Council on Aging Answers 2016 - 63

COUNCIL ON AGING - ORANGE COUNTY

Residential Care Facility
Evaluation Checklist
This checklist provides a useful tool when investigating and evaluating Residential Care for the Elderly or Assisted Living Facilities. The
checklist is divided into two sections: Quality Dimensions and Practical Dimensions.
Although the quality dimensions are crucial, they need to be balanced by practical considerations. If the "best" home in an objective
analysis is not affordable or is too far away to visit frequently, it will probably not work for the resident or the family members. Depending
on the person's needs and preferences, some questions will be more important than others. In using the checklist, keep in mind the following general tips:
o Pay special attention to how
residents are being treated by
staff and the quality and responsiveness of the services. Don't be
sold only on the attractiveness
of the facility.
o Narrow the options down to
two or three facilities.

o Visit each facility several
times.
o In making visits, walk
through the whole facility and
visit at different times of the day.
o Drop by unannounced and
visit at night and/or on the
weekend.

HOUSING

o Start the process early before
there is a crisis.
o Involve the prospective resident as much as possible in the
process.
o Use the checklist to get an
overall feel for the facility and its
practices.

o Make sure that you visit during a mealtime.
o Obtain a copy of the admission agreement. Read it
carefully. Understand the services, costs and conditions for
transfer.

Before you make a final decision, check the latest survey report and any other citations issued by the state licensing agency. Facilities
should make these reports available to you upon request. Or you can view the reports at the Community Care Licensing Office, California
Department of Social Services, or at some Ombudsman Offices.
QUALITY DIMENSIONS
Quality of Care and Service
o Do residents appear well cared for?
o Are residents up, clean, and dressed by 10 AM?
o Are the residents well groomed, e.g., (shaved, clean clothes,
nails trimmed and hair done)?
o Is there a written plan of care for each resident? How often is the
care plan reviewed and changed? By whom?
o Does the facility offer programs and/or services which meet
your particular care needs, e.g., dementia unit, etc.?
o What is the system for distribution of medication? Who does it?
What is their level of training?
o Does the facility have access to doctors, hospitals, home health
agencies and adult day health care services?
o Does facility provide transportation to medical services?
Charges?
o Are there clear procedures for responding to medical emergencies?
Quality of Food
o Does the food appear and smell appealing? Are fresh ingredients used?
o Do residents seem to be enjoying the food?
o Are residents receiving the assistance needed in eating?
o Are meals served at appropriate temperatures?
o Do menus offer choice? How often are menus changed? (Ask to
see a copy of the week's menu.)
o Can the facility meet special dietary needs? Ethnic preferences?
o Are nutritious snacks available?
o Is fresh drinking water available?
o Can residents prepare meals in apartments?
o Does the facility make provisions to serve residents in rooms?
Costs?

Quality of Social Interaction
o Are residents interacting with staff and/or each other?
o Are residents occupied in meaningful activities?
o Does the facility have a planned activities program? Are activity
calendars posted? On weekends?
o Is there a designated staff who coordinates activities? Are activities individualized or only done in large groups?
o Do volunteers and outside groups regularly visit the facility?
o Are there planned trips outside the facility?
o Is transportation provided for shopping and personal errands?
Charges?
o Are pets allowed? Does the facility have pets?
o Are religious services offered at the facility?
Quality of Participation
o Are residents and family members involved in assessment and
care planning?
o Are residents and family members involved in roommate selection?
o Do residents have an opportunity to provide input into menu
and activity planning?
o Are there procedures for responding to requests for information
and complaints?
o Is the Ombudsman Program's poster and telephone number
posted?
o Does the facility have a residents' council? Does the facility have
a family council or support group?
Quality of Staff
o How long have the current owner/s been operating the facility?
o How long has the key staff been working at the facility, i.e., administrator and assistant administrator, activities coordinator, cook,
and nurse consultant?

Council On Aging-Orange County | 714-479-0107 | www.coaoc.org	 Answers Guide 2016

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Council on Aging Answers 2016

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Council on Aging Answers 2016 - Intro
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