Everyone has their own personal preferences. Some are straightforward: “Do you take your coffee with cream and sugar? And, if so, how much?” And others, involving health or safety, are a bit more nuanced: “Do you feel invigorated or inhibited by crowds?” We spend a lifetime perfecting and performing our way of doing things and our desire for this certain style does not magically disappear once we age and can no longer ensure it for ourselves.
But if we can no longer perfect and perform independently, then who can we depend on to help us? For a growing number of seniors and their families, assisted living is becoming an increasingly attractive option. But how safe are these facilities? How flavorful is their coffee?
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a grassroots, advocacy organization dedicated to improving resident care in assisted living facilities by (1) educating consumers and (2) increasing industry accountability. RCFE is California’s regulatory term for assisted living. And, CARR is the first and only 501(c) 3 in California to publish and research the public records on California’s assisted living facilities.
There is Black Friday. There is Cyber Monday. And then…there is #GivingTuesday!!
What is #GivingTuesday?
“ #GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, people from around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.”
With so many worthy causes deserving a contribution, how and who should you contribute to? You can give to one or you can give to many. You can give $20 or 20 hours. The point is to give something so that others do not have to give up---give up their goals, their health, their rights. You get the idea.
On Tuesday, December 2nd, we ask that you consider giving to CARR. Here are a few ways your generosity can help transform senior care and safety in assisted living:
Long-term care options require extensive research, research that few consumers have the time to do, especially when an immediate need occurs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides consumers with decipherable icons and easy access to compliance histories for skilled nursing facilities; however, this type of data is still not provided for consumers of assisted living services. CARR was founded in 2009 to begin to fill this void and is currently the only public charity in California providing consumers unbiased, online access to the compliance histories for assisted living facilities.
But....poring over individual public documents is quite time-consuming (we should know) and, to the untrained eye, may provide limited assistance when attempting to initially narrow down a facility search. To ease this burden for the consumer, CARR has partnered with San Diego County’s Aging and Independence Services, to provide "Facility Snapshots"* on the assisted living facilities in the region. (AIS-sponsored Facility Snapshot's are denoted on our site by this green icon).
While this incremental reform is a step in the right direction, it is certainly not the sweeping structural changes advocates were hoping for at the beginning of the legislative session. The impact of all of these bills is now in the hands of an already over-burdened Department of Social Services, whose track record suggests limited ability to enforce compliance and to influence improved quality of care. However, this flurry of attention and activity should signal to the industry that the veil has been lifted. The writing on the wall says advocates and consumers will be demanding more.
The Governor signed the following bills today:
* AB 1570 by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata): Increases training requirements for licensees and direct care staff of residential care facilities for the elderly.
* AB 1751 by Assemblymember Richard H. Bloom (D-Santa Monica): Requires resident representation on governing boards of residential care facilities for the elderly and quarterly reporting of financial statements.
* AB 1899 by Assemblymember Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino): Prohibits the reinstatement of a license for licensees of residential care facilities for the elderly who abandon a facility, resulting in a threat to the residents’ health and safety.
* AB 2044 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona): Enacts additional staffing and health and safety requirements at residential care facilities for the elderly.