An assisted living facility is a community that provides full-time living arrangements in a less restrictive, more home-like setting. Communities can include individual apartments, or rooms for a single resident or shared with another person. Below, we will answer some questions and provide some more details on what to expect in such a facility and how you can choose.

How to Choose the Ideal Place?

If you or a loved one decided that it is time to move to an assisted living facility, or an adult family care home, or to use the services of an adult care center, you will want to visit several communities or centers and speak with staff and residents or participants. This will help you understand your options. It will also help you to determine where you are most comfortable and choose the location that best meets your needs. When visiting a community or center, you may want to ask some of the following questions, as well as any others you may have.

Does the Community or Center Have a License?

Ask to see the current license issued by the government agency. It should indicate whether it is an assisted living community, an adult family care home, or an adult care center. The license must have an effective date and an expiration date.

What Are The Charges And What Services are Provided?

Ask for charges and all services to be clearly explained to you. The community or center may have a charge for certain basic services that are provided to all people as well as a second charge for additional services that you may want or need. Think about additional services you may need in the future, and not just your current needs.

What Documents Do You Need To Fill Out?

Before selecting a community or center, ask for written information about the services, a copy of the contract, or residency agreement, or any other documents that you can take home with you. You can read them at home and write down any questions you may have. You can also review the documents with a friend or family member. Then make an appointment to discuss your questions and concerns. Before signing any document, please read it carefully to make sure you understand it and that all your questions have been answered. When signing documents, you should ask for a copy for your records.

What Activities Are Offered?

Ask to see an activity program. Does this have a variety of activities that you will enjoy? Is transportation available to go to community activities of your choice? Are there trips planned?

The Meal Plan

What meals and snacks are provided? Are special diets available? Ask how many meals or snacks are provided. Are these provided at certain times of the day or can you choose when you want to eat? Is a variety of foods served? Are special foods or diets available, if needed?

Nursing Services

Are any nursing services provided? Does the community or center provide any nursing services? What do the services include? Even if you do not need nursing services now, you may need them in the future.

Special Services

Are special services offered for people with dementia (such as Alzheimer’s disease)? Ask what special services and activities are offered for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Are staff trained to address the special needs of these residents or participants? Is there equipment to ensure that a person does not walk outside the institution? The best option will not only depend on the quality of care, but also on the correspondence between the resident’s needs and preferences and the services and philosophy of the institution or center they choose.


It is important that the choice you make have the conditions to meet the changing needs of the resident. The style of care is how these medical, functional, emotional, and social needs are valued and met. Do your research before you make the final choice.