When looking for an assisted living facility, it’s a good idea to ask questions about the type of care provided, the costs, the amenities and whether it’s possible to age in place. You may also find it helpful to ask to speak to some of the current residents and their loved ones, to find out if they’re happy with day-to-day life in the community and if they’re well cared for.

Assisted living communities can vary significantly. Some are small, homelike communities with just a handful of residents, while others have a large campus with 100 or more seniors living in studios or apartments and a vast array of on-site amenities. When comparing communities, consider whether you (or your loved one) would prefer a small community where residents receive more personalized attention or if a larger campus with a busy social scene is more appealing.

Some Communities Offer Aging in Place

Seniors who have been diagnosed with a health condition that means they’re likely to see their care needs increase in the near future may want to plan for the day assisted living is no longer enough for them. Some assisted living communities offer the option to age in place, delivering additional care services so that the senior doesn’t need to leave their new home. These services can help seniors avoid nursing home placement and give them the chance to retain their independence and stay active in the community for much longer.

Is Assisted Living Right for Your Needs?

Assisted living communities have caregivers who provide help with personal care tasks and may offer limited medical support. This living option is aimed at seniors who are generally mobile and in good health but who’d like some assistance with day-to-day tasks. Seniors who are still fit and active but simply wish to downsize and not have to worry about household maintenance, yard work and other physically demanding tasks may prefer an independent living community. On the other hand, seniors who have more specialized needs may find a memory care community or skilled nursing facility is better equipped to provide that care.

A staff member at a good assisted living community meets with prospective residents and assesses their needs and abilities as part of the process of moving into the community. Take advantage of this meeting as a chance to explain what you expect from the community and to determine if assisted living is indeed the right choice.