Questions to Ask

The Senior Housing Locator can help you answer these questions.

For those considering senior housing options, it is important that they ask themselves these general questions:

■ What kind of lifestyle do I want? What will my living conditions be like?

 ■ How important is my choice of location? How close would I like to be to family and friends, doctors, pharmacies, other medical facilities, shopping, senior centers, religious facilities, and other amenities?

■ Does my current health status require that I look for features that will help me move about more comfortably?

■ How much will the housing option cost?

■ What, if any, inhome support services will I receive for my money?

■ What inhome support services are available now, and in the future, to meet my health and social needs?

■ Have I involved family members and friends in my decision making, as appropriate?

■ What role will others have in making these decisions?

■ Would it be advisable for me to talk with an attorney so that I understand my rights and any legal concerns?

■ What is the basic monthly rate and what inhome support services are included in that rate? How many hours of service are included?

■ Can I save hours that I do not use during a day or week for a later time when I do need them?

■ Is there an entrance fee? Is it refundable?

■ Is there a waiting list?

■ Am I eligible for any inhome support services through federal, state or local programs?

■ Can I use my longterm care insurance policy to pay for inhome support services?

■ Can I purchase additional services? If so, what types of services and how many hours a day or week are they available? What would those additional costs be and how would I be billed?

■ What happens if my needs change or increase?

■ Will I be asked to sign an admissions agreement or a contract before I move in? Are there resources available to help me understand the contract?

■ Are my utilities included?

■ How will I be assigned a room? Can I bring my own furnishings?

■ Can I have a pet?

■ Will the facility honor my special food and dietary preferences?

■ Can I have guests in my unit?

■ What is the provider’s background and experience? Is the provider financially sound?

■ What are the professional qualifications for staff and how many people does each staff person serve?

■ What are the training requirements for the facility administrator and for the staff?

■ Is the facility close to shopping, senior centers, religious facilities, medical facilities and other amenities that are important to me?

■ Do rooms have a telephone and television? How is billing for those handled?

■ Does the facility have safety features? Does it have a disaster relief plan?

■ What happens if the facility asks me to leave?

■ Have I received a copy of the facility’s statement of resident rights?

■ Is there a resident council? Can I participate in facility management and decision making?

Whatever the housing decision, the best choice is the one that ensures that the older adult’s health, social and financial needs are met, and that the older adult’s legal rights are protected.

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  • "When we were looking at nursing homes for Mom, we checked the ratings, health inspection results, staffing information, and quality measures provided by our Senior Housing Locator. Then, we were escorted to the nursing homes we were considering to really get a good feel for them. Mom and I feel good about our decision." - Britney

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