Considerations for Selecting the Right Assisted Living Facility

Written By: Discovery Senior Living

As our population ages, more families are looking for senior care options. There are over 30,000 assisted living communities around the nation to choose from.

Earlier in life, when we pick a college, a career path, or a home, we research and make an informed choice. Choosing an assisted living facility should involve just as much thought and consideration so you can find the right match.

What services would best suit your needs? What communities are within your budget? We're here to guide you through all these questions and more.

Read on to learn the top considerations for selecting an assisted living community for you.

Community Types

Many different community types can be lumped into the assisted living category. However, there are distinct differences that should impact your decision.

A typical assisted living community involves private residences and tiered care options. As a baseline, residents have access to as-needed personal care, community amenities, medication management, and transportation services. Some communities also offer more intensive services like memory care.

A nursing home differs from an assisted living community, though some use these terms interchangeably. Nursing homes tend to afford residents less independence, but in exchange, residents can receive round-the-clock medical care.

Available Services

Even when you narrow your search to exclude nursing homes, you'll still find that you have hundreds of options. As a starting place, look at the services different communities offer.

For example, you may need assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living). ADLs include:

  • Cooking and eating
  • Cleaning
  • Grooming and dressing
  • Toileting
  • Transferring (i.e., from standing to lying down or getting in and out of a wheelchair)

Most assisted living communities will offer assistance with ADLs based on a personalized care plan. Additional services may include things like memory care and monitoring, nutritional support, and transportation.

Size and Staffing

Many assisted living communities allow potential residents and their families to tour the campus before making any decisions. This can give you a better sense of the community's size and how comfortable you would be living there.

Staffing is another important consideration when planning your new living arrangements.

Smaller communities may offer more specialized care and a low staff-to-resident ratio, meaning every resident gets the care they need. Larger communities may have more resources or offer more affordable prices. However, it's important to ensure that they have a functional staff-to-resident ratio.


Choosing the right assisted living community requires balancing practical needs and personal preferences. Your budget is one of the most significant practical considerations.

The cost of assisted living will vary based on an assortment of factors, from location to level of care. In addition to overall costs, it's useful to inquire about payment plans. Do communities charge residents annual fees, or are most costs covered on a monthly basis?

Some residents receive payment assistance from Medicaid or long-term care insurance. Make sure to pick communities that will accept your payment assistance and maximize those benefits.


Location is another important factor. Many seniors don't want to move out of state (or even too far out of town) when relocating to a senior living community.

When narrowing down your options, focus on the places you want to live. Some research shows that seniors who maintain meaningful family ties have better health outcomes. This could mean staying in your hometown or moving closer to children, siblings, or nieces and nephews.

You may also want to consider local safety and amenities. While a great senior living community offers plenty of resources and activities, some residents still value external opportunities, as well.

Culture and Resident Satisfaction

Finding the right cultural fit can positively impact your overall satisfaction. Some seniors prefer receiving senior care affiliated with a certain religion, for example. Others simply want to find a warm and welcoming environment regardless of background.

The activities a community offers can make a big difference in shaping the culture. Look for communities that prioritize socialization. Research shows that regular social interactions have a positive impact on senior health, particularly cognitive function. Talk to staff members to see what types of activities the community offers, and visit the community lounge areas to see if residents use them.

One great way to learn about a community's culture is to turn to current residents. Read online reviews or talk to residents during your tour.

Additional Amenities

Many communities will offer amenities beyond their scope of practical services. For example, you may want a residence that offers:

  • A kitchenette
  • A full private bathroom
  • Cable and WiFi
  • Pet friendliness
  • Air conditioning

You may also want community features such as:

  • Fitness areas and programs
  • Dining areas and in-room dining
  • Housekeeping services
  • 24-hour maintenance

Finding a community that can foster your health and well-being is crucial. Finding a community with amenities that support your happiness and satisfaction is just as important.

Transitional Options

As we mentioned earlier, many assisted living communities offer tiered levels of care. On the low end, they may offer respite care only. On the high end, they may offer memory or even hospice care.

If a community doesn't offer tiered levels of care (or may not have the service you anticipate needing), do they help with transitions? This can include planning your transition to a new care community or helping with moving.

The more a community can help with future transitions, the better positioned it is to reduce stress for you and your family. Something as simple as providing informational resources in your time of need can make a big difference.

Choosing an Assisted Living Facility in Carroll, IA? Consider Addington Place

If you're choosing an assisted living facility in Carroll, IA, don't overlook Addington Place. We're proud to offer resident-focused services and activities. Not only do our residents get top-notch care, but they also never get bored!

Our goal is to make our incredible community available to as many seniors as possible. Thanks to our Veterans Program and partnership with Patriot Angels, former armed services members have access to a variety of discounts. Contact us to learn more or schedule your tour!

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