How to Choose an Assisted Living Community

Seniors looking to enjoy an independent lifestyle, while also having access to more living support, may opt to move to an Assisted Living Community. These communities are not appropriate for seniors needing intensive medical or nursing care. View Caregiverlist's Senior Living Expert, Lisa Sneddon sharing her tips for finding the right Assisted Living in this video.

Assisted Living Communities provide meals and support staff for housekeeping, laundry, medication reminders, social activities and transportation. The senior lives in their own apartment unit and can participate in the extracurricular activities as much or as little as they would like. Usually there is easy access to services such as banking, shopping, pharmacies and medical care.

Assisted Living is sometimes referred to as Residential Care, Board and Care, Congregate Care or Personal Care. Every state has licensing requirements for assisted living which vary widely. Because of this, there may be communities which are referred to as “Independent Living”, yet really do offer everything an officially licensed “Assisted Living” community offers.

Because there are no uniform national licensing requirements for assisted living communities, evaluating the right one for you or a loved one can become a very complicated task. For instance, there are a few areas which require more investigation in order to make sure the community is just the right fit and will not require another move should the senior’s needs change.’s Checklist: Choosing an Assisted Living Community

  1. Memory Loss

    Will the senior need to relocate if they experience memory loss? Some communities do not have locked access floors to prevent wandering, along with specialized staff to provide for seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of advanced memory loss.
  2. Nursing Care

    Will the senior need to relocate if they need advanced nursing care? Some Assisted Living Communities offer nursing care in their communities, others do not.
  3. Additional Costs

    Which services are included in the monthly rental fee and which services will incur an additional cost? Think ahead about services which the senior may not need now but may need later, such as special dietary needs, medication management and assistance with mobility if a wheelchair becomes necessary.
  4. Social Environment

    Will the senior feel comfortable and find other “like-minds” to easily build new friendships? Are there activities which will be of interest to them and easy access to off-site activities they previously were involved in?
  5. Financial Planning

    If the Assisted Living Community offers a nursing center, will they allow the senior to continue as a Medicaid client if they should run out of money? While no one plans on running out of money, even seniors with a million dollars or more in assets can run out of money when paying for full-time nursing care which can easily be $100,000.00 per year. Find out if Medicaid is accepted – some communities will not take new Medicaid residents but will allow a resident to stay on if they deplete their savings and must switch onto Medicaid.

Because of the emotional, medical and financial considerations required when looking for the right Assisted Living Community, Caregiverlist has partnered with Senior Living Experts to provide complete resources for evaluating the right community for you or your loved one.

Senior Living Experts will evaluate your needs, discuss the available options in your area and escort the senior on tours of the communities to allow them to make an educated decision. Because Senior Living Experts understands all the dynamics of finding just the right fit for elder care, they make the process easier for everyone involved. They allow you to talk with other residents and go behind closed doors for the insider’s viewpoint.

As the Assisted Living Communities compensate Senior Living Experts for each move-in, there is no cost to you for using their services. Think of them as an apartment-finders for seniors. They work with all the quality Assisted Living communities in each geographic area.

Learn more about Assisted Living and submit your questions to Caregiverlist’s Assisted Living Expert, Lisa Sneddon.