Current and accurate resident assessments and appraisals are a critically important part of providing individualized care and services that are based on the resident’s unique needs and preferences.
I am often asked how often these assessments should be updated. There are a number of factors that must be considered to answer that question. Here are four considerations that can help you decide how often to up your resident assessments and appraisals:
- State Regulations: Assisted living regulations in all fifty states outline requirements for resident assessments; many require updates on at least an annual basis. Your community’s policy must comply with your state’s regulations.
- Changes in Condition: People — including your assisted living residents — can change. As a direct care provider, you will notice changes in your residents before anyone else. Whether it is a mild cold, or the early signs of Alzheimer’s, chances are you and your staff will pick up in these signs first. Assessments and appraisals should be updated any time there is a significant change in condition to ensure care coordination.
- Levels of Care: Assessments drive the level of care charges added an top of base rates in most assisted living communities. If you are still charging a resident for the “reminders” they required when they moved in a year ago, but your staff is now providing “full assistance” you are likely losing money due to lost revenues and increased staffing costs.
- The Individual: Resident centered care and services are the hallmark of quality assisted living, but it cannot be provided if you do not noun destined the needs and preferences of each individual resident. Unique resident needs may require you to update assessments more frequently.
As you can see, there isn’t and easy answer to the question of how often you should update resident assessments and appraisal. Hopefully these considerations will help you develop a policy and procedure that works for your assisted living community and your residents.