Assisted living due diligence – Who to talk to: Day 23 of 30 day Family Caregiver Series

Assisted Living Due Diligence – Who to Talk To:

Day 23 of 30 Day Family Caregiver Series



Today, we address the beginning of assisted living due diligence part of our series. We’ll discuss who to talk to when considering having a loved one at an assisted living facility. An assisted living facility is a step up from a nursing home and there considerations for both the family and the facility. There are a few people I recommend talking to, including:

1. The admissions representative. The admissions representative helps determine whether your loved one is eligible for admission to their facility. The following factors are taken into consideration when determining admissibility:

  • Age – some facilities have age requirements.
  • Mental health. Be careful here though. Many doctors may not be aware of any cognitive issues yet and this can affect a person’s ability to be admitted and stay at an assisted living facility.
  • Insurance and ability to pay.
  • Vaccinations.
  • Nurse assessment requirements. They will require a thorough physical evaluation to determine the extent to which one can take care of themselves.  Do your needs meet their capabilities or does your loved one need more or less intense care?
  • Space.
  • Doctor orders including all medication requirements must be received prior to decision being made.
  • All legal and medical documentation.
  • Family! More about family below.


2. The Director of the facility. The chief administrator is an important piece of the puzzle. Here’s why:

  • If your loved one needs help beyond their capabilities (after all, an assisted living facility is for people that need little assistance but can generally perform key essential daily acts of living) how do they handle this?
  • Fit. Sometimes you meet someone and you just don’t click or it just doesn’t feel right. This person sets the tone for the entire facility and you need to develop a good relationship with them.
  • Consistency of information. Is the admissions representative looking to fill beds/rooms or do they have a genuine interest in your loved one? You can get a sense of this talking with the chief administrator/Director.

There is a lot to cover in the next part of our series including what to know before you go, what to look for, etc… This is just the basics of evaluating assisted living facilities.

A very important note about and for families:

Some families mistakenly think that assisted living facilities will take care of everything. This is NOT the case. It is still the family’s responsibility to tend to their medical needs and ensure they are taken care of, assess changes in medical condition for if/when the time comes for them to be placed in a nursing home. Some families are hesitant to place their loved one in a nursing home (we’ll get to that towards the end of our series) and think that assisted living will take care of all their needs. Also, doctors are not typically part of an assisted living facility staff and this is important to know. They may come to the facility but they are more like freelancers and you will be charged extra for the visit.

Some assisted living facilities will provide care such as transportation to and from doctors appointments, extra meals, grooming services and the like. However, they will charge extra for these services so be careful about your budget and their needs to ensure assisted living is the right solution for you and your family.

Next up:   Assisted living due diligence – Know before you go

It’s your turn: What are your thoughts are assisted living? Do you have experience with these facilities and what can you share from your learning experience? What concerns do you or would you have about placing your loved one in an assisted living facility? Please comment below!


Join me for my free teleclass on “The Top Five Mistakes Most Family Caregivers Make and How to Avoid Them”

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014     —–     1:30pm PT/4:30pm EDT

Go to and register today. The call will be recorded and shared for those register!



4 replies
  1. Kathy Widenhouse
    Kathy Widenhouse says:

    Great information. We recently went through this process with my mother-in-law. I especially like the reminder to find out what services are included (to what extent) and what is not — or requires an extra charge.

    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. The extra charges are important to know:-) So is how funds are managed if the facility manages your loved ones monies.


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