INDEPENDENT LIVING

CHECKLIST

Your First Impressions


  1. Do you like the facility's location and outward appearance?


  1. Is the facility convenient for frequent visits by family and friends?


  1. Is the facility near a shopping and entertainment complex?


  1. Can the resident access a medical complex easily?


  1. Is public transportation available/accessible?


  1. Are you welcomed with a warm greeting from the staff?


  1. Does the staff address residents by their names and interact with them during your tour?


  1. Do you notice the residents socializing with each other and do they appear content?


  1. Can you talk with residents about how they like living there and about the staff?


  1. Is the staff appropriately dressed, friendly and outgoing?


  1. Do the staff members treat each other in a professional manner?


  1. Are visits with residents encouraged and welcome at any time?


  1. What percentage of apartments are rented and occupied?


  1. Is there a waiting list? If so, how long do they estimate it will be for a unit to become available? 
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Living Area & Facility/Community Accommodations


  1. Are the common areas and apartments designed to allow you to live as easily and independently as you would like? Is the floor plan well designed and easy to follow?


  1. Are doorways, hallways and rooms accommodating to wheelchairs and walkers?


  1. Are elevators available for those unable to use stairways and handrails to aid in walking?


  1. Are floors of a non-skid material and carpets conducive for safe walking?


  1. Does the residence have good lighting, sprinklers and clearly marked, easily accessible exits/emergency exits from the living units?


  1. Is the residence clean, free of odors and appropriately heated/cooled?


  1. Are the common areas welcoming, attractive, comfortable and clean?


  1. Is there an outside courtyard or patio for residents and visitors?


  1. Are there outside areas for residents to garden and participate in other outside activities (tennis, lawn bowling, bike/wheelchair path, etc.)?


  1. Does the facility provide ample security?


  1. Is there an emergency evacuation plan?


  1. Are there different sizes and types of units available with optional floor plans?


  1. Are single units available and/or double occupancy units for sharing with another person?


  1. Does residence have furnished/unfurnished rooms? What is provided or what can a resident bring?


  1. Can residents decorate their own rooms?


  1. Is there adequate storage space - inside the residence and elsewhere on-site?


  1. Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the unit with own lockable door?


  1. Are bathrooms private, with handicapped accommodations for wheelchairs and walkers?


  1. Do all units have a telephone and cable TV and how is billing handled?


  1. Can food be kept in the units?


  1. Does kitchen unit have refrigerator/sink/cooking appliances?


  1. Are residents/families allowed to smoke in their units or are there designated public areas for smokers? 
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Moving In, Housing Contracts & Finances


  1. What is the moving in/moving out process?


  1. What are the resident rights and responsibilities?  Is a written copy of these resident rights and responsibilities available?


  1. Is a contractual agreement available that clearly discloses healthcare, accommodations, personal care, supportive services, all costs and fees (itemized separately), as well as admission and discharge provisions?


  1. Do residents own lease or rent their unit? (If leasing or renting, is it month-to-month, yearly or other term?)


  1. What are the terms, conditions and payment schedule?


  1. What, if any, financing or payment arrangements are available?


  1. What is the monthly fee? How often can it be increased and for what reasons? Is there a limit on the amount of increase per year? What is the history on monthly fee increases?


  1. Are residents required to purchase renters' insurance for personal property in their units?


  1. Do billing, payment and credit policies seem fair and reasonable? Can resident handle his/her own finances with staff assistance if able? Must a family member/outside party be designated?


  1. Under what circumstances can a contract be terminated?  When and how is it done?


  1. What are the policies for refunds and transfers?


  1. Is there an appeals process for dissatisfied residents?


  1. What happens if a resident’s funds are depleted and full payments can no longer be made?


  1. Is there any government, private or corporate programs available to help cover the costs or residency?


  1. What additional services are available if the resident's needs change? Is staff available to coordinate these services?


  1. Is there a procedure to pay for additional services such as skilled nursing care or physical therapy when such services are needed on a temporary basis? 
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Health/Personal Care Services


  1. Can the facility provide a list of services currently available to residents?


  1. Are residents and families involved in developing the service agreement?


  1.   Who provides these services and what are their qualifications?


  1. To what extent, if any, are medical services available, and how are these services provided?


  1. How are medical emergencies handled? Does the residence have a clearly stated procedure for responding to medical emergencies? Is there an arrangement with a nearby hospital?


  1. Is there a staff person to coordinate home care visits from a nurse, physical or occupational therapist, etc., if needed on temporary basis?


  1. Are housekeeping, linen service and personal laundry included in the fees, or are they available at an additional charge?


  1. Are on-site laundry facilities available and conveniently accessible for residents?


  1. Does the residence provide transportation to doctors' offices, the hairdresser, shopping and other activities desired by residents? Can transportation be arranged on short notice?


  1. Are pharmacy, barber/beautician and/or physical therapy services offered on-site?  If not, are these services available nearby? 
    http://www.AsYouAge.com/
 

Social, Recreational Programs And Activities


  1. What kinds of group/individual recreational activities if any, are offered? Who schedules them?


  1. Is there an organized activities program with a posted daily schedule of events?


  1. Do volunteers and family members come into the residence to participate/conduct programs?


  1. Does the facility schedule trips or go to other events off premises?


  1. Do residents participate in activities outside of the residence in the neighboring community?


  1. Are the resident activity (social) areas appropriate and desirable to the prospective resident?


  1. Are there supplies for social activities/hobbies (games, cards, crafts, computers, gardening)?


  1. Are religious services held on the premises or arrangements made for nearby services?


  1. Are there fitness facilities, as well as regularly scheduled exercise classes?


  1. Does the residence create a sense of community by allowing residents to participate in certain activities or perform simple chores for the group as a whole?


  1. Are residents' pets allowed in the residence? Does facility have pets and who cares for them? 
    http://www.AsYouAge.com/
 

Staff


  1. What are the facility’s business practices and philosophy about their employees.


  1. What are the facility’s hiring procedures and requirements for employment eligibility?  (Is an employment application available for review?)


  1. Are criminal background checks, references, and certifications required?


  1. Is there a staff-training program in place?  What does it entail?  Is training provided by a qualified trainer or member of the Administration?


  1. Is staff pleasant, courteous and respectful to residents and to each other? 


  1. Is staff always in a hurry or seem to busy to attend to residents’ questions or concerns; or do they stop and take the time to answer a resident’s question or follow up on a request?


  1. Is the staff’s response to a resident’s (or fellow employee’s) request for  assistance timely and respectful?


  1. Is the administrator (or the appropriate staff person) generally available to answer questions or discuss resident concerns and problems? 

  2. As a resident, would you feel comfortable dealing with the administrators and staff members on a daily basis? 
    http://www.AsYouAge.com/
 

Food


  1. Does the residence provide any meals? If so how many times a day, how many days a week?


  1. How does the menu vary from meal to meal?


  1. Are the residents involved in menu planning?  Can they request special foods?


  1. How many meals are included in the fee?


  1. Are meal plans available?  What are the options?


  1. What about special diets; does a qualified dietitian plan or approve menus?


  1. If a resident becomes ill, is tray service available?


  1. Does dining room environment encourage residents to relax, socialize, and enjoy their food?


  1. Are common dining areas available?


  1. Can residents eat meals in their units?  Under what circumstances?


  1. Are meals provided only at set times or is there some flexibility?


  1. Are daily snacks available?


  1. Can residents have guests dine with them for an additional fee? Is there a private dining room for special events and occasions, if desired? 
    http://www.AsYouAge.com/
 

License, Certification & Facility-Based Re-investment


  1. How long has the facility been in business locally?


  1. Who is the parent corporation?  Where is it located?  How long has it been in business?  How many facilities does it own/operate?


  1. Is the parent company a Senior-focused health/care business or a corporate holding company, investment conglomerate, etc.?  


  1. Is the business/parent company publicly traded on the stock market?
    (If a publicly traded company, is the business profitable?)


  1. How much of the profits are reinvested in back into the facility (services, amenities, upkeep, updating, etc.)?


  1. Is the facility new?  If not, when was it last renovated?  What was done?  How does it look and feel to you?


  1. If the state requires the residence to be licensed, does it have a current license displayed?


  1. If the state requires the administrator to be licensed/certified, does she/he have a current license/certification?  (Ask to see it.)


  1. Is the facility a member of a trade or professional association?  (Find out which ones and research what the performance standards are.)


  1. What reputation does the facility have in the community? How long has it been in business? Is it in good financial health? Does the facility follow generally accepted accounting procedures?


  1. If the facility is sponsored by a nonprofit organization and managed under contract with a commercial firm, what are the conditions of that contract?


  1. Is there a resident council or organization through which residents have a means of voicing their views on the management/quality of service of the community?



Check State Inspection Records and Business History


  1. Call or go to the website of your State’s Regulatory Agency; ask if they have information about the Inspection history of the facility or facilities you are interested in.


  1. Ask the local Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce if the facility is a member of their organizations, and what reputation it has in the community.


  1. The County Social Services Office may be able to provide helpful information about a facility or community you are interested in.  If you are working with an Elder attorney or other professional, they may be able to provide investigative background information.


  1.   Do a Google Search on the facilities to see if negative reports show up on search results pages.  Also go on to local TV and radio station websites and search their sites for news stories they may have run about the facilities you are interested in. 
    http://www.AsYouAge.com/
 

Senior Independent Living


Independent Living refers to living in a senior-friendly, easy-to-maintain private apartment, condo, patio home or other type of residence within a community of Seniors.  This housing option is designed for independent Senior Adults who want to enjoy  an active lifestyle, filled with recreational, social and other types of activities with other Seniors. 
http://www.AsYouAge.com/
 

Make a list of what your want and are looking for in a Senior  Independent Living Community or Facility.

Have a qualified trusted advisor or professional review any contract you are given before you make a decision or sign it.

Are the health care, personal care and/or concierge services you want or need available onsite or accessible close by?

Does the food service program meet with your personal needs and preferences?

Will you feel secure and comfortable with the personality and approach of the management and staff on a daily basis?

Is the facility properly licensed and does it adhere to the general standards of the  industry and the surrounding community?

Find out what information about the business/facility is on file with the Better Business Bureau, the State Regulatory Agency , County Social Services and media outlets (i.e., newspaper, radio, TV, Internet)?

Senior Independent Living Checklist

From AsYouAge

Always take someone you trust with you when you visit a facility or community.  The two of you will observe more, ask more questions and get a better overall feel for the facility and how it operates.

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ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS


  1. Make at least one unscheduled visit to the facility.  Observe how the facility operates and feels under normal conditions (that is, outside of ‘sales appointment’ times when everyone is on their best behavior). 
    http://www.AsYouAge.com/
 

Make one or two unscheduled visits to facilities you are interested in to get a feel for what a normal day is like.

AsYouAge.com  Provides Free, Reliable Senior Information and Resources

The content on AsYouAge.com is provided as a courtesy for our site visitors. The information, resources, links, advertisements and other material on AsYouAge does not constitute a professional opinion or advice; nor does it constitute an endorsement of any organization or the information, products and/or services they may offer. AsYouAge reviews and updates its content regularly when new and relevant information is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice in any area: health, medical, legal, insurance, financial or any other area. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider, or caregiver, attorney, financial, insurance expert or other specialist prior to starting, dropping or changing your current program or have questions or concerns  regarding current or anticipated issues.


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Copyright 2009 - 2013.  All Rights Reserved.

As You Age

Independent Living Checklist

The content on AsYouAge.com is provided as a courtesy for our site visitors. The information, resources, links, advertisements and other material on AsYouAge does not constitute a professional opinion or advice; nor does it constitute an endorsement of any organization or the information, products and/or services they may offer.

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