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Key Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community

Alexander Graham Bell famously said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” His adage certainly holds up when deciding on the right assisted living community for yourself or a senior loved one. Knowing what to look for and the questions to ask when considering different assisted living communities can help you more easily find the best fit for your family. Change can be difficult, but feeling adequately prepared can make all the difference.

The following guide outlines the most important factors to consider as you research your assisted living options in Peoria, AZ:

Personal Care Needs and Lifestyle Preferences

Having a thorough understanding of the healthcare and lifestyle needs of you or your loved one is an important first step. One of the major benefits of assisted living communities is the 24-hour access to assistance with activities of daily living like bathing, toileting, grooming, getting dressed, eating, and managing medication. Make sure that the assisted living community you choose has professional staff equipped to meet these needs in a caring and compassionate way. A high-quality assisted living community, like the Mission at Agua Fria, will focus on encouraging independence by having different levels of care tailored to individual residents’ needs. 

When first assessing your healthcare needs, it’s also a good time to discuss and consider your or your loved one’s future care needs. A dementia diagnosis means that you or your loved one might likely benefit from memory care services. Memory care communities offer specialized continuing care, such as cognitive therapy options and increased environmental security measures. Finding an assisted living community that provides both assisted living and memory care in the same location is often helpful since your loved one will not have to worry about moving if their health needs change. 

Aside from personal and healthcare needs, understanding lifestyle preferences is an important piece of the puzzle. What is most important to you or your loved one? Is it staying in close physical proximity to family? A quiet and peaceful community? Access to lots of social activities? A warm climate? Somewhere they can have a pet? What amenities do they want most? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choices.

Services and Amenities

The following is a list of services and amenities that are available in most assisted living communities to help you determine your preferences:

Desired Location

Thankfully, no matter where you want to live in the United States, you will likely find assisted living communities. However, there are many reasons that Arizona has long been a popular retirement destination for seniors.

A warm climate (around 300 days of sunshine a year), lower cost of living, and beautiful natural surroundings make Arizona a desirable location for many families. Add in the fact that the high percentage of senior residents has led to a wealth of high-quality assisted living communities near desired amenities (e.g., parks, hospitals, shopping, dining, golf, theater, museums, etc.), and it’s easy to see why so many choose Arizona.

When choosing a location for your family, consider how to make it easy for family members to stay involved. For instance, if most of your family members live near each other, it would make sense to find assisted living nearby. On the other hand, if the family is more spread out, a centralized location or one easily accessible by car or plane would make it convenient for everyone to visit. 

Assisted living communities in Peoria, AZ, offer mild weather, beautiful scenery, and easy access to shopping, hospitals, parks, dining, recreational activities, and the Phoenix airport is just a 30-minute drive. 


There is a wide range of assisted living community costs based on location, amenities, size of the community, and level of care desired. Setting a reasonable monthly budget will help narrow your choices, especially concerning location and preferred amenities. Once you’ve reduced your list to your top choices, you can use the consumer guide from the American Health Care Association’s National Center for Assisted Living, which includes a cost calculator to help you determine the estimated monthly costs for those communities. 

Communicate with your chosen communities about their fee structure, any financial solutions they offer, and whether there are additional costs for specific services and amenities.

Quality of Care

Once you have a short list of assisted living communities that meet your criteria regarding healthcare needs, lifestyle preferences, services and amenities, location, and budget, it’s time to ensure that the quality of care meets your standards. 

Start with online research, checking their State licenses and certifications, reading reviews, and looking at their social media accounts and websites to evaluate their professionalism and reputation. Are they Medicaid-certified? Are they state-licensed? Do they have a good reputation? 

Ask healthcare professionals, family members, neighbors, friends, and coworkers about their experience with these communities. Then, schedule an in-person tour to see for yourself.  

What To Look For

AARP provides a helpful checklist of several important questions you can ask by phone, email, or in person when you schedule a visit that will help you assess whether an assisted living community is a good fit for your needs and preferences. 

Some of the questions include:

  • Are pets allowed?
  • How frequently are meals provided?
  • Do the living spaces include utilities? A kitchen? Enough space for your needs?
  • Is personal furniture allowed?
  • Can visitors come and go at will?

 Visiting in person will give you the best sense of the community. When touring, you should note the level of cleanliness, assess whether appropriate safety measures are in place (such as medical emergency response systems in residences and secure entrances and exits), and try to get a general feeling of the environment. Do residents seem happy? Does the staff seem cheerful and friendly? Speak with the staff, current residents, and families about their experiences. 

When evaluating services and amenities, consider specialized care your loved one might want or need in the future. Does the community offer physical or occupational therapy or memory care services? Try to visit more than once and at different times to get a realistic sense of community life. Attending meals, classes, and social activities like game nights will give you a fuller picture of whether the community suits your family.

Most importantly, trust your instincts. If you do not feel comfortable, keep looking. Some assisted living communities even offer short-term or respite care, which might be a great choice to try living in the community before making a long-term commitment.

Consider The Mission At Agua Fria

If you are interested in assisted living in Peoria, AZ, the Mission at Agua Fria has everything your family could want. From our outstanding services and amenities to our professional and caring staff and beautiful location, the Mission truly believes in empowering all our residents to live well. Contact us today to schedule a tour to see for yourself what we have to offer. We would love to meet you and your family!