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Home FAQ's

Are You Considering Making A Move To Assisted Living?

Are you considering moving to an assisted living or helping a loved one move to a facility? Doing your research on the facility ahead of time and visiting are vital steps to take before choosing to move, but often people don’t know what to ask or what to look for.

The following checklist can help you determine if the facility you are researching or visiting is a good fit for you. Click on the picture to access a one page checklist you can bring when you visit a facility.

What things should I think about when considering a move into assisted living?

  1. Does the facility smell fresh; is it too hot, too cold, is it clean and clutter free?
  2. Do residents appear happy, comfortable, well groomed, and without visible restraints?
  3. Does the staff encourage residents to be personally involved in their care and daily life?
  4. Are the residents involved in meaningful activities; is the community warm and engaging?
  5. Does the food look and smell appetizing?

Are calls for assistance responded to kindly and quickly?

  1. What warning signs should I be aware of when considering an assisted living community?
  2. Is the facility properly staffed? Are calls for assistance responded to promptly or are call lights turned off without care being provided?
  3. Are residents’ rights being respected; are residents involved in care decisions and choices about daily routines?
  4. Do residents appear bored, inactive, and unengaged in activities? Do family members and residents say concerns have gone unresolved?
  5. Have medication errors been made; are staff members unfamiliar with the residents they are caring for; is there a high rate of staff turnover?
  6. Is the facility dirty, noisy, too hot, too cold, or has an odor; has the quality of the food declined; has the quantity of food decreased, is the menu not followed, and are there fewer meal options?

Are there other red flags that I should be aware of?

  1. Do residents appear unclean or have body odors; have residents complained about missing personal items, including money?
  2. Have there been dramatic physical changes in residents, including weight loss, a decline in mobility, or unexplained injuries such as bruising?
  3. Are there significant changes in residents’ behavior, including a lack of appetite, acting withdrawn and fearful; are residents physically restrained, slumped in wheelchairs, or overmedicated?
  4. Is there a severe lack of staff and disregard of residents’ rights and complaints; are there frequent falls, no response to call lights, and a lack of assistance to use the restroom.

If I have concerns, who should I contact?

  • You can talk with a facility staff person, social worker, or the facility administrator.
  • Call a Long-Term Care Ombudsman at (616) 245-9451 or (866) 485-9393.
  • Contact the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition website at: www.protectkentseniors.org

For more information on receiving quality care in a long-term care facility, who should I call?

You can contact the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan for more information at (616) 456-5664 or email aaainfo@aaawm.org

Contact the National Center on Elder Abuse at (855) 500-3537 or at https://ncea.acl.gov

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Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan
3215 Eaglecrest Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: 616-456-5664 or 888-456-5664 • Fax: 616-456-5692


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