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Choosing the right assisted living community can be a daunting task. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to communities that provide the high quality care you expect for you or your loved one, the next way to compare is price and contract options. When every community has a different contract, how do you choose the contract option that’s best for you or your family?

Here are five areas of contracts to assess and compare as you make your decision.

1. What’s Included?

Some contracts lump all services into one monthly rate, whether you use them or not. Other communities structure contracts so that you only pay for the services you need or use. Still others provide a hybrid – most services are included, but less commonly used services are available for an additional cost. Below is a list of services commonly found at assisted living communities – evaluate whether these are included in the monthly fee, or if you pay for them as you use them.

  • Room and board
  • Meals and snacks
  • On-site activities
  • Campus and apartment maintenance
  • Medication management
  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Off-campus activities
  • Security
  • Light housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Transportation


2. What other levels of care are provided?

If your health were to improve or decline, are there other levels of care available? Or, would you have to restart the research and selection process? If there are higher levels of care, is priority given to existing residents? If a space isn’t available immediately, how will services be provided until one becomes available? Is there a nurse available or on site for medical emergencies?

3. Resident Restrictions

What, if any, restrictions are placed on residents? Are there set visiting hoursAre meals served at set times, or available when a resident is actually hungry? Are you allowed to bring your pet with you? Are there restrictions on size, breed, or type of pet? Can you have guests dine with you? Are you able to use a community room to host a larger event, for a birthday or anniversary? Is transportation provided to things like doctor appointment? Is there a charge for transportations? Consider community restrictions and determine if they are ones that may significantly affect your lifestyle.

4. Onsite Amenities and Activities

What amenities are available onsite? While it’s nice to have transportation to off-campus events, the reality is that you’ll spend most of your time onsite. So, what is there to do? Are there concerts? Lectures? Picnics? Book clubs? Knitting clubs? Discussion groups Are their opportunities for exercising and staying fit? Is there a salon? Are you able to have a garden?

Sunset House and Sunset Village are Sunset Communities’ two assisted living communities. Both offer excellent person-centered care, in alignment with the Eden Alternative philosophy. Higher levels of care are available onsite at both locations. For those needing short term therapy services, Sunset Village’s state of the art rehab gym is open to residents of Sunset House as well as Sunset Village.

For more information on assisted living, contact Sunset House in Toledo at 419-536-4645 or Sunset Village in Sylvania at 419-724-1200.


  1. My grandma has been having quite a bit of issues getting around her house, and we thought it might be a good idea to move her to an assisted living home. I love that you say to find out what amenities are available., and if they offer transportation. It would be nice to know that my grandma will have help getting where she needs to go safely.

  2. I like your advice to consider what levels of care are available. This could ensure that your senior is treated well and get any assistance they need to stay safe and healthy. I’d imagine that checking their website could help you learn more about what the assisted living offers and if they have the services you or your loved one require.

  3. My wife and I are looking for a good assisted living community for my mother-in-law due to her recent health complications. I liked how you pointed out the need for us to look at what type of care, especially medical, is offered. We’ll be sure to do this since we don’t want any of my mother-in-law’s recent health scares to go untreated.

  4. Thanks for your comment about how you should look into assisted living facilities that have amenities that will benefit you. I like how you said that you can ask them questions about the types of care services that are provided. My husband and I are considering helping his grandparents find a living community that they are comfortable with.

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