If you have been looking for an independent living checklist that could help you to figure out what you need to look for and to ask about in an independent living facility, then this article will help.
Selecting the right independent living community can be quite stressful, so how will you know what community is right for you? What could seem great for your family and friends, may be too lively or stuff for you and vice versa.
If you spend plenty of time visiting the communities and asking enough questions, then you will know what feels right. In order to get started, there is a checklist below of what you should ask on the phone, what you should research, and what you should look for whenever you visit.
Independent Living Checklist
Below is a thorough independent living checklist for you to know what you should ask and what you will need to look for when you visit a community. You can download this checklist in a PDF, so that you can print it out and take it with you when you visit.
Narrow your search by community and region:
- Is it gated or an open community?
- Is the community within a community or a town that you have heard good things about?
- Is it convenient for family and friends to visit?
- How far is it to the nearest airport? Does the airport have reasonably priced flights?
- What is the cost and is there a buy in fee?
- Is it part of a regional/national chain or is it locally operated?
- If it is part of a chain, is it a well respected name that you can trust?
- Are there age restrictions at the community?
- Is it a safe area that has a low crime rate? (use sites like Trulia, Neighborhood Scout and Crime Reports to check crime and safety records.)
- What are the housing options and how will they fit your needs?
- Is there a meal plan? Is it flexible? If so, what are dining facilities like?
- Is it close to medical centers, shopping centers, restaurants, as well as other services?
- Is it a continuing care community? Will other care levels be available like assisted living if it is needed?
- Check reviews: What comments and reviews are from Area Agency on Aging, Caring.com, and the BBB?
Ask when you call:
- Are you accepting new residents?
- If not, is there a wait list? How long is the average waiting time? (Be aware that many people will join a wait list for several communities, so it may be shorter than it actually seems.)
- What type of payments are accepted?
- Are their transition process programs?
- What services are included in the price?
- What services are available for additional fees?
- Are you accepting new residents?
Ask when you visit:
- About the Community:
- How many rooms are available where you can visit with residents and family?
- How extensive are the areas for outdoor activities, exercise and recreation?
- Are the buildings and grounds well maintained, clean and spacious?
- Are common spaces pleasant and appealing?
- Is there covered parking? Is it an additional charge or free?
- Is it easily accessed to public transportation?
- Is the neighborhood quiet and pleasant?
- About the living arrangements:
- How are the views? Do the windows face a garden or green space?
- Do the accommodations include a variety of housing options if you want to downsize?
- Are pets allowed? If so, is there a limit on type of size?
- Are there handicapped equipped apartments, if you may need them at some point?
- Is there plenty of storage space or is additional storage provided?
- Were you invited to look at various units that were available?
- Are the homeowner rules about upkeep and decorating?
- Are there homeowner’s association membership fees?
- Which maintenance issue are you responsible for and which are included in the apartment?
- Are you allowed to have visitors at any time and overnight or is are there rules and a curfew?
- Are you required to have renter’s insurance?
- Are housekeeping services available and what is the cost?
- About cooking food:
- Are visiting family and friends allowed to join you for meals?
- Do the residents like the food?
- About social life and activities:
- Are there religious services in the community or nearby?
- Is there a barber shop or beauty salon nearby or in the community?
- Is there a gym or fitness center?
- Is there a community center and how well is it equipped and large is it?
- If you enjoy sports such as golf, tennis, or swimming is it offered?
- What types of additional recreational facilities are offered?
- Are there computer and media rooms available?
- Are there evening events such as dances, movie nights, or music performances by groups?
- Is there private dining or a community room available for large or family events?
- Is there extensive but varied schedule of classes and activities including those that interest you?
- About the Staff:
- Is there an activity director or staff that is in charge of organizing and leading activities?
- What is the staff turnover rate?
- Are background checks done before staff is hired? If so, when and how?
- How much training does the staff have?
- Does the community work with an agency that provides in-home care if you need assistance in the future?
- About medical care:
- Is there a medical clinic or unit in the community?
- What services are available from doctors, nurses, physical therapists, etc.?
- Is the community affiliated with a nursing home or hospital if more care is needed?
- Does the community work with an agency that will provide medical and nursing assistance if it is needed in the future?
- Is the a LVN, CNA, or RN on staff?
- About the Community:
Forms to ask for:
- Copies of contracts, lease, etc.
- Copy of the resident bill of rights
- Copy of recent weekly menu of meals and snacks
- Recent list of weekly activities and events
- Copy of the most recent survey results from state inspectors
Keep Track Of Answers
Be sure to write down your answers as you go and keep a checklist for every community that you visit or are interested in. If you schedule a visit, it is wise to just drop in to see if the experience was just as nice. It may be a bad sign if you are not allowed to have an unscheduled visit. Once you have narrowed your selections down, you can schedule to do a few in-depth visits and dig much deeper for more information.
Independent Living Services in Arizona
If you are looking for the best independent living services in Arizona SLS Communities has 4 locations to serve seniors and their families. Our staff understands the balance between offering assistance and respecting resident’s independence. Our communities are clean, well appointed, have loads of activities along with great amenities and well manicured landscaping. Independent Living is offered with two floorplans that include kitchenettes, individual heat/AC, and private balcony or patio.