Ensuring Quality Care in Long-Term Care Facilities: The Importance of Professional Management

If your loved one is experiencing declining health due to chronic illness or aging problems, they will deserve access to quality long-term care services. Professional facilities will usually be managed by trained professionals to ensure safety and quality care.

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Ensuring Quality Care in Long-Term Care Facilities: The Importance of Professional Management
5 Min Read June 19th, 2024

Witnessing your parents’ age can be a harsh reality, particularly when they become increasingly dependent on others for daily activities most of us don't think twice about. You or a family member may have stepped in to assist, or perhaps you've even explored professional in-home care.

However, there comes a time when a formal environment like an assisted living facility or nursing home may be necessary to guarantee their safety and a continued high quality of life. Your loved one deserves access to quality long-term care services.

When searching for a long-term care facility for a loved one, you want to ensure they receive the highest quality care. Professional management plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. Skilled managers with proper licensing and certification can navigate complex healthcare regulations and deliver quality care to residents.

We are currently seeing a rapid increase in the senior population. As the aging population increases, the demand for qualified senior care professionals is skyrocketing. According to the National Council on Aging, older adults will outnumber children by 2030, emphasizing the need for well-trained managers who can handle evolving regulatory landscapes while delivering professional, quality, and compassionate long-term care.

Professional management ensures that facilities comply with regulations and provide a safe, nurturing environment for residents. You can often tell quickly that a long-term care facility is being professionally managed.

State-Specific Credentials

Each state has specific credentials for senior living facility managers to ensure they are qualified to manage the unique needs of older residents.

For example:

  • California requires administrators to complete a certification program and pass a state licensing exam.
  • New York mandates a state-approved training program and an extensive background check.
  • Texas requires a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or a related field, plus passing a state exam.

Obtaining any of these licenses involves several key steps:

  • Application Submission: Start with completing the application form available on your state's health department website.
  • Background Checks: Most states require thorough criminal background checks to ensure safety standards.
  • Educational Requirements: States like North Carolina insist on specific coursework; for example, obtaining an Adult Care Home Administrator License entails completing 120 hours of state-approved instruction.
  • Exams and Fees: Some states require you to pass an exam and pay applicable fees ranging from $100 to $500, depending on the jurisdiction.

These requirements ensure that managers are well-prepared to handle the complexities of running a long-term care facility, providing families with peace of mind.

Continuous Education Norms

Continuing education is essential to keep managers updated with industry standards and best practices. Most states mandate specific continuing education units (CEUs) annually or biannually. For instance, Texas requires 40 hours of CEUs every two years, while New York mandates 60 hours over three years. These programs cover critical areas like healthcare regulations, ethics, management skills, and resident care advancements.

California's Department of Social Services offers an exemplary model for continuous education through its CEU program for administrators. This program demands 20 hours of approved coursework each year to maintain licensure. Courses range from advanced geriatric care techniques to legal compliance updates, ensuring administrators are well-versed in the latest industry trends and protocols.

Real Estate Knowledge

Understanding real estate is crucial for senior living facility managers. They must ensure the facility complies with local zoning laws, oversee maintenance and renovations, and manage leasing agreements. This knowledge helps maintain a safe and comfortable environment for residents.

To build this essential skill set, managers often take the real estate exam for their state and get certified. Since this is not a step many managers take, if your loved one's facility's manager has done so, it helps provide the family with additional peace of mind.

Specialized Training Programs

Specialized training programs equip managers with advanced skills to handle specific resident needs. For example, the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) offers geriatric care training, and the National Council on Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) provides a memory care certification program. These programs ensure that managers can provide tailored care to residents, improving their quality of life.

National Certifications

National certifications highlight a manager's expertise and commitment to high standards in elder care. When visiting a long-term care facility, be sure to ask if the manager holds any of these certifications:

The Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrator Exam

The Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrator Exam offered by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) is a cornerstone credential. This certification covers critical areas such as regulatory compliance, resident care management, and ethical considerations. Passing this exam demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of managing assisted living facilities effectively.

Certification for Assisted Living Administrators

Another valuable certification is provided by Argentum (formerly ALFA). Their Certification for Assisted Living Administrators focuses on key competencies like leadership, financial management, and quality improvement processes within assisted living settings. Earning this credential highlights an administrator's proficiency in ensuring operational excellence and resident satisfaction.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Additionally, infection control procedures are increasingly vital in senior care environments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers specialized training on infection control protocols designed for healthcare administrators. Completing these courses equips managers with the knowledge to implement robust infection prevention strategies—crucial for safeguarding residents' health.

Finding Quality Long-Term Care for Your Loved One

Professional management in long-term care facilities ensures that your loved ones receive the quality care they deserve. Certified and well-trained managers are essential for navigating complex regulations, providing tailored care, and maintaining a safe, nurturing environment. By choosing a facility with qualified management, you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in good hands.

How do you find quality long-term care services? In the past, it has been very challenging to find such services, be it in-home caregivers, adult day care centers, assisted living and memory care facilities, nursing homes, or other senior communities. The good news is LTC NEWS has made it much easier, and the information is free.

The LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory has the country's largest database of long-term care providers. With a few clicks, you can search for the types of services and facilities your loved one requires near you.

The directory has over 80,000 providers listed, increasing daily - LTC NEWS Long-Term Care Directory | Find Quality Care Services Near You.

For care providers, the LTC News Directory Business Portal offers the opportunity to claim a free listing or upgrade for enhanced visibility. 

Paying for Long-Term Care

Quality care does come at a price. As you probably know, health insurance and Medicare only pay for short-term skilled care. Medicaid will only pay for Medicaid-approved providers for those with limited financial resources.

Unless you have Long-Term Care Insurance your loved one will have to pay for their care from their income and assets. Long-term care costs are increasing and vary depending on the level of services required and your location - Find the Cost of Long-Term Care Services Near You.

While you are thinking about your parents’ needs, it is an excellent time to consider your future needs. Long-term care planning starts before you need care, usually before you retire. For many families, long-term care insurance is an affordable solution to pay for quality care when needed, protect finances and assets, and ease family burdens.

You and your family deserve access to quality long-term care as well. You and your family deserve the time to be family instead of becoming caregivers and seeing your assets disappear due to the high cost of care. 

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About the Author

Jacob Thomas is a part-time writer who focuses on health, wellness, and retirement topics, including aging, caregiving, insurance, and long-term care. His writing serves as a means to delve into his interests and provide valuable information for those dealing with aging parents and preparing for their own future and retirement plans.

LTC News Contributor Jacob Thomas

Jacob Thomas

Contributor since August 10th, 2023

Editor's Note

LTC Insurance can be a vital part of your retirement plan. It provides a financial safety net to cover long-term care expenses, protecting your income and assets and reducing your financial burden. Since health insurance, including Medicare, only pays for short-term skilled care, an LTC policy ensures access to quality care, preserving your income and assets and easing family burden.

It's best to acquire LTC insurance in your 40s or 50s. Your good health today allows you to obtain coverage at the lowest cost. For those in their 60s and older, affordable options are still available, depending on health.

Find a qualified, independent Long-Term Care Insurance specialist representing the top insurance brands to help you find the most affordable options based on your age and health.

An LTC specialist will ask you detailed health questions before giving you accurate quotes from all the top-rated insurance companies that offer long-term care solutions. 

Get Help Processing an LTC Insurance Claim for a Loved One

LTC NEWS will help you process claims from any Long-Term Care Insurance policy. In partnership with Amada Senior Care, a nationally recognized in-home healthcare agency, we will help make sure your loved ones receive the quality care you deserve by getting the benefits from their LTC policy quickly with the least hassle. 

Even if your loved one does not have a Long-Term Care policy, Amada can provide free case management and develop an appropriate care plan.

This service comes at no cost or obligationFiling a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim.

These four LTC NEWS guides will assist you in trying to find appropriate long-term services for a loved one:

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