Choosing a long term care facility is
one of the more challenging decisions that a resident and family will make. It
involves a shift away from the familiar surroundings of home and independence.
Prospective residents and their families should become as informed as possible
and the Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman can help. The list below will help you get started.
1. Review as much data as possible.
There is considerable information in the public domain about each
long-term care facility, including licensing inspection (survey) reports,
protective service investigation reports, and any sanctions or civil
Your local ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Connection) is a good source for this information.
The Oregon State Office of
Senior and People with Disabilities division, has a page with resources, including Consumer Guides for different types of Long-Term Care Options.
'Just for You' is a great primer for
Medicare. This website has plenty of FAQ's, resources and
Nursing Home Compare, an online service
offered by Medicare, provides a summary of the licensing survey for
nursing facilities in each state.
Nursing Home Compare offers information on "Quality Measures." The measures are
formulated using information on quarterly assessments of individual
residents. There are ten quality measures, including the percentage of
residents whose activities of daily living have declined since admission
and the percentage of residents with bedsores.
The issues that residents face are growing as the population
demographics shift and resources to provide services are cut. Read
more about public policy issues here.
2. Visit the facility several times.
While the logistics of admission to a facility usually take place
during business hours; weekend, evening, and even
mealtime visits will give you a broader picture of the facility.
3. Review disclosure statements carefully.
When considering an assisted living or residential care
facility, the facility has a legal obligation to provide a
disclosure of the facility's policies to the prospective residents. These
include billing method, policies for fee increases, staffing plans and
other information that can be compared to other facilities you are
4. Ask questions of key facility staff.
Several organizations have lists of questions that may help you:
5. Contact the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
We maintain files on Oregon´s facilities and can review licensing
surveys, protective services investigations and sanctions with you. When
you have narrowed your search to five or fewer facilities, you may call us
at 1-800-522-2602 or 503-378-6533.