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Activities are a very important part of life as you age; especially if you are living in an assisted living facility. No matter what, we want to age well and as healthy as possible despite the physical and mental trials and tribulations we are handed.

Why Activities are Important in assisted living

There are 6 main aspects to healthy aging. It’s important to understand how to evaluate activities programming in assisted living facilities properly in order to ensure that the following are taken into consideration:

  1. Healthy Diet – Eating a healthy diet is important for healthy aging.
  2. Mental Stimulation – Constantly offering activities to keep the brain active is a vital part to aging well.
  3. Quality Sleep – Keeping a schedule and sleeping well helps the brain recharge for the next day.
  4. Social Life – Remaining socially active is imperative to feeling as though you are appreciated and serve a purpose.
  5. Managed Stress – One of the benefits to living in an Assisted Living Facility is that stress can be limited and conditions controlled to minimize stress levels.
  6. Physical Activity – Physical activity can continue throughout most of life and making sure the Assisted Living Facility you choose offers continued physical activity is important.

How to Evaluate Activities Programming in Assisted Living Facilities

Senior Living Experts will help you evaluate activities programming in assisted living facilities by asking the right types of questions to help find the activities your loved one is most likely to both appreciate and benefit from.

Types of Activities That Are Beneficial

  • Seniorcising – A term that refers to exercising “senior style,” seniorcising allows people of all ages and abilities to exercise with a focus on what they can do; giving them a feeling of achievement. Even the slightest of activity can be beneficial as we age.
  • Gardening – Many residents of Assisted Living Facilities are forced to leave their homes and gardens; however, a very beneficial activity includes small but safe gardening areas.
  • Games/Puzzles/Reading – Having access to regular games, puzzles & reading is essential. If there is always something to do it reduces the chance of boredom.
  • Community Outings – It's important that outings into the community are available to shop or visit local places of interest within the community.
  • Social Interactions – We are social creatures and this need for social contact doesn’t end as we age. It’s important that programs that include social interactions with a variety of types of people regularly; especially helpful are events in which younger generations interact with the seniors.
  • Classes – You’re never too old to learn and learning is a very important way to slow down the loss of cognitive impairment. Learning can include a new language, a craft, or even a creative art.
  • Music – Music has long been associated with stress relief and brain stimulation that’s beneficial to aging.

Here are some categories to cover and questions to ask include:

Surroundings, Environment, Safety

  • Is both the inside and outside kept up; free from litter, smells, etc?
  • Does the staff look and act professional?
  • Are residents greeted by name and with kindness?
  • Do visitors receive immediate assistance; including being greeted at the main entry point so the staff knows who comes into the facility?
  • Is the overall atmosphere pleasant, clean, safe, and happy?
  • Are there enough safety and ADA (American Disabilities Act) features to accommodate current and future needs? (Non-skid floors, wide doorways to fit wheelchairs/motorized mobility vehicles, grab bars, memory units for those with dementia available, etc.)
  • Are there smoke detectors, sprinklers, marked exits and clear pathways to all exits?

Policies, Services & Amenities

Our blog on Assisted Living Pricing will help alert you to some of the possible hidden costs.

  • Are all amenities included in the price or is there a fee schedule available to add amenities as needed?
  • What are the moving rules and fees that could be charged?
  • Do they provide regular assessments with the client’s physician to ensure that their needs are being met while continuously adjusting to changes in the resident’s abilities?
  • Is there a 24 hour service staff available on-site?
  • What are the policies for smoking, alcohol use, and visitors?
  • Can residents have food and/or cook in their apartments?


  • Do they offer a variety of on-site activities to keep residents entertained and busy?
  • Are there off-site trips to help residents remain active in the community?
  • Does the facility allow or have pets?
  • What holidays are celebrated in the facility?

Assisted Living Facts

  1. There are over 31,000 licensed assisted living facilities across the United States and over 200 listed for Chicago on Senior Housing Net.
  2. Assisted Living means that a number of amenities can be offered, many with 24/7 care to help the residents. A staff can assist with a variety of tasks that can include; meals, laundry, transportation, fitness/gym, health services, safety and more.
  3. All 50 states require licensing and inspections for assisted living facilities; however, this does not mean that you are necessarily guaranteed quality of care in an assisted living facility. Some facilities will maintain higher levels of standard than others (another good reason for utilizing Senior Living Experts).

Here at Senior Living Experts we know how to evaluate activities in assisted living facilities, making it easier for you to narrow down your choices for your loved one.Resources:American Alzheimer’s Association (ALZ.Org)Photo by Z-Solutions

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