How to Evaluate a Residential Care Facility or Assisted Living Home

Unlike nursing homes, residential care facilities or assisted living facilities are not subject to the same regulation and government oversight. One can’t simply log on to the myriad of nursing home evaluation websites to look at the latest inspection reports or complaint investigation. So how do you adequately evaluate a residential care facility before moving in?

The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform provide many excellent resources for individuals and families making the tough choices about custodial care, including an evaluation checklist for those considering residential care:

Review Complaint and Inspection Information: The local office of the California Department of Social Services will have information about the latest government inspection and complaint investigations. Unlike skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities are only inspected every five years so the information may not be fresh. Pay particular attention to any violations of resident’s rights or abuse allegations.

Visit the Facility: Go visit and tour the assisted living home. Is it clean? Do the residents appear well cared for? Ask if there is a written care plan for every resident, and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with another resident or a visiting family member.

Look at More than One: You want to make the most informed decision you can about the home, and that requires some perspective. Visit as many residential care facilities as you can before deciding (even if you really liked the first one you visited).

To read CANHR’s complete report on how to evaluate residential care facilities for the elderly click here.

The attorneys at Walton Law Firm represent the victims of abuse are neglect in the nursing home, residential care, and assisted living setting. For a free and confidential consultation call (866) 607-1325.