My perspective is two sided.  Both from the point of view of an Assisted Living Director and that of a consultant who takes clients to look at Communities to find a great fit for their loved one.

As a Director, I would complete a self-audited tour to try to see what the prospect’s experience was from the moment of driving up to the building to the end of the tour.  As a consultant, I let the person at the community give the tour and information, interjecting questions and comments as I feel necessary to ensure my client gets all the pertinent information.

So, when you are out looking at communities for placement for a loved one what should you be aware of.  What questions should you ask when interviewing and making that final decision?

Here is a checklist of key points to consider:

Curb Appeal

  • What is your immediate reaction?
  • Are the grounds and building well kept?

Entering the building

  • Were you greeted upon entering?
  • Was there someone manning the front desk?
  • Was there someone available to assist you?


  • Is the interior of the building well maintained and has a pleasant smell?
  • Are there residents out and about? Being actively involved?
  • Does the staff appear warm, friendly and happy?
  • Did they address you as you toured with a “Hi” and a smile?
  • Did they offer you a meal to enjoy?
  • Does the food look and smell good?
  • Is the dining experience well organized, efficient and is the food presented well?
  • Does it appear that there is pride in preparing and serving meals?

Cherie Henry, Senior Placement Specialist

Autumn of Life Senior Housing and Advisory Services