How to Make a Senior’s Assisted Living Experience Excellent


Over 90 percent of adults in assisted living enjoy residing in their communities, according to a recent survey. The vast majority of elderly inhabitants rated their overall satisfaction with their community as either "good" or "excellent."

About 44,000 seniors participated in the study, which was conducted by the National Research Corporation.

Moving a loved one to assisted living can be a contentious, difficult process for a family, but the results of this particular investigation suggest that many caregivers may be forcing themselves to go on an unnecessary guilt-trip.

What seniors want from communities

What can you do to help make sure your loved one falls into the considerable percentage of pleased residents?

In-person tours are a must for caregivers who want to make sure a specific community is right for an elderly family member.

Researchers identified several factors that had a significant impact on the satisfaction of assisted living residents:

  • A knowledgeable staff that treats residents with sensitivity and respect.
  • A management team that is both approachable and responsive to resident issues.
  • The opportunity to choose from a variety of amenities and preferences (i.e. menu selections, activities offered)
  • A home-like atmosphere

Some of these elements will be easier to gauge than others. During your visit, simple observation can reveal important information about that community's atmosphere, selection of amenities as well as the overall competency of their staff.

Want the truth—talk to a tenant

But how do you know whether the people working at your loved one's future home are sensitive and caring? How do you determine whether a community's reality matches up with its marketed persona?

The answer may lie at the end of another question, directed at seniors currently living in a community you're considering: Would you recommend this community to a friend who was looking for a place to live?

Think about it—you wouldn't advise your friend to eat at a restaurant where the waiter was rude, or get their hair done by a beautician that gave you crooked bangs. The same logic applies to senior living situations.

Chatting with the residents may be the most beneficial part of your visit to assisted living. They are far more likely to offer you honest, unbiased feedback about the community. And you probably won't have a hard time finding a talkative tenant.

Discover 12 more questions you should ask residents when touring an assisted living community.

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My elderly, frail Mother is in a newly opened Alzheimer's Facility. I visit her frequently and have witnessed many many Falls of the residents. The CNA's are not proactive in monitoring these residents for possible falls or fights. Since this new facility is not fully filled, the Administration have not been hiring enough staff, I believe due to budget. Many residents have behavior problems and are dangerous for others to be around in my opinion. One Fall was caused by one of these Residents who pushed the other resident on the floor causing her to hit her head. The same night the same resident fell again in another area. Also the another elderly resident fell flat on her back when getting up from her chair and walker. This is 3 falls I witnessed in 3 hours time. The last 2 falls happened when there was no nurse or CNA anywhere to be found in the main sitting room where the front desk and counter is. I have previously expressed my concerns, there should be a staff member there at all times to prevent falls like this, but nothing has been done to prevent these falls. Alll 3 of these Falls were peventable and happened due to lack of attention of the staff.

I also witnessed a few weeks before these falls, a fight between a male and female resident in the same sitting area where it was physical. I could not find the CNA (only one on duty that night), as I think she was on a break and out of the builidng. I also could not find the Nurse on duty for 1/2 hour!

I am concerned for my Mother's safety. I will talk to the Adminsistration again, but not positive anything will be done. This is very disappointing they would be so unconcerned with the care of their residents.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I am sorry to hear about your dire situation. If possible, try to spend time there accompanying your Mother and observe if any changes unfold as a result of your presence there. You may have to escalate the matter to the state level. I wish you and your mother well~
Hi Gilboa:

Thank you for your comments. I will try and let you know what happens.