How to Evaluate a Residential Care or Assisted Living Facility

If you considering using the services of a residential care facility for the elderly or an assisted living facility, you may be wondering how to select a good one. Unfortunately, there is no rating system like you might find in hospitals, and now nursing homes, but there are actions you can take that will help ensure you make the right choice.

The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) have created a checklist to use when researching care facilities for the elderly. First and foremost, evaluate the most recent inspection report from the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS). Your local DSS office will have a complete inspection file on every facility within its jurisdiction, and you have a right to review. Simply contact the office and make an appointment to go review the file. (Click here to find your local DSS office).

When reviewing the file, you want to make sure to examine:

● The inspection report. How did the facility do? Were there deficiencies, and, if so,did they involve resident care?
● Any complaints made against the facility in recent years, and how those complaints were addressed.
● Request to see the “Advisory Notes,” form of written consultation provided by the licensing evaluator to the facility.

In addition, use the CANHR checklist to get a good idea about the day-to-day life in the facility, and to determine which home is best for you:

● Visit each facility several times.
● Pay special attention to how residents are being treated by staff and the quality and responsiveness of the services. Don’t be sold only on the attractiveness of the facility.
● Narrow the options down to two or three facilities.
● In making visits, walk through the whole facility and visit at different times.
● Drop by unannounced and visit at night and/or on the weekend.
● Make sure that you visit during a mealtime.
● Obtain a copy of the admission agreement. Read it carefully. Understand the services, costs and conditions for transfer.

Click here to see the entire CANHR checklist.

Before making the decision, do your homework. You may be preventing a major headache down the road.

The San Bernardino nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at the Walton Law Firm represent seniors and dependent adults throughout California who have been abused or neglected in the skilled nursing facility, residential care facility for the elderly, and assisted living setting. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free and confidential consultation.

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