Accreditation is an important means of evaluating a community's commitment to quality and fiscal stability.

Kendal at Oberlin has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities/Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CARF-CCAC) since 1997. This means our organization has met extensive criteria for quality and stability and is regularly reviewed to assure we maintain that level of quality. It’s like the “seal of approval” for life plan communities, also known as continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs.

The Value of Accreditation

According to CARF International:

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. CARF is the only accreditor for continuing care retirement communities. The nation’s first and only accreditation system for CCRCs—the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC)—was founded in 1985 and began operations through the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (now known as LeadingAge). In 2003, CARF acquired CCAC. In 2017, the CCAC entity and accreditation process was fully integrated into CARF. The CCAC name and accreditation seal are no longer in use, but CARF continues the unique attributes of the accreditation process for CCRCs, including the Five-Year Term of Accreditation, the annual financial review, and the financial ratio benchmarks.

Of the approximately 2,000 life plan communities in the United States, less than 200 are accredited by CARF-CCAC (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities-Continuing Care Accreditation Commission).

Although voluntary, a life plan community that has achieved this accreditation has undergone extensive review to assure it offers quality services. Surveyors measure more than 1,400 standards, related to business practices as well as health care, and interview all stakeholders, including residents, families, staff and administration.

Accreditation Matters

“CARF provides a sort of ‘renewal process’ allowing us to systematically update documents, build new partnerships, adopt new standards and improve on our commitment to do things better. We are kept on our toes with CARF, a respected peer-driven organization helping us be the best we can be in our field,” says Kendal at Oberlin CEO and CARF Surveyor, Barbara Thomas.

Kendal at Oberlin will be seeking re-accreditation for the sixth time in 2022. According to Barbara Thomas, “It is a very involved process with no way to measure the hours engaged. Generally, in a year that reaccreditation is being pursued, the self-study and all its various sections take upwards of nine months of preparation with the review of over 1,600 standards. There are work groups for about a dozen areas of the standards. There will be a leader(s) for each section and a committee of others to contribute feedback on drafted responses to the self-study. One of the most significant tasks is the preparation of written documentation that provides evidence that the standards are being met. We hope to engage at least 50 or more people (residents, staff and board) when all is said and done,” Barbara explains.

What Does Accreditation Mean to You?

The CARF seal, indicating that a life plan community is accredited, assures that you know the program has met stringent criteria for quality. As you plan for your next chapter in retirement, you can be assured of a community’s commitment to resident services and to fiscal integrity. These are important considerations that will give you confidence as you consider options for your future.

If you have more questions about the accreditation process, please feel free to reach out to Terry Kovach, Kendal at Oberlin’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

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