A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Assisted Living Facility

Finding the right assisted living facility for your loved one can feel daunting. But with some planning, you can find a safe and nurturing environment that perfectly fits your loved one. Start by doing some research online and on the phone. Then, tour communities to see what they’re really like.

Facility Size

Whether you want to maintain your current level of independence but do not have the time or energy to perform daily tasks such as cleaning, shopping, cooking, and driving, or you are beginning to show signs of dementia or other health conditions that make it impossible to care for yourself, assisted living facilities like Westminster Winter Park may be the right choice for you. Choosing an appropriate facility depends on your needs, budget, and preferences. In general, larger facilities can offer more activities and amenities. When touring facilities, take your time and don’t be afraid to ask many questions. It’s also a good idea to bring friends and family with you. Having someone else tour with you can help keep your memory sharp and give you another point of view. If you’re worried about costs, consider working with a Medicaid planning professional to structure your assets creatively.

Activity Schedule

Many facilities have regular activities to meet social, physical and intellectual needs. Examples might be art classes, gardening, trivia contests and trips to local venues. You can ask the facility for the activity schedule and a list of available activities. Look for activities that interest your loved one. If your loved one doesn’t like group activities, staff may find other ways to engage them in social interactions (e.g., one-on-one conversations with other residents). When you tour a facility, consider the atmosphere and whether your loved one feels comfortable there. Talk to administrators, staff and residents. If you have time, try to visit the facility more than once. And make a point of staying outside standard touring hours when it’s less busy. This will give you a better sense of what it’s really like to live there. You can also ask for recommendations from family, friends or aging-life-care experts. Then, use your research to narrow down your options.


During your visit, ask about food and beverage options. Do residents get three nutritionally balanced meals per day? Are nourishing snacks offered throughout the day? How do staff members accommodate individual preferences and dietary restrictions? High-end facilities are moving away from traditional comfort foods to include more fresh ingredients and restaurant-style a-la-minute preparation. The goal is to provide a menu with many choices that appeal to most people.

In addition to asking about the menu, ask the staff about the community’s culture and values.


For example, the best way to get a feel for an assisted living facility is to visit during activity and meal times. Talk to residents and their families about their experiences in the community. Talking to the staff during your visits, especially the administration, is also important. Ask questions about their background, training and experience, and note whether they seem receptive to your concerns. A well-trained, experienced staff can help spot problems before they escalate. For example, if an employee leaves the job frequently, it may signal that they need more training or time off to care for loved ones. The staff can also work with you to develop an Individual Service Plan (ISP) based on your physician’s approval. This will be updated regularly as your needs change. If you or your family have assets that exceed the Medicaid program limit, working with a qualified elder law attorney may be an option.