How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility: Helpful Checklist and Tips

Use this checklist to guide you through how to choose an assisted living facility for seniors

Choosing an assisted living community is challenging

Moving your older adult to assisted living is a big challenge for many families.

Deciding when to make the transition is tough, but once that’s resolved, the next question is how to find an assisted living community that’s right for your older adult.

You want to make sure they’ll be well cared for and are also looking for a good fit for their lifestyle and personality.

The distance to you or other relatives might be an important consideration as well.

Generally, that means looking at your older adult’s budget, visiting a few places, and comparing the pros and cons to make a final decision.

To make the process easier, we found a useful free guide that summarizes key information and has a handy checklist.

This guide and checklist help you organize your thoughts, notice important details, and compare one community against another.

We share an overview of the guide to choosing an assisted living facility and highlight the most helpful checklist items.


From our partner


This checklist helps you choose a good assisted living community

Looking at assisted living communities is an overwhelming process; there’s a lot that can be accidentally overlooked.

Argentum (formerly ALFA), a non-profit group for senior living communities, has a free guide and checklist that answers top questions about how to choose an assisted living facility.

The checklist helps you evaluate each community and puts the most important questions at your fingertips. 

We recommend browsing the entire guide, but you could also go straight to the checklist in the last section.

What’s in the guide:

  • Pages 1 to 3 – introduction
  • Page 4 – what are assisted living communities, benefits, pricing
  • Page 5 – amenities, services, types of care available, payment options
  • Page 6 – who oversees quality, state regulation inspection reports, how to find a community
  • Pages 7 to 11 – community review checklist


How to use the assisted living review checklist

The checklist goes beyond the usual questions about assisted living services.

It helps you notice the “little things” that can be easy to miss as a casual visitor.

These are the important details that give you an idea of what life is truly like there and how good the care really is.

Checklist questions we thought were most useful:

  • Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the community and staff?
  • Are visits with the resident welcome at any time?
  • Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) if needed?
  • Does the community conduct criminal background checks on employees?
  • Does the community train staff on elder abuse and neglect? Is there a policy for reporting suspected abuse?
  • What are the most common reasons why a resident may be asked to move out of the community?


Next Step  Print or save the ALFA Guide to Choosing an Assisted Living Facility (PDF)


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team


This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


  • Reply February 2, 2022

    J Wall

    My mother has been in assisted living for around 2 years. Two different facilities. I have not been impressed with the quality of care she has received. The problem isn’t the facility so much but the people that work there. Most make minimum wage, they do their job and that’s about it. This industry could do a much better job. Constantly stay on top of the facility and be an advocate for your loved one. I had to eventually put a camera in my mom’s room to make sure she was getting the care she was paying for. I still have to ask why her clothes haven’t been washed or her hearing aid batteries are dead! And this is one of the nicest Centers in the area!

    • Reply February 2, 2022


      Thank you for sharing your experience. We’re sorry to hear that your mother’s care community is doing a poor job 🙁 It’s wonderful that you’re able to advocate for her and remind the staff that you’re watching and will do what you need to ensure that her needs are met.

  • Reply April 22, 2019

    Steven Czyrny

    Thanks for sharing a checklist for choosing a senior living community.

    • Reply April 23, 2019

      You’re very welcome!

  • […] in person, or even doing much research at all, it’s important to make a list of the essential services you’re looking for when it comes to assisted living. The first part of this, of course, is […]

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