Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Retirement Community
A Helpful Service provided by Centura Senior Services
Centura Health encourages you to be an informed consumer when shopping for a retirement community. The questions listed here are a guideline, and may not include all questions that should be asked.
When Shopping for Independent Retirement Living or Assisted Living:
- What is the monthly cost of an independent retirement living or assisted living apartment or unit?
- What "up front" fees or deposits are required?
- What entry fees are required?
- Is a signed agreement or lease required?
- If a signed agreement or lease is required, what happens if the resident must leave before the agreement or lease ends?
- What services are included in the monthly rental fee?
- Are meals included? How many?
- Are there guest apartments available? What is the cost?
- What are the fees for additional services that are not included in the monthly fees?
- Is resident parking available for personal vehicles?
When shopping for a nursing home, also ask:
- What are the results of the most recent State Health Department survey?
- What are the results of the most recent nursing home quality indicators, found on CMS's Nursing Home Compare website?
When Shopping for Independent Retirement Living, Assisted Living, or Nursing Home Care, also ask:
- What other levels of care are provided on campus? (Independent retirement living, assisted living, nursing home care, Alzheimer's care, adult day care program?)
- What medical and nursing services are provided on campus? (Clinic, home health care?) Is there an additional fee?
- What activities does the community provide?
- Does the facility provide transportation for personal trips to doctor, dentist, shopping?
- What security measures are in place for daytime, nights, weekends, holidays?
- Does the facility have resident or family councils? How often do they meet?
- How are disputes between residents resolved?
- Is the facility Medicare or Medicaid certified? (Applies to assisted living, nursing home and Alzheimer's care.)
- What fire detection equipment is present in each apartment/room and in the common areas?
- Does the facility conduct fire or disaster drills? How often? What mechanisms are in place to make sure all residents attend the drills?
- Does the facility look and smell clean?
- What days/times is staff available to respond to questions/concerns?
- What are the rules regarding visitors?
- What are the rules regarding pets?
- Are beauty and barber services available?
- Do staff members seem competent, caring and respectful of each other and of residents?
- Do residents seem happy, comfortable, relaxed, and involved in activities?