A summary of Phase 1 of Argentum’s new quality care initiative.

By Pam McDonald

Among the materials provided to this year’s Argentum Conference registrants was a sticky label with the words, “I Attest.” The sticker introduced Phase 1 of the organization’s new quality care initiative, which has two primary goals:

  1. to develop professional and ethical standards for the senior living industry; and

  1. to allow communities and companies that comply with the standards to demonstrate to the public and state regulators their commitment to providing quality senior living.

The Association developed an initial list of standards it believes to be the hallmarks of quality care. The idea is that these standards will complement, not replace, the state laws and regulations governing the operation of senior living communities.

They expect the standards will continue to evolve and that Argentum will seek input from internal and external partners in developing more comprehensive standards. Over time the benchmarks will reflect changes in preferences, regulations, and senior living trends, and apply to independent and assisted living, as well as memory care.

Argentum’s Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Bersani, who is shepherding this effort, says, “Argentum’s brand is becoming a premium standard in quality of senior living. When residents and families see our seal, they’ll know the community exemplifies quality in consumer and resident rights, safety, care and operations improvement, workforce practices, and regulatory compliance.”

By the last day of the Conference, nearly 2,000 communities had attested and 26 companies were called to the stage to be recognized for their compliance. These companies included Atria Senior Living, Brookdale, Five Star Senior Living, Integral Senior Living, Kensington Senior Living, Meridian Senior Living, Pathway Senior Living, Sagora Senior Living, Silverado, and The Arbor Company. 

Currently the criteria for attesting are the following:

Consumer Disclosure. Providers will make available a consumer friendly disclosure document to prospective residents.

Resident Rights. Providers will, to the extent possible and appropriate, support resident rights of choice, independence, dignity, and privacy. 

Resident-Centered Care. Residents of senior living communities and their families should have an active role in determining the services they receive as a resident. 

Infrastructure. Senior living communities will be designed to enhance resident safety. 

Staff Training and Qualifications. Providers of senior living will hire staff with the appropriate skills and training to meet resident needs. 

Programming. Residents will be provided a wide range of activities that reflect their interests. 

Medication Delivery. Providers of senior living will have systems in place for the safe delivery and, if applicable, administration of medication. 

Quality Improvement. Providers will embrace quality assessment and improvement in their operations in order to continuously improve the quality of care and quality of life for their residents. 

Dining. Senior Living Communities will offer nutritious dining options that reflect resident dietary needs and choices. 

Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement. Operators of senior living communities will be in compliance with all applicable state laws and regulations. 

Workforce. Providers of senior living will treat their employees with respect and offer them an equal opportunity for career advancement. 

Memory Care. Communities that care for residents with cognitive impairments will be staffed and designed to meet these residents’ unique needs. 

Eligibility and Process

Argentum members as well as non-member senior living communities may attest and submit forms developed for the process. Those interested in attesting and receiving recognition of their compliance can access forms at http://argentum.formstack.com/forms/attest.

Submissions will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year and those communities the Association deems in compliance will receive certificates to be displayed and used in their marketing materials. For answers to any questions, contact COO & SVP of Public Policy Maribeth Bersani at (703) 562-1180 or [email protected].