CEAL and UNC Promote Excellence in Person-Centered Care Domains of Practice

The Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL), a unique collaborative of national provider, consumer, and advocacy organizations, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) have released seminal person-centered attributes and indicators developed and approved unanimously by CEAL through an initiative funded by The Commonwealth Fund. The report containing the person-centered attributes and indicators can be accessed on the homepage of the CEAL website at www.theceal.org.

“The creation of person-centered attributes along with measurable indicators developed by diverse national assisted living experts is critically important to inform the Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation” said Sheryl Zimmerman, Ph.D., Kenan Professor and Co-Director of the Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC. “They clarify the distinction between the ACA’s mandated person-centered practices as opposed to institutional practices that will no longer be funded by CMS.”

CEAL believes that person-centered outcomes are a major underpinning of all aspects of desired assisted living practices and care. A service planning and operational process that is focused on person-centeredness is able to deliver on the core promises of assisted living that include maximizing privacy, autonomy, and choice; helping to foster meaningful life, engagement, and quality of care; and supporting meaningful access to the surrounding community.

“A key objective of CEAL is to identify and disseminate information that fosters practices, policies and research that promote excellence in assisted living, and to help make the industry aware of best practices as developed by experts. The development of person-centered attributes and indicators through a consensus process involving a wide range of stakeholders provides a strong framework for providers, regulators, and advocates to deliver on the core promises of assisted living,” said Josh Allen, Chair of CEAL.

Building from this effort, CEAL and UNC plan to conduct field research to test and validate the person-centered attributes and assisted living indicators. These are important and timely steps to ensure that national and state policies and assisted living practices are building upon evidence-based information.

CEAL, a non-profit collaborative, includes representatives from AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, American Assisted Living Nurses Association, LeadingAge, American Seniors Housing Association, Assisted Living Federation of America, Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living, National Center for Assisted Living, NCB Capital Impact, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Pioneer Network.

CEAL operates a national, web-based Clearinghouse of information on assisted living, acts as a resource to bring together the diverse stakeholders of assisted living, and encourages research to maintain and improve the quality of assisted living communities and services. More information can be found at www.theceal.org.

The Program on Aging, Disability and Long-Term Care, at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, UNC, conducts research, training, and other efforts to understand and promote optimal care and quality of life for older adults, especially those in residential care/assisted living settings and nursing homes. Other collaborative work conducted with CEAL includes the development of a manual for community-based participatory research, which can be found at www.shepscenter.unc.edu/research_programs/aging/.

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