How To Become An Educated Consumer Of Elder Care

Kevin Goulding, CFP – 09/17/2021

1. California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform is a great but place to start. They have lots of information and great documents, fact sheets and checklists about various questions, regulations, resident rights, etc.

2. Your County Ombudsman office can answer your questions. They know the lay of the land, and can help narrow-down your search by category or location. The Contra Costa Ombudsman office can be reached at (925) 685-2070.  The Sonoma County Ombudsman office can be reached at (707)526-4108.

3. Community Care Licensing is the agency that inspects and enforces the regulations that pertain to care homes. Personally, I find the facility search page difficult to navigate. However, it has useful information like inspection reports and documentation of complaints.

4. A placement professional can assess your needs and match you with a facility that works best for you. They know where vacancies are, the male/female balance, and the strengths & weaknesses of the available choices. Because they contract with a group of facilities, it is a good idea to contact more than one placement professional to get more information and different viewpoints.

5. Finally, go visit!! If you know someone in a particular facility, are considering a facility, or just want to visit … go take a look! Go during mealtime, and see how the food. Talk to residents and staff (do they speak English well?). Make sure you are vaccinated and wearing a mask! This checklist might be helpful to bring.