Assisted Living In Benton Harbor, Michigan: What Should I Look For?

Considering moving a loved one into an assisted living facility in Benton Harbor, MI? You should determine their specific needs and your specific family situation as well as what aspects of care are most important to you.

Understand that no one can take care of your loved one as well as you. Your continued involvement in their care will help the assisted living facility you choose provide the best care possible. Only consider facilities in which you feel comfortable and the staff is friendly and welcoming. You may need to trust your first instinct about a facility, and if necessary, visit a facility again before you make your decision.

The Building and Environment

Before visiting the facility, consider its location and distance to the hospital or your mom’s personal physician. Will this be a convenient location for family and friends to easily visit?

Before entering, notice if the building and grounds are well cared for, clean and attractive. Once inside, be aware of various environmental factors, such as the noise level and whether or not you hear overhead paging, if the halls and common areas are spacious and well lit, if the facility appears to be clean and well-kept, if the building is free of overwhelming unpleasant odors, if there are quiet areas where residents can visit with friends and family. See if there is a receptionist desk upon entering where someone can assist you.


  • How many beds do you have?
  • What are visiting hours?
  • Are visits welcome at any time?
  • Are your exterior doors locked?
  • What security measures are in place to keep someone from wandering out of the building?
  • Are pets allowed either as tenants or as visitors?
  • Under what circumstances and what type of pets?
  • Do you ever take the resident outside? Or may visitors and family members take them outside
  • Is there a secure area for someone to go outside on his own?



  • Can I review your latest state survey and/or monitoring report? (This is the report from the state licensing agency. It should be kept in a public place for anyone to see.)
  • Under what circumstances would you ask us to move or transfer our loved one?
  • How long would we have to make other arrangements?
  • Do you help make those arrangements?
  • What types of behavioral issues are you able to handle?
  • Do you keep documentation of all the behavior interventions you use?
  • Are there written materials that explain the types of care provided at the facility and the associated costs?
  • Do you offer transportation services to doctor’s offices, dental appointments , etc.?
  • What services are available without leaving the building, such as dental care, vision care, podiatry services, hearing services, hair/beauty salon? Who pays for these services?
  • Are rehabilitation services available, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy or recreational therapy?
  • Do you replace items that are lost?
  • Do you have a smoking policy?
  • Who will do laundry? Do we have the option of doing it ourselves?

Resident Rooms

When entering a resident room, is it attractive, cheerful and well lit? Are there windows? Each resident should have access to a call bell, but look to see if it is in an appropriate place such as near the bed and/or in the bathroom. Do you see water pitchers in the room and can they be reached by the resident? Look at the amount of storage space available to each resident. Observe to see if the rooms are large enough to accommodate wheelchairs?


  • How is a room or unit selected?
  • Can we pick the room?
  • Are we able to decorate and/or bring in our own furniture?
  • Will they have a telephone or cable in his room? If so, who pays for them? If not, do we have access to those items?
  • Do you currently have any rooms/beds available?
  • What are your policies regarding roommates?
  • Are all rooms semi private and private, or do you have three and four beds in a room?

Dining and Meal Service

When entering the dining room, the tables should be attractively set and the atmosphere should be pleasing. If you are visiting during a meal, does the food that is being served look and smell appetizing? If not, ask if a menu is posted or is available for you to see. Are residents who need help with eating being assisted? Are staff members conversing with those residents while assisting them?


  • Can a resident choose where and with whom she wants to eat their meals?
  • Do the residents participate in meal planning? Can they choose what they eat?
  • Can I eat a meal with them?
  • What times are meals served?
  • Are there options to choose from at mealtime?
  • What about food in rooms? What is your policy?
  • What kinds of snacks are available?
  • Does a dietitian plan menus for those who need a special diet?


Activities are an important part of the daily life for your Mom or Dad. As you are touring the building, notice if the residents appear to be doing something. Visit the activities room, and look for a current schedule, which should be posted. If it isn’t, ask for one. Do you see any activities that you know your Mom would enjoy? Do the activities look diverse and interesting?


  • Do you have a recreational therapist on staff?
  • Do you provide special activities for people with dementia?
  • How many activity staff do you have?
  • Does the activity calendar reflect the interests of the residents?
  • How do you find out what the interests of the residents are?
  • Can residents participate in activities of their choice?
  • Do you provide weekend and evening activities?
  • Do you coordinate and provide transportation for community outings?
  • Do you provide activities for people that can’t or don’t want to leave their rooms?
  • Do you have life enrichment programs?



  • What does it cost per day here? Per month?
  • How often is the rate increased?
  • What type of federal, state and private funding options do you accept, such as Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, etc?
  • Do you accept VA benefits?
  • Are all the services required covered in the basic daily charge? If not, is a list of specific services covered in the basic rate available?


The staff members who work in any assisted living facility are the individuals who will be providing care for your Dad. Pay particular attention to how they interact with residents, and how quickly they respond to requests. Staff members should know residents by name, interact respectfully and in a friendly manner with other staff, and should always knock on the door before entering a resident’s room.


  • Do you have a full time social worker on staff?
  • What types of staffing patterns do you use? (These will vary depending upon the setting, but ask what the numbers of staff are for each shift: day shift, evening shift and night shift.)
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Twin Cities Nursing and Rehab

1385 E Empire Ave
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Tel: (269)-925-0033