Accreditation is the voluntary process of being a certified as meeting minimum requirements designated by an accrediting agency. For a Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), the only accrediting body is the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), which was acquired by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in 2003.
Before CCAC was founded, consumers, financial rating agencies, and others had no clear way of determining whether a retirement community was financially stable, providing quality care, or worthy of their investment. CCAC was founded in 1985 to help ensure that the nation’s retirement communities fulfill their promise of quality, lifetime care to older persons. It not only provides assurance of quality and integrity, but it offers the public a standard of comparison for evaluating continuing care retirement communities.
Accreditation involves extensive self-evaluation by the retirement community’s staff, residents and board of directors, and an on-site review by trained CARF/CCAC evaluators. The CARF/CCAC ’s accreditation program is based on the belief that accreditation promotes and maintains quality and integrity in the continuing care industry. The CARF/CCAC awards public recognition to a CCRC that, while carrying out its stated mission and purposes, meets industry-generated standards of excellence that are demanding but realistic. The accreditation standards focus on four areas: Governance and Administration, Resident Life and Services, Finance and Health Care.