Questions to Ask Assisted Living Facility

Guide To Choosing An Assisted Living Facility – Part 2

There are many things to consider when choosing an assisted living facility in Atlanta.  This article will focus on three key things to explore:

  1. Physical space
  2. Dining
  3. Engagement

As you enter this process think about the things that you like, want and need and try to match these with the environment that can best support both your preferences and your needs. Before we proceed, make sure you also read the Part 1 article we have on our blog.

Physical Environment

When making decisions about a new living environment, it is important to take a look at and ask questions about the physical environment to see if it meets what you like, what you want and ultimately what you need to be comfortable and feel at home.

  • Does indoor space allow for freedom of movement and independence?
  • Are both indoor and outdoor areas are safe and secure?
  • Is the facility is easy to navigate?
  • Are there directional signs and visual cues to help the resident navigate their living space?
  • Is there a designated family visiting area?
  • Is there a private area to have conversation with the staff?
  • Are the resident rooms clean and set up to be most the functional for the resident?
  • What are the items that residents are encouraged to bring with them for their room?

It is also very important to look at the culture of the environment when deciding on a new place to live. When touring a community, notice how the employees and residents look and relate to one another.

  • Do the residents appear to be relaxed, engaged and happy?
  • Does the staff seem stressed and pressed for time?
  • Do the residents and staff relate to one another in a positive way and treat one another with respect.
  • Are the families engaged and connected with the staff?


Dining and meals are an important part of our day because eating well balanced diets support healthy living and a change in someone’s eating habits can also signify a change in health. Dining also gives us the opportunity to connect with one another by sharing a meal. Take a look at the dining space and process in the community. Notice whether there areas for different size table settings and areas for people who need a quieter setting for their meals and whether the meals prepared in such a way that the aromas of the meal can be enjoyed by the residents. Aromas can ignite memories, help individuals connect with one another about shared experiences and can help stimulate the desire to eat.

Dining at Orchard at Brookhaven is very important and therefore we have different programs and opportunities to promote healthy diet as well as encouraging the use of meals as a way to connect with residents and staff.  We’ll be using Grind Dining as one of our programs.

  • Are there regular meals and snack/hydration times?
  • Is the food appetizing?
  • Is the dining environment is pleasant?
  • Are family and friends are welcome at meal time?
  • Does staff have a plan for monitoring nutrition?
  • Is the family notified when there are any changes noticed or made regarding nutrition?
  • Are special dietary needs met?
  • Is the family and resident asked about food and dining preferences?


Your new community may not be able to provide everything but it is important to find one that has a staff and culture that is committed to finding ways to partner with you in what works for you. Make sure to think about how you like to spend your day, or how your loved one likes to or liked to spend their day.

  • Does the community have a designated staff to help design and facilitate and flow of day that makes sense to and works for the residents?
  • Are personal preferences supported by the staff and schedule?
  • Are there choices for residents?
  • Are activities adapted to meet the varying needs of all residents?
  • Does engagement mean more than leisure activities for the residents?

At Orchard at Brookhaven, the Executive Director is not only a dementia specialist but has also traveled the country teaching staff how to connect with their residents and provide meaningful ways of engagement.

Take a moment to call, review the website or stop by and speak to Leslie Finkley the Executive Director for more information about the specials programs of Orchard.