5 Factors to Consider When Picking Assisted Living Communities

Are you thinking about moving into an assisted living community?

Assisted living communities offer many benefits to their residents. Assisted living communities offer 24/7 emotional and medical support, delicious meals, safe transportation, and a variety of activities to keep you busy. They also help prevent social isolation.

But, how do you figure out which assisted living community to move into?

Check out this guide to discover the top tips for picking assisted living communities.

  • Location

One of the biggest factors you need to consider when choosing an assisted living community is the location.

Ideally, you want to find an assisted living community that is near your family so they can easily visit you. However, it’s important to keep in mind that different states have different laws when it comes to how much medical assistance these communities can offer their residents.

So, if you need a lot of medical assistance, an assisted living facility may not be for you. Or, if your state doesn’t allow the community to offer a lot of medical assistance, you may need to move to a different state.

  • Services 

When choosing an assisted living community, you also want to consider the services they offer. Here are some of the services that you should expect:

  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Dining (In most facilities, you’ll be offered three meals a day as well as some snacks)
  • Daily living assistance such as dressing, bathing, toileting, and eating
  • Transportation arrangements
  • 24/7 security
  • Laundry services
  • Emergency call systems
  • Medication management support

Some assisted living communities also offer tailored services. For example, many elderly people suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as diabetes. For this reason, many assisted living communities are now offering services to help patients better manage these diseases.

Some assisted living communities also offer social services, religious services, and recreational activities. Recreational activities offered by assisted living communities include:

  • Dance classes
  • Book clubs
  • Art classes
  • Exercise classes
  • Bingo
  • Card games
  • Lectures and discussions
  • Yoga
  • Choir
  • Gardening

Some assisted living communities even take their residents on outings to concerts, plays, and sporting events.

  • Size 

Assisted living communities can vary greatly in size, ranging from just a few dozen beds to a few hundred beds.

There are pros and cons that come with both large facilities and small facilities. While a small facility offers a more intimate environment and a better chance to get to know the staff, you may find yourself getting bored due to the lack of interaction. Additionally, smaller facilities don’t tend to have the same range of activities and amenities available that larger facilities have.

While larger facilities tend to offer more variety and more opportunities to make friends, they can also feel overwhelming to some people. Additionally, some larger facilities don’t offer the intimate level of care that smaller facilities offer.

The best way to figure out what size is right for you is to visit the facility in person.

  • Amenities 

You also want to consider the amenities an assisted living community offers before deciding. Some amenities that communities offer onsite include:

  • Grocery stores and convenience stores
  • Restaurants and coffee shops
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Spas
  • Gyms
  • Gift shops
  • Parking
  • Trails and parks

These added amenities can make your living situation a lot more convenient, especially when you have family visiting.

  • Cost 

Another big factor you need to take into consideration when choosing an assisted living community is the cost.

Depending on the type of facility you live in, assisted living can cost anywhere from $1000 to $5000. Most people pay for assisted living with their own personal finances. However, there are other options for those who can’t afford to pay out of pocket. Here are some ways you can pay for assisted living:

Long-Term Care Insurance 

Long-term care insurance is one of the best ways to pay for assisted living. This option removes the burden of having to pay for 100% of care from your personal funds.

Depending on the policy, you can even choose where you receive care and the types of services you receive. But, it’s important to understand that not all insurance policies are created equally. It’s a good idea to call several companies to gain a clear understanding of their policies.

Reverse Mortgage 

You can also pay for assisted living with a reverse mortgage. With this option, you can pay for your assisted living with the equity you’ve built on your home over time.

However, after the last resident moves out, you’ll need to repay the money. For many people, this means they’ll need to sell their home.


Medicaid is available to those who have exhausted their personal resources or who qualify for government aid because of their low income. Medicaid is administered by each state individually, so you’ll need to look into your own state’s regulations to see what you qualify for.

It’s important to keep in mind that Medicaid is different from Medicare. Medicare doesn’t pay for personal care or residential services in an assisted living community. However, assisted living does pay for short-term medical care.

Veteran Benefits 

If you’re a veteran, you can use your VA benefits to cover your assisted living costs. As of 2019, the VA offers veterans $1881 per month to cover assisted living costs, and they offer married couples $2,230 per month.

Unfortunately, eligibility is complicated and there can be extensive approval wait times. So if you’re interested in taking advantage of this program, you should look into it early. You can hire an elder care attorney to help you figure out what you need to do to qualify for these benefits.

Picking Assisted Living Communities: Are You Ready? 

Now that you have these tips for picking assisted living communities, it’s time to put them into action. Pretty soon, you’ll be living in your new home and enjoying senior living.

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more senior living tips and tricks.