CARR's Guide for Evaluating Assisted Living Facilities
So, you have narrowed your search and have scheduled a handful of facility tours. You arrive to any of these tours—introductions are made, accommodations previewed, stop and observe the staff interacting with the residents, follow-up with an invitation to stay for lunch. This is the tour you can expect. This is the tour they have prepared. It is called the “marketing tour”. This is not the only tour you want.
Having worked as an administrator’s assistant, and having served as a long-term care ombudsman, I can tell you with great certainty that many facilities are doing their best . . . to hide the corners they are cutting. Some are cutting fewer than others, it is true.
CARR has prepared a "Facility Evaluation Guide" containing questions and tips based on our personal experiences; they have been condensed to educate and empower you to receive the facility tour you need to make an informed placement decision. This will be your family/friend’s new home. You should be allowed to inspect the ENTIRE facility. Treat the tour as if you were looking at real estate for purchase. Click HERE to download the Guide.
California’s Department of Social Services (DSS), Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) offers a “Choosing Non-Medical Out-of-Home Care for Seniors in California – A Consumer Guide” for Californians shopping for assisted living care. Please review CCLD’s Guide in conjunction with CARR's Guide: CCLD's Guide provides, in checklist format, the basic types of questions you should have answered by the close of your tour. CARR"s Guide, attached to this post, builds upon CCLD’s Guide, but offers a more detailed layer of considerations for consumers.
Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) is only required to inspect facilities once every 5 years, or if there is a complaint reported. Nor can CCLD or the local San Diego County Ombudsman Office recommend, or even discuss, particular facilities. This means that for now, the responsibility for ensuring a chosen facility is safe and sound is truly the consumer's.
If you have general concerns about assisted living, you can contact the San Diego office of CCLD (619) 767-2300, or the San Diego County Ombudsman Office at (800) 640-4661 or (858) 560-2507. And you can always contact CARR.
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