Personal Care Community Checklist: 11 Important Questions to Ask Before Your Aging Parent Moves In

Personal Care Community Checklist: 11 Important Questions to Ask Before Your Aging Parent Moves In

Living a free and independent lifestyle in a safe, comfortable environment is something we all desire – especially for our aging parents. However, as we age, the challenges to our independence increase and some of the basic daily activities we’ve always taken for granted can become much more difficult.

While none of us want to relinquish our ability to live independently, sometimes health and safety issues make it wise to consider additional support to live the way we want. Today, for example, many aging adults are using personal care services – which assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, medication reminders and transportation services – to maintain a safe yet independent lifestyle. 

According to, “older Americans would stay in their homes if they could, but health problems and lack of assistance often make that impossible. For those who need some help, but not the intensive medical care of a nursing home, assisted living (or personal care) is often seen as a good choice. And, as an industry, it’s growing.”

Says, Susan Irrgang, Executive Director and Administrator of Bryn Mawr Terrace in Bryn Mawr, PA,

“Today, personal care assisted living is the ideal solution for an increasing number of older Americans who desire to live independently for as long as possible, but require some degree of support and assistance. Independent Living & Personal Care at Bryn Mawr Terrace offers aging seniors the chance to live independently with complete confidence. Our residents enjoy privacy and independence in furnished suites within a separate residential area.

“For added peace of mind, a variety of supportive services are readily available if and when they’re ever needed. And here, our residents have access to all the community amenities and activities at Bryn Mawr Terrace for truly worry-free living in the heart of the Main Line.

“While assistive personal care offers older loved ones an opportunity to maintain an independent lifestyle, it is important for adult children to understand that not all personal care communities are the same. Therefore, it is critical to carefully assess the various options available to select a community that best fits your aging parent’s unique needs and preferences and provides them with the lifestyle they deserve.”

A Useful Guide for Choosing the Right Personal Care Community

Susan adds, “To make the right decision for your aging parent, start by focusing on the most important factors and asking the right questions about personal care. To help guide you in this process, Argentum (the nation’s largest senior living association formerly known as ALFA), has published The Assisted Living Community Evaluation Checklist. This downloadable guide provides a comprehensive list of issues to consider, including a personal care assisted living community review section and sample questions to ask.

Likewise, A Simple Transition Senior Living Placement and Senior Move Management also offers lists of helpful questions that can guide your decision on personal care assisted living options for your aging parent.”

Aside from normal cost and contractual considerations, some of the most important questions to consider before your parent moves to a personal care community include:

  1. Do the services and amenities offered match my aging parent’s needs for care and comfort?
  2. Are additional care and support services available if they are ever needed, e.g., memory care or short-term rehabilitation?
  3. How will my parent’s social engagement and life enrichment needs be met?
  4. Are thereregularly scheduled recreational and wellness activities for my parent’s physical and emotional health and enjoyment?
  5. Will the personal care community provide for my parent’s nutritional health with three balanced meals a day?  Can special dietary needs be accommodated and are snacks available to residents?
  6. Does the environment appear clean and well-maintained? Is the ambiance welcoming and cheerful?
  7. Do the current residents appear well cared for and do the personal care staff seem pleasant and engaging? Ask if the personal care community has a good public image and a reputation for quality?
  8. Does the personal care community welcome and encourage visits from family and friends, and can my parent personalize his or her space to make it feel more like home?
  9. Is there a formal process for assessing my parent’s needs and creating a personalized plan of care for them?
  10. Does the personal care community conduct criminal background checks on employees and does it train staff members on individualized care, elder abuse and neglect?
  11. Are all financial and legal documents and policies readily available and understandable?

Selecting a personal care community that will enable your aging parent to continue living an independent lifestyle with just the right amount of care and assistance is a crucial one  for you and your older loved one. Therefore, always exercise due diligence and use the suggested questions above to help you make the best decision. 

For more helpful senior living and senior care information, we invite you to read our monthly articles and tips on a variety of important senior health topics. We also welcome you to stop in for a tour to see for yourself why we’ve been named “Best Continuing Care Retirement Community, Best Nursing Facility and Best in Memory Care” by Best of the Main Line Reader’s Choice.

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, “Personal Care Community Checklist: 11 Important Questions to Ask Before Your Aging Parent Moves In,” we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

A Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness 

There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness or a chronic condition make 24-hour care and support a necessity. At Bryn Mawr Terrace, we’re always here for you and your family. Our compassionate, professional team treats our residents as family and respects each of them as the individuals they are, all with their own unique life story.

We understand that each one of our residents has unique needs and desires, so we deliver personalized care and services that are tailored to each individual. The amenities and activities offered within our community are designed to keep our residents happy, fulfilled and living well. From delicious dining to a variety of social programming, we offer a lifestyle that’s meant to be lived!

Located near Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr Terrace – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has provided exceptional care and services to seniors and their families since 1966. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Bryn Mawr Terrace serves as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), offering a range of services – including short-term rehabilitation, traditional nursing care, independent living, personal care, memory care, restorative care and respite care – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Bryn Mawr Terrace and our variety of needs-based lifestyle services, please call us at 610.525.8300 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

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