Questions to ask during a senior care assessment

Navigate senior care assessments: care levels, services and quality standards at Atria.

January 14, 2022

3 min read

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The safety and well-being of residents should be the top priority of any senior care community. As such, licensed nurses generally assess each resident’s physical, emotional and functional needs prior to move-in, and then on an as-needed basis following that initial care plan.

Because these assessments often involve medical terms, and families may not have undergone this process before, it can be difficult to know which questions to ask. Read on for an overview of issues to address and answers to seek during a care assessment.

How the care assessment process works

Every senior living community conducts its care assessments differently, but this is a general overview of how the process works:


  • Prior to a new resident moving into a senior living community, a licensed nurse will meet with the resident to identify the needs they may have, including medication assistance.
  • Generally, the senior living community will request a physician’s health evaluation of the resident. Those requirements vary from state to state, however, and it’s worth noting that in many senior living communities, a physician’s assessment is often distinct from the assessments that nurses or RSDs provide.
  • Following move-in, ongoing assessments are conducted and updated based on a resident’s changing needs – as the staff observe and report them – as well as a resident’s requests for increased services.

Questions to ask during a care assessment

The issues that you’ll raise during the care assessment will vary considerably, depending on the services provided, the evaluation results, and the needs of the resident. Yet here are a few pertinent questions that might apply in most situations:


  • What are the levels of care for seniors?
  • What care is provided in assisted living communities?
  • When is the right time to move from assisted living to memory care?
  • How frequently do staff members provide discreet care to residents?
  • How do you assess care needs for seniors, and what are the differences between them?
  • Which services do you provide (personal care, medication assistance, incontinent management, and so on)?
  • What type of medical documentation will residents need to provide prior to move-in (a physician’s report, a nursing assessment, a TB test, and so on)?

Making the right decision for your family

At Atria, our senior care services are backed by industry-leading quality standards. “The differentiator in Atria’s care is our preparation, our response, our protocols, our internal Quality Enhancement review process,” Joanna Mansfield, Atria’s Senior Vice President of Care and Life Guidance, said. “We have stringent guidelines. We have checks and balances to make sure residents’ needs are being fulfilled.”

Atria only hires nurses with a clinical skill set and management experience who are also familiar with working with older adults. The attention to detail required in their jobs helps give them the structure necessary to provide the best senior care for the world’s wisest people. And if you have any questions about that care, we’re here to help.

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit to discover the location nearest you.

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Not sure where to start?

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