Tips on Touring Facilities | Assisted Living, Alzheimer's Memory Care, Retirement Communities

Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Home Care, Retirement Communities | Care Changes

Tips on Touring Facilities

Choosing a senior living community, whether for independent living or assisted living, requires thorough investigation. Location, convenience to friends and family, services offered and proximity to shopping, doctors, highways, are important parts of your search. Next, it is important to assess your current needs and understand how a community can accommodate changing needs over time.

Every community is unique, so it is important to do your homework. While brochures and checklists are good, personal tours of different communities will give you a lot more information. Your personal level of comfort with a provider is the most important criteria in determining what community is right for you.

Ask yourself the following questions as you walk around:


  • Were you greeted promptly at the front desk and offered assistance?
  • How does the environment make you feel?
  • Is the building and grounds clean and attractive?
  • Is the staff friendly and helpful?
  • Does staff know residents by name?
  • How do residents and staff interact?
  • What do residents say?
  • Do the residents seem happy?
  • Is there a varied range of activities?
  • Are there activities outside the community?
  • Do you observe residents socializing with each other and attending activities?
  • And of course, how's the food?

For those families or friends seeking a community on behalf of someone who cannot personally visit, it is important to include them in the search process as much as possible. Respect their needs and wishes as much as possible. This will lead to better acceptance in making the transition and ultimately result in greater satisfaction.

Other factors to consider:


  • Services offered (activities, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation, salon)
  • Licensure requirements
  • Community ownership/management
  • Available medical and health services
  • Memory impairment/dementia programs
  • Resident/family participation in care planning
  • Costs (entry fees, bundled services and level of care charges)
  • Physical layout of building, elevators
  • Common area décor and amenities (library, lounges, card rooms, fitness center, exterior)
  • Handicap accessibility (doorways, corridor widths, grab bars)
  • Range of apartment styles and sizes (finishes, climate control, appliances, storage)
  • Telephone and cable television
  • Residency criteria (admission/discharge, pre-lease assessment)
  • Fire alarm and sprinkler systems
  • Emergency call system
  • Staffing levels and availability (24-hour staffing, experience, length of employment)

To find senior care and senior housing in your area, please click Begin Your Search. A Senior Care Coordinator is available now to help you find the best assisted living, Alzheimer’s care, retirement communities, and senior care resources for your family.