A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM) is aiming to assist the search process for senior living shoppers through a new database launch that allows consumers to see how accessible assisted living records and reports are to obtain on a state-by-state basis.
The launch of APFM’s State Guide to Assisted Living Records & Reports is the culmination of three years of research and analysis conducted as part of the company’s audit process to ensure senior living communities within its network are licensed and in compliance with their state regulating agencies, the company says.
States that make it easiest for consumers to access information are those that make all assisted living information available online, APFM notes.
These states include Missouri, Florida, Washington, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, pennsylvania and Texas—all of which scored “exceptional” ratings for their availability of such records to consumer.
Nationally, 57% of the U.S. provides consumers with “high” to “exceptional” accessibility to assisted living records, however, some states carry higher restrictions or guidelines than others, according to APFM.
In many states, information seekers must file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain assisted living records and some states require that all information requests be sent via mail.
Other states, such as Arkansas, require that information seekers must be residents of that state in order to obtain records, which APFM notes can make it difficult for out-of-state family members to help a loved one with the search process.
Providing consumers with information about senior living so that they can make informed and confident decisions is at the core of A Place for Mom’s mission, stated Sean Kell, CEO of APFM.
“Offering the State Guide in addition to our advisory service and our consumer reviews web site, SeniorAdvisor.com, gives families multiple resources for research and education,” Kell stated. “Every consumer should have access to critical information regarding senior living communities in their area and today’s consumer has more options and access to information than ever before.”
APFM evaluated more than a dozen criteria in compiling its state databases. Areas of interest included accessibility of data online; frequency that records were updated; publication of inspection and violation status; and breadth of information presented for assisted living communities within a state.
The State Guide can be found by visiting the A Place for Mom website via an interactive, color-coded map that allows users to see each state’s overall grade. Clicking on a particular state can also give users more in depth information and key findings.
Written by Jason Oliva