Tools for Shopping

Where to Start Your Search

Once you’ve determined which senior housing option is the right choice for yourself or a loved one, the next step is to begin the search for a community that can suit your needs. Here are some places to start your search:

Using a Referral Agency

There are about 8,000 Assisted Living communities in California. If you are feeling overwhelmed, a referral agency can be helpful in narrowing down your choices. But not all referral agencies provide the same degree of service. CALA has developed a guide to choosing a referral agency so that consumers get the help they need.

Touring a Community

Once you have a list of potential locations, the next step is to tour the communities. We recommend making several visits at various times of the day. Talk to residents and staff members and eat a meal or two in the dining room. While a community may look good on paper, only by experiencing it in person will you be able to tell if it would be a good fit.

A Consumer Checklist

CALA’s Consumer Checklist is designed to help you choose the community that will be the best fit by asking important questions about the atmosphere, physical features, contracts, costs and finances, medication and health care, services, staff, social and recreational activities, and food service. The checklist also includes some helpful tips to make sure that you are informed and understand your options.