National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
Making the decision to move your loved one into an assisted living facility can be a difficult choice and the stress of finding the right facility can be even more challenging. We want to ensure they will be treated with respect and have confidence that they will know who and where to turn to if they want their quality of care to change.
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care has put together five fact sheets to help consumers and families find the best facility for their needs, receive quality care once in the facility, and what to do if they are not receiving the care they expect. Here’s an outline of each sheet – click the link to read the one you want!
The How to Select an Assisted Living Facility fact sheet provides tips for consumers when searching for the right assisted living facility for their loved one. These guidelines will confirm the resident is obtaining a true sense of the facility and not just learning what the facility wants them to know. Potential residents should talk to residents who currently live in the facility as well as go back unannounced several times. It is also beneficial to look at survey (inspection) reports and compare them to other facilities.
Once you’ve made your choice, what do you need to know to receive quality care? The 6 Steps for Getting Quality Care in an Assisted Living Facility fact sheet specifies an easy step-by-step breakdown to be sure the facility will provide the resident with the attention they expect. These steps include being informed, participating in your care plan, developing a positive relationship with the staff, having better communication skills, and knowing where to go when you have questions and concerns. Achieving person-directed care starts with being involved in all aspects of care and life in the assisted living facility.
If for some reason a facility is not meeting the consumer’s needs, there are several ways to resolve the issue as outlined in the How to Solve Problems in an Assisted Living Facility fact sheet. This fact sheet presents techniques to resolve a concern both inside and outside the facility, as well as both licensed and unlicensed facilities. Some of these techniques include communication tips, ideas of who to talk to when things go wrong, connecting with your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman who is an independent advocate for residents, and the purpose of groups such as resident and family councils that can help resolve issues within an assisted living facility.
To receive tips, recommendations and advice from the experts – the people who are actually receiving care and services in an assisted living facility or group home, review the two fact sheets written by consumers about Choosing a Facility and Being Proactive. These two fact sheets have direct quotes from consumers with their best advice to make moving and living in an assisted living facility the most comfortable process for the consumer. They give specific examples of the types of questions they have asked such as:
- Are there specific times for meals?
- Is there a specific time you have to get up in the morning?
- How do you get the assistance you need in the morning when there are lots of residents who need to be helped at the same time?
These questions have helped other residents know the expectations of the facility and they have been able to adjust the type of care they need because of the questions and guidelines they set into place. The most efficient way to be sure you have the best care possible is to be informed.