In the fall of 2012, Hebrew SeniorLife gathered together geriatric thought-leaders, researchers and physicians for our inaugural "You and Your Aging Parents" program, an important discussion about the steps one should take to help aging parents as they make decisions regarding health and well-being. Overwhelmingly positive response indicates the need for this information and Hebrew SeniorLife continues to offer this program. Check our events listing for upcoming events.
In addition, we published expert advice from the first program in an ebook, “You and Your Aging Parents,” which Hebrew SeniorLife is offering as a free downloadable pdf. The discussion also inspired our “You and Your Aging Parents” blog series, a series that includes this blog post and covers the various issues and concerns you may encounter as you and your parent/s continue on the journey of aging.
What criteria should I use when evaluating senior healthcare and housing?
The most important thing to determine is whether the facility is licensed, in what category and if they are Medicare and/or Medicaid-certified.
While some states have laws explicitly prohibiting a provider from using the phrase “assisted living” in their advertising, if they’re not licensed by the state as an assisted living residence, they are not assisted living.
If a provider is licensed, that means: (1) it’s obligated to abide by certain laws and regulations, and undergoes on-site government surveys; and (2) there will likely be more publicly available information about its ‘performance track record’ through state and federal websites. Here are a few Massachusetts resources:
- If a provider is licensed as an Assisted Living Residence (ALR), you can locate the regulations governing their operations at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) website. The EOEA also has a free resource guide that outlines ALR services, typical costs, a summary of the applicable regulations, and more.
- The Massachusetts Senior Care Association (MSCA) website provides helpful information about how to choose a nursing facility, including an overview of payment eligibility, types of clinical services provided and questions to ask.
- To understand how a licensed nursing facilities has performed, search for Mass. results either by facility name or for all facilities in a given city or town at http://webapps.ehs.state.ma.us/nursehome/.
- On the Medicare website you can learn how a single provider fares in a variety of quality of care and patient satisfaction categories, as well as how they compare against state and national averages.
- Examining Independent Living (IL) communities is more challenging since they are not as regulated. Take a tour of the community and carefully review all lease-related documents.
To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org.