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Questions to Ask When Researching Assisted Living Options

Finding the right senior living community for your older loved ones can seem like such a daunting task. After all, everyone wants to find a place that will provide care and services that go above and beyond their needs, and somewhere that makes them feel at home and happy in their new community. 

When touring a senior living community, we want to absorb as much information as possible, and as such, it’s helpful to have questions prepared ahead of time. Here are just a few to get you on the right track. 

Living spaces

  • Are residents able to decorate and personalize their apartments? 
  • Do residents have the choice between a shared or private room?
  • Do rooms have a 24-hour emergency response system in place?
  • Are Internet and cable television included in the fee? If not, how does billing work?
  • What furniture is provided?
  • Does the community allow for pets? And if it does, what kinds and size? What pet fees are there?
  • Are residents allowed to keep food inside their apartment? 
  • Do the in-room kitchens have a sink, cooking element, microwave oven, and a refrigerator? 
  • Are bathrooms shared, or does every apartment have its own bathroom? 


  • What is the turnover rate for care staff? 
  • What is the resident-to-care staff ratio?
  • What specialized training does the staff have?
  • Is there a Certified Nursing Assistant, Licensed Vocational Nurse, or Registered Nurse on staff? What hours are they present and on-call?
  • Are staff able to give 24-hour help for daily living activities such as eating, dressing, toileting, and bathing?
  • What care is included in the monthly fee and what is included at an additional cost?


  • Does the menu have variety?
  • How often does the menu rotate throughout the month? 
  • How many meals are given every day?
  • Is there a set time for every meal? 
  • Is the food prepared fresh daily?
  • Are special meals available for dietary requirements?
  • Will the staff prepare a resident’s special meal requests? 
  • Are family members allowed to dine with guests? Is there a charge?   


  • What activities are offered to the residents, and when do they occur? 
  • Are residents able to interact with the community outside?
  • Are residents able to go on regular outings?  
  • Is there live entertainment available? If so, how often does it occur? 
  • Is there a calendar of activities and events?
  • Is a schedule of the day’s events posted in the community or delivered each morning to the residents’ rooms?   

Health care & medication

  • What care is included in the monthly fee, or is care available at a separate fee?
  • What are the policies on medication management? 
  • Are residents allowed to administer medication on their own?
  • Are physical therapy services available?
  • Are hospice and palliative care services available? 
  • Is transportation provided for residents going to their medical appointments?
  • What is the procedure for responding to a medical emergency, and how will a loved one be notified? 
  • Is there a care plan for every resident, and how often is this reviewed and updated?

Looking for a senior living home for an older loved one doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you know what to look for and what questions to ask, you’ll be able to find a community where they will be happy with the services, accommodations, and care that they deserve. To learn more about Shepherd Premier Senior Living’s assisted living and memory care communities, visit their website here.  Curious about the affordability of senior living?

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