In our recent blog post about questions to ask when looking for the best retirement communities, we talked briefly about researching which—if any—accreditations a community has earned. A CARF accreditation—granted by the independent, nonprofit Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)—is one you should be on the lookout for when exploring retirement communities.
Accreditation from CARF signals that a retirement community or other care facility is dedicated to providing the highest-quality care. Homestead Village is proud to be an enhanced senior living community with CARF accreditation right here in Lancaster County, Pa.
Read on to learn more about why CARF certification should matter to your search for the best retirement community.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is more commonly referred to as CARF International, a non-governmental organization that exists to certify the quality of services offered by a variety of health and human service providers worldwide. These providers serve diverse populations from children through seniors “across the continuum of care.”
CARF assesses and accredits programs and facilities in these areas and many more:
In short, CARF accreditation matters because it demonstrates that a retirement community or other health or human services provider is unquestionably committed to continuous improvement in their community services and healthcare offerings, as well as in the satisfaction of their customers, clients, or other stakeholders.
It is crucial to understand that earning CARF accreditation is not easy. It involves a collaborative review process between a provider and CARF to certify and prove that the provider conforms to “a series of rigorous and internationally-recognized” CARF standards.
This process can take many months to complete, especially if CARF requires an accreditation candidate to make improvements within their organization before they can earn the CARF seal. Then, to remain accredited, a provider must report certain information to CARF each year.
For retirement communities, an additional reaccreditation process is completed every five years, which requires more in-depth self-study and reporting than the yearly accreditation maintenance check-ins to keep CARF certification.
No. CARF accreditation is a voluntary process for care facilities and service providers. That said, in many of the health and human service organizations CARF certifies and regulates, this accreditation is an essential indicator of quality. Many consumers would never consider a particular provider or care facility if it was not CARF-accredited.
It is best to always look for the CARF certification seal on materials from retirement communities you’re considering. Or, simply visit CARF’s website and look up accredited providers based on name, location, or other search terms.
CARF’s standards of excellence for the quality of services vary a bit depending on the type of provider being assessed for accreditation. For CCRC or Life Plan Retirement Communities, CARF reviews many factors to certify quality. These include examining the hospitality and customer service culture within a given community, environmental safety and security, and how staff and residents relate to one another.
CARF also carefully looks at documentation like residency and service agreements to determine whether a community is fulfilling all of its obligations to its residents and other stakeholders.
Homestead Village is proud to be a CARF-accredited Life Plan Community located in the heart of Lancaster County, Pa. Our community is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and life enrichment services to all our valued residents.
Thrive Where You Are® is more than just our tagline, it’s our guiding principle here at Homestead Village.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about everything that makes Homestead Village exceptional.