Making the decision to move your loved ones into an assisted living home or community can be tough, especially with the wide variety of options in facilities there is today. Deciding which facility will be the best fit can be overwhelming.

In addition to considering the affordability of each community, there are also other key factors to consider. These few tips can help make the decision easier for all of you.

1. Pay attention to the staff.

This is crucial in helping decide what the right place for your family or friend is. The staff play an important role and it’s essential to choose a facility with a helpful, knowledgeable and friendly staff. They are the first step to finding the best care.

Note the way you’re treated during your visit. Is the staff friendly? Does it seem like they are knowledgeable about elder care? Are you and your family comfortable with them? Make sure that you observe the staff as they work with the residents. You may get a more honest look from afar.

2. Check out what activities are offered.

Remember that this is a full-time living situation and socialization is very important. Many assisted living facilities will have a variety of options for daily activities. You can check and see what they are and make sure there are good, entertaining options suitable.

Do they like to garden? Maybe there’s a community garden where they can continue that hobby. Do they like to play cards? There might be a group of residents who play card games together weekly. Check into these activities to make sure your loved one will have fun living at the facility.

3. Try the food.

Most residents eat most or all of their meals at the facility. You can likely ask to try a meal during your tour. Make sure you approve and enjoy what’s served. You can also ask what meals are typically served or what types of food are offered.

4. Pay attention to the other residents.

This is a good way to get a feel for what the daily environment of the facility is like. Do the residents seem happy? Make sure the residents seem content with their care and lifestyle. If your loved one is particularly social, be sure to see if the other residents are socializing with each other. You can see what activities they do during daily life and see how they interact with each other.

Do the other residents treat each other well? Do they seem friendly? Do you think your family will get along with the other residents?

5. Observe your loved one in the environment.

This can be easily overlooked as you’re viewing the facility, but be sure to pay attention to how well your loved one responds to everything. Do they seem like they’ll be happy here? Pay attention to how they interact with staff and other residents. Does it seem like a good fit?

Make sure your loved one feels at home in the facility and the community. This will be their home, so it’s important to make sure they feel comfortable and happy.