Assisted Living Facility Best Practices

As you hone your options, it’s important to understand assisted living facility best practices — or what assisted living facility ‘excellence’ looks like.


Operates legally: The facility is licensed and in compliance with all state regulatory requirements, if required. Voluntary accreditation through the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC-CARF) is a plus.


Operates Within the Parameters of Assisted Living: Prospective residents are assessed prior to admission and residents are reassessed at regular intervals to make sure they are appropriate candidates for assisted living — and not in need of a higher level of care.


Demonstrates respect for residents: All residents are treated with respect by staff. This includes providing each resident with as much freedom, privacy and choice as is consistent with safety.


Promotes person-centered care: Residents’ rooms are personalized and homey; menu options are available at each meal; and residents have a choice of varied activities daily.


Supports resident and family councils: There is an active resident and/or family council that meets regularly.


Low staff/caregiver turnover rates: A low staff turnover rate is usually a measure of good management practices and employee satisfaction and typically, associated with higher quality care for residents.

Tips to Get Your Assisted Living Facility Search Underway

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, clergy, your doctor and/or a local hospital.
  • If your state requires licensing, go to your State website to locate licensed assisted living facilities in your area and to check licensure status.
  • Make appointments to visit the assisted living facilities you think match your needs.
  • Review the checklist to prepare for your visit.
  • Tour the assisted living facility. Ask to see all floors, all public areas and the kitchen. Look into resident rooms and talk to residents. Visit more than once, including during a mealtime, on a weekend or late in the day, if possible.
  • Remember that the person showing you around is a salesperson who wants to show you the best side of the facility. Insist on seeing as much of the assisted living facility as you feel you need to in order to make a good decision.