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Here are some quick answers to common questions. If you still have questions or concerns, please contact us at 925.685.2070.

If you suspect abuse in a long-term care facility, contact our office at 925-685-2070 to report the issue. You may remain anonymous. If the suspected abuse is in a private home, contact Adult Protect Services.

Finding a facility can be a daunting task for residents and their families. Ombudsman Services is not a placement agency but we do offer assistance to individuals and their family and friends who are trying to navigate the long-term care system.

In California MediCal/MediCaid only provides payment for skilled nursing level care. To view a list of skilled nursing facilities in your area please visit the CDPH  facility search page. Note: if a facility is certified through Center for Medicare/MediCaid Services (CMS), any open beds are available to MediCal recipients — they cannot deny placement based on payment source. However, a facility can deny placement based on care needs or other issues.

While not comprehensive, here are some tips for determining what is best for you or your family member.

  • Make sure the facility has a current license to operate.
  • Notice if the administrator asks questions about your needs (or the needs of the person looking to be place).
  • Are the residents dressed and up and about?
  • Are they socializing with one another?
  • Do staff treat residents with respect?
  • Are you allowed to see all of the facility?
  • Is it well lit, clean, and inviting?
  • Is the temperature comfortable?
  • Are there any unpleasant odors?
  • Is the surface of the floor appropriate for walkers and wheelchairs?
  • Are there handrails to help with walking?
  • Are the shower rooms easily accessible for residents who require walkers or wheelchairs?
  • Where are the designated smoking areas?
  • If so, are they away from the building?
  • How is the food?
  • Does the facility offer a variety of options to accommodate personal preferences (food, activities, etc.)?

If possible, visit at mealtime to observe what’s actually being served. Spend some time talking to the residents. Who can better tell you about a facility than the people living there? What do they like or don’t like? Tell them that you are visiting facilities to select one for a family member.

A Skilled Nursing Facility provides residents with access to 24-hour skilled nursing care, related services, or rehabilitative services for the injured, disabled, or sick individuals. Residents in SNFs are under the direction of their personal care physician or the facilities medical director. Each resident must have an individualized plan of care developed by the physician, resident and/or their responsible party, and facility staff.

A Residential Care Facility for the Elderly provides non-medical care and supervision for persons aged 60 and older who may need assistance with Activities of Daily Living. These activities include help with bathing, grooming, toileting, eating, ambulating and assistance with medications. RCFEs range in size from small facilities with six residents to large assisted living facilities with hundreds of residents. Residents of RCFEs should not require ongoing medical care.

Long-term care ombudsman are advocates for residents of long-term care facilities. Ombudsman provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems. If you want, the ombudsman can assist you with complaints.  Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. See our services page for more information.

The cost of paying for long-term care is determined on a case-by-case basis and can change significantly based on the level of care needed and area where the resident lives.

Payment for care provided by residential care facilities for the elderly are private pay. There are some facilities within our region that do accept residents who are beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP). Again, that is determined on a case-by-case basis. The Assisted Living Waiver(ALW)Program can provide some assistance on a limited basis.

If you are interested in getting more involved consider becoming a volunteer, making a gift, or signing up to stay informed.