Chapter 5: Questions to Ask an Assisted Living Community

Before choosing a senior living community, plan to visit at least once, although it is often helpful to visit several times. Seeing something on a second or even third visit can refresh your memory and help fill in any blanks. Be prepared to take notes and ask questions. Allow time to thoroughly visit the community and get a guided tour by the staff.

Here is a list of things to observe and what to ask during a visit.


  • Is the surrounding landscape pleasing?
  • Is the community located in a desirable area?
  • What is the energy of the community when you walk in the door?
  • Does it feel like a happy place?
  • Does it appear fresh and clean?
  • Is the staff welcoming? Can you get a feel for the staff turnover rate?
  • Are any activities occurring?

Questions to ask:

  • How long has the retirement community been in business?
  • Do you have an entrance fee or buy-in fee?
  • What is the daily/monthly/weekly fee?
  • What services does this fee include?
  • Are there restrictions on young children visiting?
  • What are the activity programs? Are there events outside of the community? Entertainment programs?
  • Do you have exercise facilities and wellness programs?
  • Do you have a copy of the community's newsletter or a calendar of monthly events?
  • How many staff members are available 24/7? How many security personnel are on the grounds 24/7?
  • What procedures are in place for emergencies?
  • Is there an emergency notification system?
  • Is each residence equipped with handicap bars, non-slip floors, personal safety devices/pendants and other safety features?

Ask if it is possible to eat a meal at the community. Questions to ask: 

  • What dining programs are offered and what is the dining schedule?
  • Can special diets be accommodated?
  • How many entree choices are offered?
  • Can the residents have guests for a meal and what is the fee?

There will be other questions to ask as you visit a community, but throughout a question-and-answer period, always consider the first impressions, experience levels of the staff, and practices and procedures of the community. In the course of asking all these questions, you will find the right senior community for your parents.

Senior Living Guide from Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC
Learn what questions to ask when visiting Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC

Read More

This is Chapter five of a six chapter guide to helping your parents transition into a senior living community. Has this been helpful? Read the other chapters including:

1. The Right Time to Move Into Assisted Living?

Learn signs that indicate it might be time for your parents to move into Assisted Living and read tips on how to talk with your parents about making the transition.

2. Senior Living Levels of Care 
Understand the distinctions between each level of care in senior living communities: active adult/age restricted, Independent, Assisted Living, Memory Care and skilled nursing. 

3. Parent Refusing to Go to Assisted Living?

Are you feeling like the time is right to transition to Assisted Living and mom or dad is refusing to go? Get some ideas on how to continue the discussion.

4. Today’s Choices in Senior Living

Bingo is not the only game in town. Learn about the state-of-the-art amenities and active life enrichment programs offered at most senior living communities.

5. Questions to Ask an Assisted Living Community

Get tips on how to tour a senior living community, including questions to ask during your visit and an evaluation checklist.

6. How Spectrum Can Help

Learn about Spectrum Retirement Communities, including its flexible, affordable, month-to-month retirement rental programs in multiple locations across the US.