New San Diego County senior residential care tool can help families 'Choose Well'

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)--Families searching for quality residential elder care in San Diego now have a new tool to make sure their loved ones stay safe and healthy. 

The County of San Diego launched an online senior care rating system called "Choose Well" that compares assisted living facilities based on these 11 measures

  • Activities and socialization
  • Emergency disaster planning
  • Facility maintenance and safety 
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Non-Compliance conference summary status 
  • Resident rights
  • Staffing
  • Civil penalties
  • Specialty care 
  • Basic resident care 
  • Medical needs and responsiveness 

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"San Diego families now have a powerful new tool to help ease what is often one of the toughest decisions they can make - where to place an elderly relative in need of more care," said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. "By including a ratings system on the website, we're also hoping it will raise the bar on the level of care countywide." 

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How it works 

Assisted Living Facilities volunteer to complete a free, online profile and agree to have it rated using an algorithm that uses citation data from California's inspection and complaint reports. The advantage for these residential placements is that they can create a profile to get noticed by families. 

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Family members can then compare residential care facilities side-by-side using the 1-10 rating scale. 

The "Choose Well" rating system utilizes data from state compliance reports and licensing documents and those facilities that upload key documents helpful to families earn bonus points. 

"Providing care for an aging relative is one of the most gut-wrenching and difficult decisions a family can make," said County Supervisor Greg Cox. "With Choose Well, families will have help navigating the maze of information, rules and regulations behind long-term residential care facilities." 

In 2014, Cox and Jacobs helped bring "Choose Well" to fruition to address the growing challenges in San Diego of an aging population that needs long-term care. 

Individuals 65 years and older are the fastest growing age group in the county. 

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