Earlier this year, a group of family members gathered at ActivCare at Rolling Hills Ranch in Chula Vista to hear the results of a study that they had participated in the year before. Many providers organize open house events for families as a way of keeping them informed about and engaged in community happenings. “They are also really important to gather families to share good news regarding the community,” shared Todd Shetter, COO of ActivCare Living and that night’s presenter.
This particular family night event was a gesture of thanks to “the family members of our communities that had graciously participated in the survey by responding to our requests last February,” said Shetter. The results were compiled during February 2016 from 8,312 California residents and family
members, representing 228 CALA-member communities ranging in size from less than 50 units to more than 125 units. For Memory Care-only communities, family members were the sole participant.
The study, commissioned by CALA and conducted by Promatura, was based on responses to questions that were designed to determine whether residents felt a sense of belonging, and whether or not they experienced a sense of control over their lives, two main contributors to quality of life. According Shetter, the results weren’t exactly surprising to the family members in the room; they had already seen how their loved ones thrived. “I read the highlights of the Memory Care community results. The families were very supportive and in agreement with the high marks related to feeling safe, staff being responsive to mom or dad’s needs, and staff knowledge. They also nodded and were in agreement about recommending the community to others who may have similar needs.”
The value of the survey results, say Shetter, is in their validation of residents’ lived experience. “As providers close to the families and residents we serve, we are fortunate to see the end results of bettering the lives of seniors by the environments and hands-on care and services we provide.” But, he adds, it is not enough to tell people such as legislators and local leaders, “We are really good.” Rather, the field must be able to shore up personal stories with objective, third-party data.
Now all CALA members can broadcast the results of the Resident Quality of Life Survey with the help of the newest Voice of Assisted Living presentation: “Quality of Life for Seniors and their Family.” By downloading the speech outline and Powerpoint presentation, you will have all the tools you need to share the results of the survey. Not a member but want access to this great community-building tool? Join CALA today!
This post was excerpted from an article published in the Spring 2017 issue of CALA News & Views.