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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 are some good online resources below.

MOVE (Making Oregon Vital for Elders) has a consumer guide to view and download here.

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 penalties.
Your local ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Connection) is a good source for this information.

The National Consumer Voice has good resources on residents rights, laws, and advocacy.

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 information.

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 Oregon Department of Human Services has information and consumer guides for Assisted Living, Residential Care Facilities, and Adult Foster Care Homes.

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 considering.

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.