Choosing the Right Assisted Living Facility: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Pick The Best Assisted Living Facility Near You

As individuals age, there often comes a time when they require additional assistance with daily activities. In such cases, assisted living facilities can provide a supportive environment where seniors can receive the care they need while maintaining independence and quality of life. However, choosing the right assisted living facility can be a daunting task, involving numerous considerations.

This comprehensive guide aims to simplify the process, offering step-by-step guidance to help families make informed decisions to care for their loved ones.

Step 1: Assessing Care Needs and Preferences

The first step in choosing an assisted living facility is to assess the needs and preferences of the individual who will be moving in.

Consider senior living factors such as:

  1. Level of Care Required: Determine the specific assistance needed with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and mobility.
  2. Medical Conditions: Take into account any chronic health conditions or specialized care requirements, such as dementia or diabetes management.
  3. Personal Preferences: Consider amenities, location, cultural or religious affiliations, and lifestyle preferences to ensure compatibility with the facility’s offerings.

Step 2: Researching Home Facilities

Once you have a clear understanding of the individual’s needs and preferences, research potential assisted living facilities.

Utilize various care resources such as:

  1. Online Directories: Explore online directories and databases that provide information on assisted living facilities in your desired location. Websites like A Place for Mom, SeniorAdvisor, and offer comprehensive listings and reviews.
  2. Recommendations: Seek recommendations from healthcare professionals, friends, family members, or social workers who may have experience with assisted living facilities.
  3. Visit Facilities: Schedule tours of prospective facilities to assess their cleanliness, safety measures, staff-to-resident ratio, amenities, and overall atmosphere. Pay attention to the interactions between staff and residents.

Step 3: Evaluating Care Services and Amenities

During facility visits, evaluate the services and amenities offered to ensure they align with the individual’s needs and preferences.

Consider the following:

  1. Personal Care Services: Inquire about the range of personal care services provided, including assistance with grooming, medication management, and mobility support.
  2. Healthcare Support: Assess the availability of healthcare services, such as access to nurses, physical therapy, and coordination of medical appointments.
  3. Recreational Activities: Look for facilities that offer a variety of recreational and social activities tailored to residents’ interests and abilities to promote mental and physical well-being.
  4. Dining Options: Sample the quality and variety of meals offered, considering any dietary restrictions or preferences.

Step 4: Reviewing Contracts and Fees

Before making a decision, carefully review the contracts and fee structures of potential assisted living facilities.

Pay attention to the following living details:

  1. Costs: Understand the base monthly fees and any additional charges for extra services or amenities. Inquire about potential fee increases and the facility’s policies regarding payment and refunds.
  2. Contract Terms: Review the terms of the residency agreement, including policies on move-in requirements, termination clauses, and refundable deposits.
  3. Insurance Coverage: Determine what types of insurance, such as long-term care insurance or Medicaid, are accepted by the facility and how they can be utilized to cover expenses.

Step 5: Seeking Input from Residents and Families

To gain insight into the day-to-day experience at a particular assisted living facility, seek input from current residents and their families.

Consider the following facility approaches:

  1. Attend Resident Meetings: If possible, attend resident meetings or social events to interact with current residents and observe their satisfaction with the facility.
  2. Speak with Family Members: Connect with family members of residents to learn about their experiences, challenges, and overall satisfaction with the facility’s services and staff.
  3. Online Reviews: Read online reviews and testimonials from residents and families to gather additional perspectives on the facility’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Step 6: Conducting Center Background Checks

Before finalizing your decision, conduct background checks on potential assisted living facilities to ensure compliance with regulations and quality standards.

Consider the following steps:

  1. Licensing and Accreditation: Verify that the facility is licensed by the appropriate state regulatory agency and accredited by reputable organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) or The Joint Commission.
  2. Inspection Reports: Request copies of recent inspection reports from regulatory agencies to assess compliance with health and safety standards.
  3. Staff Qualifications: Inquire about the qualifications, training, and background checks of staff members to ensure they are capable of providing quality care.

Step 7: Making the Housing Decision

After completing thorough research and evaluations, it’s time to make a decision.

Consider the following care factors:

  1. Comfort and Compatibility: Choose a facility where the individual feels comfortable and compatible with the environment, staff, and fellow residents.
  2. Location and Accessibility: Consider the proximity of the facility to family members, healthcare providers, and community resources, as well as accessibility to transportation options.
  3. Emergency Preparedness: Evaluate the facility’s emergency preparedness plans and protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of residents in case of unforeseen events.

Step 8: Planning the Transition

Once a decision has been made, it’s essential to plan the transition to the assisted living facility carefully.

Consider the following steps:

  1. Communicate Effectively: Ensure open and honest communication with the individual who will be moving to the facility, addressing any concerns or questions they may have. Involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible.
  2. Coordinate Logistics: Plan the logistics of the move, including packing belongings, arranging transportation, and coordinating move-in dates with the facility staff.
  3. Meet with Staff: Schedule meetings with key staff members at the facility, including administrators, caregivers, and activity coordinators, to discuss the individual’s care needs, preferences, and any special requirements.
  4. Personalize the Space: Help the individual personalize their living space within the facility by bringing familiar items from home, such as photographs, artwork, and favorite furnishings, to create a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Step 9: Adjusting and Advocating

As the individual settles into their new environment, be prepared to support them through the adjustment process and advocate for their needs.

Consider the following:

  1. Monitor Care and Services: Regularly communicate with facility staff to ensure that the individual’s care needs are being met and address any concerns or issues that may arise.
  2. Encourage Engagement: Encourage the individual to participate in facility activities and social events to foster a sense of community and connection with other residents.
  3. Stay Involved: Remain actively involved in the individual’s care and well-being, attending care plan meetings, participating in family events, and advocating for their rights and preferences.
  4. Address Concerns Promptly: If any concerns or issues arise regarding the quality of care or services provided, address them promptly with facility management and seek resolution to ensure the individual’s comfort and safety.

Step 10: Continuing Evaluation and Adjustment

Finally, recognize that the decision to move to an assisted living facility is not static and may require ongoing evaluation and adjustment.

Consider the following:

  1. Regular Assessments: Schedule regular assessments of the individual’s care needs and preferences to ensure that the chosen facility continues to meet their evolving requirements.
  2. Revisit Choices: Periodically revisit the decision to ensure that the chosen facility remains the best fit for the individual’s needs and preferences. Be open to exploring alternative options if necessary.
  3. Feedback and Communication: Provide feedback to facility staff regarding the individual’s experiences and suggest areas for improvement. Maintain open lines of communication to address any concerns or suggestions for enhancing the quality of care and services.
  4. Support and Encouragement: Offer ongoing support and encouragement to the individual as they navigate life in the assisted living facility, reassuring them of your love and commitment to their well-being.


Choosing the right assisted living facility is a significant decision that requires careful consideration, thorough research, and ongoing evaluation. By following the steps outlined in this guide and remaining actively involved in the process, families can ensure that their loved ones receive the care and support they need to thrive in their new environment. Remember that each individual is unique, and the key to success lies in finding a facility that not only meets their care needs but also fosters a sense of belonging, community, and purpose.

One such assisted living facility that stands out for its commitment to excellence in senior care is Bonaventure Senior Living. With a reputation for providing compassionate, personalized care in a warm and welcoming environment, Bonaventure Senior Living goes above and beyond to ensure the comfort, safety, and well-being of its residents.

Bonaventure Senior Living offers a wide range of amenities and services tailored to meet the diverse needs and preferences of seniors. From luxurious accommodations and delicious dining options to engaging activities and supportive healthcare services, Bonaventure Senior Living strives to create a vibrant and enriching lifestyle for its residents.

What sets Bonaventure Senior Living apart is its dedicated team of caregivers who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of seniors. With a focus on promoting independence, dignity, and quality of life, the staff at Bonaventure Senior Living goes the extra mile to provide personalized care and support to each resident.

If you’re considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one, I encourage you to explore what Bonaventure Senior Living has to offer. With its exceptional care, luxurious amenities, and vibrant community atmosphere, Bonaventure Senior Living is committed to helping seniors live life to the fullest. Contact Bonaventure Senior Living today to learn more and discover why it’s the ideal choice for your assisted living needs.