy on assisted living?
- How do you define assisted living, and what services does it include?
- Can I see a copy of your license?
- How long have you been in business?
- What accreditations or awards do you have?
- Are there any age restrictions for residents?
- What are your policies for accepting new residents?
- How many residents do you currently have?
- What is the average length of stay for your residents?
- Do you have private or shared rooms?
- How many floor plans do you have?
- How do your transportation services work?
- What recreational and social activities do you offer?
- Can I try a meal?
- Can I sit in on an activity?
- Can I talk to a resident ambassador?
- What’s your policy on family involvement?
- When are visiting hours?
- What are your fees, and what do they cover?
- Are there any additional fees?
- Do you offer discounts or financial assistance?
- Do you accept Medicaid or other forms of financial assistance?
- What payment options do you have?
Memory Care Questions
- What care and assistance do you provide for dementia or Alzheimer’s residents?
- Do you have a signature memory care program or approach to care?
- How do you protect your memory care residents?
- How do your caregivers adapt to residents’ individual needs?
- Does the culinary team provide brain-healthy meals?
Care Services Questions
- Do you have a nurse on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- Do you have on-site medical caregivers?
- What type of on-site medical team members do you have?
- What are your medical team members’ qualifications?
- Do the team members receive additional training?
- What type of care does your medical team provide?
- Do you have any visiting specialists or therapists?
- What are the community’s policies on medication administration?
- What are the community’s policies on falls?
- What are the community’s policies on nutrition and hydration?
- What are the community’s policies on infection control?
- How many caregivers are on duty during each shift?
- What is the caregiver-to-resident ratio during each shift?
- How often are team members given breaks?
- Do the team members enjoy the work environment?
Planning for a Senior Living Community Tour
Any reputable assisted living community will welcome visitors to tour their properties, and many offer VIP tours for an in-depth look at everything they have to offer. Those typically last two to four hours, including lunch or dinner with team members and current residents.
Do your research ahead of time: Browse assisted living websites, blogs, and senior advisor forums. Determine if you’ll be attending alone, with a family member, or with your loved one. Think about what your mom or dad would want to see and what aspects of each community would appeal to them.
Have your assisted living interview questions on hand and don’t be shy about touring more than once. If your first one was in the morning, return on another day around dinnertime; you can even save some questions for your second visit.
Arrange a Tour at a Civitas Assisted Living Community Near You!
Asking the right assisted living interview questions is essential for finding the right fit for you or your loved one. We’ll provide the information you need to make an informed decision.