If you’re a caregiver, you want to know that any senior service or assisted living community you entrust with the wellbeing of your loved one will be able to provide the highest level of care.
There are a number of ways to verify the quality of care received by residents (or clients if you opt for an in-home care service)—speaking to seniors’ advocate group like your area agency on aging or the office of your local ombudsman; interviewing others who have used the service or community; touring the facility or screening the service provider.
But one of the most reliable ways to gauge the professionalism and skill of a provider, however, is by investigating its accreditation.
Organizations that offer senior care—especially if they are accepting Medicare or Medicaid funds—must by licensed by their Department of Health for their state. In Ohio, the Department of Health accredits nearly a thousand nursing homes and senior living communities.
Regular onsite inspection, including at least 1 unannounced evaluation a year, is conducted by the Division of Quality Assurance to ensure that the quality of care and quality of life meet state and federal regulations.
When a community fails an inspection, penalties—from fines to revocation of licenses—are meted out.
National and International Accreditation
One of the most wide-ranging (and intensive) accreditation programs for senior living communities and care services is managed by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
In order to become accredited by this international commission a facility or care provider must demonstrate, in an onsite examination by a team of industry experts, that their programs and business practices meet the high standards of the organization.
Even after a provider is certified, they must commit to a strategy for further improvement and guarantee that, in the future, all programs and services will take a person-centered approach to care.
The CARF offers certification in the field of senior care and aging services through the internationally recognized Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC) which sets industry standards for a spectrum of care specialties and services including:
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
- Person-Centered Long-Term Care Communities (PCLTCCs), i.e. Nursing Homes
- Adult Day Services
- Assisted Living
- Aging Services Networks
- Dementia Care Specialty Program
- Stroke Specialty Program
- Home and Community Services
Where We Stand
Marjorie P. Lee aspires to the highest level of senior living (and care should our residents need it). We take seriously the ERH promise to enrich the lives of older adults in a person-centered, innovative and spiritually based way.
In 2012, Marjorie P. Lee received accreditation from an internationally recognized arbiter of senior living. During the inspection last year, our senior living and skilled care programs scored high in a state patient satisfaction survey and passed the state inspection with no deficiencies at all.
Our nursing care facility not only passed the annual State of Ohio inspection, it did so with ﬂying colors. It became one of the few facilities where inspectors found zero deﬁciencies.
“It is quite an accomplishment to be deficiency-free in the state inspection,” said Ginny Uehlin, Administrator of Health Services here at Marjorie P. Lee. “It’s not uncommon to receive some. The average in Ohio is around 10 per facility. They found we were meeting compliance in all areas.”
As for greater recognition, our community received that CARF-CCAC seal of approval in that same year.
“They were impressed with our deep commitment to person-center care,” says Laura Lamb, Vice President of Residential Housing and Healthcare for all of ERH. “They really held us up as a model for the nation in that regard… [in how our communities are] restoring freedom, choice, and purpose to our elders.”