What to Ask Before Choosing a Facility for Elderly Parents

daughter and elderly mother
  • Understand the different types of care available to meet your loved one’s needs, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care. 
  • Evaluate the staff-to-resident ratio in order to ensure that your loved one will get enough attention and care.
  • Consider amenities such as fitness centers, pools, and transportation services that can improve your parent’s quality of life. 
  • Take your time and ask all the critical questions before making a decision. 
  • Visit facilities in order to get an idea of how the care works firsthand and feel out if it is the right fit for you and your parent. 

When it comes to choosing a facility for elderly parents, there are a multitude of factors to consider. It can be an overwhelming decision and one that requires careful research to ensure that your loved one is in the best possible hands. Here are some tips that will be helpful in your decision-making process and ultimately lead to the best possible outcome for your parent or loved one.

What are the care options available?

When you’re researching senior living options, it is essential to understand the types of care that the facility offers. Depending on your loved one’s needs, you may need to consider a specialized facility that can provide more advanced care options. Understanding what each facility offers will help you determine which one is the best fit to meet your parent’s specific needs. Here are some examples:

Independent Living

Independent living is an ideal senior living option for those who are independent and still able to care for their day-to-day needs. These facilities provide the opportunity to live among a community of other seniors with access to amenities such as meals, housekeeping services, recreational activities, and transportation.

Assisted Living

Another excellent option for elderly parents who need some extra support with their daily activities, such as help with bathing and dressing, is assisted living for seniors. These facilities often provide 24-hour staffing, housekeeping services, meals, recreational activities, and transportation. They also typically have specialized care teams available to provide additional medical or memory care if needed.

Memory Care

If your loved one is dealing with memory issues, then memory care facilities are the best option for their safety and comfort. These specialized care centers provide personalized care plans that focus on improving quality of life and providing emotional support for those with memory impairments.

assisted living facility where a young female nurse is reading a book to the elderly woman

What is the staff-to-resident ratio?

The staff-to-resident ratio is a crucial factor to consider when looking for a senior living facility. You want to ensure that there are enough staff members available to provide quality care for your loved one.

If there aren’t enough staff members, it could lead to a lack of attention and care for your parent. Look for facilities that have a lower staff-to-resident ratio, as it means that more attention can be given to each resident.

Furthermore, be sure to ask the staff about their qualifications and any additional training they may have received. This will give you an idea of how qualified the staff members are to provide your loved one with the care they need.

senior man with glasses in a wheelchair with his private nurse wheeling him from the back

What type of amenities are available for residents?

Amenities may not be the most crucial factor, but they can add to the quality of life for your loved one. Ask about any additional amenities that your parent may be interested in, and be sure to check them out before making your decision. Here are some amenities that can provide comfort and peace for your elderly parents:

Fitness Centers

Fitness centers are an excellent amenity for senior living facilities as they provide the opportunity to stay active and engaged in physical activities. These centers typically offer classes and equipment explicitly geared towards seniors, such as low-impact exercises that don’t put too much strain on the body.


Pools are a great amenity to have in a senior living facility as they provide an opportunity for low-impact physical activity and relaxation. Swimming is especially beneficial for seniors, as it can help maintain muscle strength, reduce joint pain and stiffness, and improve balance.

Transportation Services

Transportation services are an invaluable amenity for seniors in a facility. This allows residents to stay connected with their loved ones and enjoy activities outside the walls of the facility without having to worry about getting there on their own. These services can include local transportation options such as shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vans, or even ridesharing services.

Choosing a facility for elderly parents is a critical decision that requires careful consideration. By asking these essential questions, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that will ensure that your loved one is in the best possible care. Remember to take your time, ask all of the necessary questions, and visit facilities before making a final decision. With this information, your decision-making process will be more accessible, and your parent will end up in a facility that will be a happy and healthy place for them to live.

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